Sleek and chic, the couple gracefully moves to the center of the floor, awaiting its music. With the first urgent strains, the crowd cheers, recognizing the music of the paso doble. He strikes the pose of the flamenco dancer, the toreador--totally in charge. She rustles her skirt with an insolent sneer, perhaps, as Carmen, the bullfighter's cape--a dynamic fluidity in her moves. The lights are subdued as they twirl and tap with a sexual tension that typifies the paso. They are artists, creating extensions and contractions that accent their athletic physiques.
And so goes one of the showdances in the ballroom dance competition that convenes every year in Columbus, Ohio. The best dancers in the country compete in four categories of dance that include the standards (e.g. waltz, quickstep, and foxtrot). In the finals, the four champion couples compete to be "America's Best".
The festivities are hosted (this season) by Mary Murphy and Tony Meredith. They try to clarify with expert commentary and to create excitement, but the dances are inherently exciting. PBS presents this wonderful dance competition that has been contested for decades. The beautiful Juliet Prowse used to host the affair in earlier days. It carries on with a timeless quality that reminds one of the historic standards that define these beautiful dance forms.
Anyone who appreciates fine dancing should enjoy this series that highlights America's finest ballroom dancers.
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