Hard man promises hot moves

By Juliet Rowan

Celebrity competitors are promising more daring moves as they take to the floor for episode three of the television series Dancing with the Stars tomorrow night.

Former All Black Norm Hewitt, who shared the lead with ex-Shortland Street actor Shane Cortese last week, will dance the tango.

He hopes to impress judges with a technically difficult pivot after he and partner Carol-Ann Hickmore were told they needed to do "more tricky stuff".

"I’m not going to say I’ve got it, but we’re going to do it," Hewitt said.

The pair have put in 15 hours’ training, and Hewitt is taking the same approach to the competition as he did when he played rugby.

"You have to win to become an All Black. That’s my nature."

The seven remaining couples dance the jive or tango this week after trying the cha cha, waltz, rumba and quickstep in the previous two episodes.

Judges want tangos with "power and passion" and jives with "mountains of energy".

Six weeks remain in the TVOne series, and one couple will eventually be crowned dancing king and queen.

The judges’ opinion counts for half the scores. Viewer votes determine the other.

Versions of the programme have already screened in Australia, Britain and the United States, and it has quickly become a hit in New Zealand, rating top in its 8.30pm time-slot last week. It is also generating a buzz among dance students. Students at Auckland Academy of Dance were excited to see Gilmour at their New Lynn studio this week.

"They can see that dance isn’t just a hobby. It can be a career," said the academy’s Rochelle Moffitt.

Footwork Dancesport Studio in Hamilton had 60 people sign up for a beginner’s course in Latin and ballroom dancing which began three days after Dancing with the Stars.

Director Terry Kawiti said many were inspired by the contestants.

"It’s Norm Hewitt," he said. "All we need now is for Jonah Lomu to do it and we’ll get all the rugby players."

The age of those doing the 10-week course range from 11 to 73.

Centrebet’s odds for Dancing with the Stars - TVOne, 8.30pm Sunday - have remained unchanged this week, with Hewitt leading the pack at 3.0 for a $1 bet.

DANCES IN EPISODE 3

THE TANGO

Opinions vary, but the tango is generally thought to have begun in the crowded brothels of Buenos Aires in the mid 19th century. Gauchos (cowboys) would dance with prostitutes while they waited for rooms to become available. The woman would hold her head back and her right hand low on the gaucho’s left hip, close to his pocket and his money.

What the judges want to see:

"Power and passion," says Alison Leonard. She said the tango is an emotional dance but it is not fluid. "The action is always quite staccato."

Judges will look for short, sharp movements, notably head turns and stops, and a compact hold between the couple.

Ms Leonard says it is a flat dance, unlike the waltz. "We don’t want to see any rise and fall. We want to see the emotion."

THE JIVE

The jive originated among young African-Americans in the early 1940s. Conservatives disapproved of the lively, uninhibited dance and tried to ban it from dance halls, but American GIs quickly made it popular in Europe in World War 2. Modern forms of jive include ceroc, leroc and swing jive.

What the judges want to see:

"Mountains of energy," says Ms Leonard.

Judges will watch for sharp movements with lots of kicking and flicking of the toes. Points off for softness in the legs.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 31 Oct 2014 04:13:52 Processing Time: 689ms