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  • Writer's pictureNicole Grace

A Retrospective Disney100 Night on Dancing with the Stars

Welcome to my favorite night of the Dancing with the Stars season, Disney night! More specifically, this year it was Disney100 Night. There were a lot of things that this Disney-themed night did that I really liked and set it apart from all the previous times DWTS has used this theme. First, the costumes were a lot less over-the-top. In previous years many of the outfits on Disney night were pulled directly from their movie, like they were wearing really high-quality, officially licensed Halloween costumes. This year, most of the costumes were more like outfits you’d see on other nights on the show, but with a twist inspired by the movie they’re paying homage to. If you ask me, that’s more creative, and allowed for tributes to movies that are often not included in Disney nights. As for the night as a whole, it was structured like a chronological retrospective on the Disney brand, with the performances representing different milestones of the company, in the order in which they happened.


We started the night with what was basically a car commercial (which I found annoying but what can you do) which went right into a “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” opening number! I mentioned in my recap of last year’s Disney+ night that I wished there had been a Latin dance to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” and we finally got it! It was such a fun number, and blocked really creatively compared to the normal DWTS opening number.


THE DANCES:


I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a Fantasia tribute on Disney night before, and I was so excited to see a Sorcerer’s Apprentice paso doble. How perfect is that?? Mauricio gave a solid performance, though I couldn’t help feeling the choreography wasn’t much to write home about.


I think this was one of Mira’s best dances, and the one where she looked the most comfortable. The judges had kind things to say, but her scores did not improve a lot.


First of all, I had no idea that Barry Williams did musical theatre after The Brady Bunch! Also, Lady and the Tramp is another Disney movie that isn’t shown a lot on Disney night, which is fun. This routine was so cute and fun. It was perfectly suited to Barry’s strengths: his background in jazz dance, his flexibility and rhythm, and his showmanship. Which made it disappointing that there were a few hiccups in the actual performance. Barry wasn’t ready to support Peta in a lift, and then got lost in the choreography not long after, and Peta had to remind him what the next move was. However, the latter part where he forgets the choreography was barely noticeable, because his charm and confidence stayed consistent. That’s the important thing to remember about dance: it’s not about the mistake, it’s about the recovery.


I always love Jason’s dances, but this performance featured the return of my least favorite production aspect on Dancing with the Stars: the dreaded fog machine. I understand the routine is to “A Whole New World,” so the fog is supposed to simulate being above the clouds. But come on! We can’t see their feet! The choreography was pretty, but for most of the routine I was thinking about the fog.


This dance automatically brought a smile to my face. Lele is such a great performer, and this rumba was beautiful. The judges were thrilled to praise her overall improvement from previous weeks, and gave her some small notes so she can continue in this direction.


We’ve seen a lot of “Be Our Guest” routines, but I was super excited to see this team put their own spin on it once I saw Alyson had the Lumiere-inspired outfit, instead of Sasha. Alyson seems to have more of a goofy personality, so I thought that she would do well playing a character. She definitely looked like she was the most comfortable and having the most fun yet. The judges complimented her stage presence, but seemed to think that some technique was lost in the process.


I wasn’t sure how Harry would do with a quickstep, but I was pleasantly surprised. With this high-energy dance, Harry looked the most comfortable he’s ever been. I felt like this is the dance where he was able to keep up with Rylee the most. And the choreography was so cute!


Another fantastic performance from Xochitl! She was truly holding herself as a dancer, keeping up with quick and complicated choreography with perfect placement, posture, and grace. The judges loved it as well, giving her the first straight 9s of the season!


Dumbo is one of my favorite Disney characters of all time, so I was happy to see a routine to “Baby Mine.” Their costumes were Disneybounding perfection, and this was Adrian’s best dance yet.


I really loved the character of this dance! The only thing I didn’t really like was the super long spin lift, but that was because I wanted to see Ariana dance more!


What a beautiful dance to end Disney100 night! Charity is such a gorgeous dancer. She is one of my favorites to watch this season. She didn’t get 9s this week, but if she keeps going in this direction, she will next week.


THE ELIMINATION:

The bottom three this week were Lele & Brandon, Adrian & Britt, and Barry & Peta. The eliminated couple ultimately was Adrian & Britt. Lele was too good to be in jeopardy in the first place, and Barry had probably the worst night out of the bottom three, but I think he’s been having a better overall run than Adrian. I did not disagree with this elimination, except that it’s sad to see Britt go, since she is one of my favorite pros.


Overall, Disney100 night may be my favorite Disney night yet! It was a great show full of fun routines and excellent tributes to all the Disney eras. Next year is another fan-favorite theme: Most Memorable Year!



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