Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22 Blog: Week 8

“Dancing with the Stars” Judge Carrie Ann Inaba is blogging exclusively for Access Hollywood for Season 22 of her hit ABC show. Here is her blog for Week 8: 

Before
I write anything in my blog, I want to thank the incredibly hard working and
awesome production crew at DWTS for all their help with my Team Up Challenge
dance last night. Many different production elements had to come together in
exactly the right way for our Paso Doble and it was a daunting task. I don’t
believe I’ve ever worked with such an incredible team as the team that helped
bring this vision to life. Thank you. 

Carrie-Ann-Inabas-Dancing-With-The-Stars-Season-22-Blog-Week-8
(Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

Today
in my blog, I wanted to go over the process of how it all happens so people can
see and understand what goes into these numbers. We’ve never done a Team
Up Challenge before, and that made it extra difficult because right from the
start, it’s a scheduling nightmare. Trying to get five people in a room
together (Antonio Brown, Mark Ballas, Paige VanZant, Sharna Burgess, and me) is
not easy, especially when everyone is juggling so many things in their lives.
But we met immediately after the show last Monday night and I went over my
concept with them. I wanted to give them a highly dramatic world to
express their incredible athleticism and their powerful physical forms.  (Since all four of them are incredible
athletes).  My team was to represent the dawn of man and woman, born of
the elements — earth, air, water (I would have loved to have fire but I knew
just getting the rain approved was more than enough to bring the concept to
life). I discussed the ideas and themes and concepts in broad strokes to
get their reaction. It’s important that the concept feels good for the
performers because I know that it’s an arduous journey, and if they don’t love
the concept, they won’t give it their all when the time comes. As the
creative director, it is my job to create a dynamic space for them to shine
their brightest, to give more than they’ve ever given before, and to be in their
own divine and unique power. I was happy to know they liked the
idea.  

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

READ: Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22 Blog: Week 6

The
way I work is that I envision the performance and the world as a whole in my
head and that usually happens the first time I listen to the song. I take
notes and break down the 8’s so I can put it on an Excel sheet. I time it out,
work with the editor on the music to create the perfect edit. Then, I work from
the outside in. I create an outline and I find the moments in the music
that will create the drama or that will drive the story, focusing on the
beginning and end first and then a few pivotal moments in the piece. The
staging comes next. I see big pictures… (Some people start with a movement
motif – an actual step, but I start with a feel for the world and story
and general style of movement). For this piece, movement wise, I wanted a
mix of very pedestrian and powerful movements in the beginning as they came to
life from the earth, of the dirt and the natural elements, utilizing the chalk
to accentuate the drama and their movements signifying their birth into this
world. … Then, when they came out of the “dirt” onto the ballroom dance floor,
I knew we’d go into straight Paso Doble, in unison (the most challenging). The
duet between the celebs had to come next and needed to be very athletic and
dynamic. Then we’d continue this staging push to the other side of the ballroom
and into the water where they would finish back in the elements but this time
in the actual water. 

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

Mark
and Sharna are still the choreographers and they had to create something that
would showcase their partners in the best light. Each couple, Mark and Paige,
and Sharna and Antonio, move very differently. They have their own style
and language of dance. The trick was to merge the two styles together, choosing
choreography that worked for ALL of them because I wanted unison. That was
the challenge. I thought it would raise everyone’s game to work this way
and it did. These incredible athletes, led by their talented
choreographers, worked right up until show time, to match each other’s lines
and intensity. Because of hair and makeup issues, we never got to see if it
would all work together until the actual show time.  

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

READ: Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Season 22 Blog: Week 4

I’m
so proud and honored to have worked with my team. They gave 100% and left
it all on the dance floor.  I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m humbled by
the talent and the dedication everyone brings to our show both in front of the
camera and behind the scenes. It’s a gift I appreciate to be able to do
something I love and I love doing this. Creating numbers is where I came
from, and it’s literally, a dream come true to bring an idea to life this way,
and to have the opportunity to work with such amazing beings.

So
once again, I just want to thank everyone for all that they put into this
number. Sharna and Mark for their choreography, for trusting the vision, for
guiding their partners so well and fearlessly and for working together so
beautifully. There was a ferocity to the determination in Team Carrie Ann and
that touched my heart. I wanted to give them my best, I know they gave me
theirs. This week was fun and creative, but I’m really looking forward to next
week. It’s going to be intense! Five semifinalists and a double elimination.
It never gets easier for these celebrities and their professional partners… but
that makes it so much fun.

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

For those who are wondering about my “Crazy Cat
Lady” lifestyle that Len so eloquently referenced… I don’t have 24 cats,
but I have had many rescue cats and dogs over the years. I currently have 2
cats, 3 dogs, and a foundation for animals in need. My foundation is called
“The Animal Project Foundation,” and we are actually launching a T-shirt
line called “The Animal Project Collection” this week on Access
Hollywood Live. The R-shirts are for men, women, and teens — basically
everyone. So if you share my passion for helping animals in need, keep checking
my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feed this week for a link with the
information. A portion of sales will be pledged to The Animal Project
Foundation to help animals in need, so you can look good while doing good! J I’m so excited to share this with
you. Tune in to Access Hollywood Live on Friday for more!

Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic
Carrie Ann Inaba’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ blog, Week 8 pic (Courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba)

— Carrie Ann Inaba

From Edward Gornick, who did Carrie Ann’s hair:

Hair: For the Judges Team Up
Challenge, Carrie Ann wanted to keep it simple and clean so she could focus on
her team. For this simply perfect look I used a pre-assembled pony tail and
then customized it with extra extensions hair to match Miss Inaba’s highlights.
I also recolored and toned the extra pieces before attaching it for a perfect
match. No one likes brassy. Remember to anchor the ponytail well to the base
because hair could fly if you dont!!! Over and out xo — Edward Gornick

Credits:

Dress: David Meister, Period Media

Jewelry: XIV Karats

Hair: Edward Gornick

Makeup: Jojo McCarthy

Stylist: Jen Rade, Rhonda Spies

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