Tag Archive: dancing with the stars

Step on the Dance Floor

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Our weeks get so intense with activities and meetings that I have only one program that is appointment TV.


It is filled with romance, great costumes and beautiful people. There are graceful moves and a whole lot of fun.


I am talking about Dancing With The Stars which airs on Monday nights in which a ‘star’ of some sort dances with a professional dancer and the audience votes on who danced best. Tuesday nights features the “results” show in which the dancers’ scores from the judges and audience’s votes are combined to determine which couple is going home that night.


We love it at our house. OK, my daughter and I love it. The boys will watch if one of the men is someone they recognize, such as Rashon who is from one of the Disney Channel shows.


Shall We Dance 1995 Poster Image from IMDb.com

My theory as to why we are thrilled with ballroom dance starts with the original Shall We Dance (1996) from Japan about an accountant who feels something is missing from his life and takes ballroom dance lessons in secret. This was re-made in 2004 starring Richard Gere as the unhappy man.


I remember a review by Richard Roper who could not believe a man as handsome or successful of Gere’s character could feel such sadness. And yet that is addressed in this movie as well. Gere’s character feels guilt for his sadness because he has so much. He only feels real joy when he finally shares what makes him joyful.


In the meantime we are treated to wonderful scenes of dance as Gere takes lessons from the dance studio where Jennifer Lopez works, trying to forget her sorrow. This is a movie for girls’ night or a couple’s night in, partially because some of the dances are steamy and partially because kids are going to be bored by a grown-up’s depression.


Now there are a lot of dance movies meant for kids. The younger ones have all of those High School Musical movies. And there are the Camp Rock movies that are on Disney as well. Those are fun and do the usual “poor us against rich them” type of storyline.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

For high school students, there is a fun ballroom dance movie starring Antonio Banderas as a dance teacher who volunteer at a high school to help kids build their self esteem. Take The Lead (2006) has a lot going right for it, including a dance number in which one girl is shown in a battle between her boyfriend and her dance partner.

This is one of those movies that might be trite at points but I really enjoy watching it and remembering how a good teacher can be a lifeline to a good kid caught in a bad situation.


But if you want to see ballroom dancing filled with sepia tones, you need to find a copy of a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. The dancing team made ten movies together and perhaps the best of these is Top Hat (1935). It is said that Ginger did everything that Fred did but backwards and in heels. That might be true but I remember how her dresses would beautifully flair out as she moved. Other movies to catch of this pair are Shall We Dance (1935) and The Gay Divorcee (1934).


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


What’s With Kate Hate?

I am not sure what it is about Kate Gosselin but she seems to polarize people. I find websites that hate her and others that adore her. The supermarket newspaper rags constantly harp on her bad diva behavior.

 This is a woman who has eight kids, is doing it all with some help and seems to really like it. She appears to be the mom all of us wish we could be by being the über organized mom who keeps it going. There is a lot to be admired there.

 Kate with her current weave and Kate with the old back fan hair-don'tLet me be honest here. I am not a big fan of hers. Ever since I saw the diva act on Dancing With The Stars, I am more inclined to dislike her than like. But being the nosy parker that I am, I started looking up info on her and her former husband, Jon. I wanted to find out more about both of them before making any final decisions.

 Neither Gosselin is looking so hot. Kate’s brother Kevin has testified against her in recent child labor law hearings; he and his wife, Jodie, have done interviews stating that there are two different Kates and that she knew the marriage was over six months before announcement of the divorce.

 There are accusations of infidelity on both parts and Jon allegedly being forced to sign a contract telling him when to show up to be the “family man.” Jon has not helped his case by openly dating a slew of women. Nor can anyone say if he is working or not. However, there is another ‘story’ that at some point Kate forced him to quit working to take care of the kids while she went on book tours for earlier books she had written.

 More on the anti-Kate side? Remember when she had the greater than great kitchen remodeled (allegedly gratis) to be greater-than-greater-than-great? How about the renewal of vows? And how does anyone have the energy to write books when you have eight kids?

 There is a part of me that wants to look behind the curtain and see what is really going on. That renewal of vows might have been a last-ditch effort to save a dying marriage but now it just feels wrong. Her constant harping on Jon is bound to find itself turning to the kids. After all, she is about to enter the pre-teen years with the twins and my experience found the hormones go crazy. Plus the trappings of celebrity – the free stuff that show up on your doorstep – can be pretty nice and change a person.

 At best, Kate is taking advantage of the current interest in her life to make enough bucks to last for years to come. Celebrity only lasts so long and you have to do whatever you can during that short time period. I can understand and admire that aspect. As a nurse, Kate is not going to make the same amount of money.

 At worst, Kate is taking total advantage of all those kids so that people will look at her and say what a great mother she is. I might even call it a mild case of Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy in which a care giver makes their child sick in order to get attention. Kate doesn’t have to get the kids sick. Just having eight children appears to be enough to garner all of the attention one would need or want.

 So is she deserving of all of this hate?

 I am not so sure. She has made some bad choices (that earlier hairstyle) in the past but is trying to redefine her place in the world after a very public divorce. It appears she has made enough enemies that people are willing to talk badly about her. If her biggest crime right now is taking high-profile jobs that earn enough to support her family and pretending to be the best mom ever, it is not enough of a reason for me to hate her.

 Should she ever come out and say she never wanted all these children in the first place, then I would have to change my mind.

 Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.