Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis: Samba 2012 AmPro Showcase

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKrXptvl0Io

This video was filmed at the DansinnHeavenly Professional American Showcase in 2012. The dancers’ names: Michael Malitowski and Joanna Lewis. The dance performed: Samba.

“1 a2, 1 a2.” This is the count for Ballroom Samba.

This performance was stunning because the synthetic movements between each dancer, Leunis and Malitowski, are connected, so Ballroom Samba is truly Ballroom Samba. Between Ballroom and Latin dances, partners must connect with one another on time, so a routine is not thrown off- in order words either the man forgets what beat he is on, or the woman is clueless where she ought to go for the next step- and the technique is kept clean.

These professionals are excellent because they not only have great technique, but their attitude toward the dance is amazing. If you notice throughout the video, you will see that both Malitowski and Leunis have a daring, outgoing personality that make the dance come to life. Between the dancers alone, Malitowski and Leunis make faces at each other, whether to spice the scene with charisma or to cue the other dancer with a facial expression, “go this way.” As the two dance with one another they dance with the audience’s imagination. For example, you will see Leunis point to an audience member and Malitowski blow a kiss somewhere in the crowd while the two are still performing, music is still playing, and the lights are still shining like a Latin disco party.

At a disco party, or rather an authentic 70’s get together, the clothing is more nightclub and filled with the rainbow. Sparkles fill the dance scene with excitement because the multiple colors flashing from the roof seem much more exotic. Imagine that you’re under lights- the scene is dark, but colors shine before your eyes- spinning round and round with friends until ten o’ clock in the morning. The year is 1975 and you’re wearing a floral magenta dress with knee-high, white boots. The music makes your dress spin faster as the beat lifts your feet off the ground, your arms in the open air, and your hips back and forth. In this dance Leunis’ purple dress is a more conservative Latin dress, yet the sparkles make her performance more active. Although Leunis is wearing something different from white boots and a floral dress- Latin heels and a tight, modern performance costume- her personality and the scene of a disco party is real.

Samba is sexy because a dancer’s primary focus is making sure the feet make the knees make the hips move, and the rest of the body stays in a steady motion. A spectator’s eyes will look at the legs, and the way the dancer has a sense of rhythm in order to make his or her body become one-of-a-kind. Between Malitowski and Leunis the arms create parallel lines, which as mentioned earlier, create synthetic movements that make any true dance lively and pleasurable to watch. However, although arms create parallel movement, the two dancers make the dance become one dance.

In conclusion, this performance is excellent, and if you haven’t clicked the link above, I highly recommend so, because the dancers transform a simple, Latin performance of Samba into the ultimate disco party that flash backs to 1975.


Surkov Sergey and Melnicka Agnieshka: Rumba Performance

“Je suis malad” 

This dance has everything in it: the story, the movement- how clear and distinct each is from one to the other- and finally, the costumes that show the emotions of love, and the downfalls, which is the main idea of this routine: love as a downfall.


The story is of a heart-broken woman, torn apart because of her lover and the way she feels about him. Something is wrong: his health, the way he treats her, the status of the relationship. Whatever the problem is, the woman can no longer handle her emotions and is breaking away, slowly.


Each movement Agnieshka performs, she has emotions that express better what exactly the character feels, and why: what specific movements are present for each second. Throughout the routine you will see Agnieshka jerk her head down, hands covering her face, and teeth showing. Facial expressions indicate that this is stress or hatred. When angry or mad, women will always show their teeth with disgust in order to show dominance. In this routine she adds drama to the scene because the character is confused and has exposed her heart to someone who is about to throw her gentleness away. Along with her head, face, and teeth exposure, Agnieshka moves her body is complete opposition to the way Sergey does. Sergey is man playing the character with evil: the conflict within the story.


         Rumba is a Latin dance where the man leads and the woman follows. As she follows, the woman knows certain signals that indicate what exactly the man wants her to do. In this routine, although Sergey and Agnieshka have the lead-follow action going- along with connection and proper technique- you see Agnieshka run away from Sergey and move in opposition of him. Yes, Sergey does lead Agnieshka to follow a certain way, but what’s interesting about this routine is that in Rumba, there’s a connection that exists between weight changing and moving forwards and backwards- especially evident in Rumba Walks. Here, Sergey will move in one direction, and Agnieshka will almost look forced to move in the same direction to follow. Most Rumba routines are made, that the woman adds grace to the atmosphere; she’s thrilled to follow her man. In this routine, Agnieshka adds resistance and resentment to even be near Sergey.


         Because Sergey is the evil in the story, his movements are much more dramatic and over-emphasized. He will direct Agnieshka to move in one direction, and she’ll follow, but eventually decide to move somewhere else as the routine continues to flow. One movement that strongly emphasizes a downfall is when Agnieshka falls into Sergey arms, and when she’s laying on the ground in despair, he’ll just leave her and stand with his back turned, facing the audience. This is the true meaning of heart-breaking stories.


         Finally, the costumes that both these dancers use are black. Typical Rumba costumes are bright colors, and something much more cheerful, but in this routine, because the mood is depression, black fits the scene perfectly and adds emotion to the story: a somber couple.