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  • Writer's pictureNicole Grace

Into the Groove: 80s Night on DWTS

Updated: May 10, 2022

Hello, and welcome to 80s Night on Dancing with the Stars! We’re in for a night of giant wigs, pop culture references, and of course, sparkles! Let’s begin:

(cover photo for this post is from the @dancingabc Instagram page)


(click on each team's name and score to view their dance clip)

I am happy that we’re starting to see jazz dances at this point in the competition. I took several years of jazz dance classes, and I am actually able to recognize the classic jazz moves in the routines. I saw a lot of that in Justina and Sasha’s routine. It was a tribute to the movie Flashdance, which I have never seen, but I still thought their performance was really fun. I loved the story of it. The beginning was set like an audition, with Justina as the auditioning dancer, and Sasha as the casting agent who joins in. There was a whole section where Sasha was dancing on a table behind Justina, and they were perfectly in sync the entire time. When they moved out into the ballroom floor, they continued to give a sharp and synchronized performance, with just one slip-up in the middle. Also, I thought the ending was a little anticlimactic for a dance that was so high-energy all the way through. However, with all of that taken into account, it was a great way to start the night.

This was a pretty solid dance for Jesse. He was very focused the whole way through.

There was not a lot of cha cha choreography in this routine, and when there was, Chrishell was a little off. She was having a lot of fun though, and that nice message from New Kids on the Block wishing her well was very cute.

In the rehearsal story, Jeannie told a really sweet story about how she and her mom would perform at weddings, including the song she dances to for this routine. It was a jazz routine, and I was happy to see Jeannie wearing traditional jazz shoes. The performance was really, really great as well. Jeannie has a lot of energy, and executes the steps with a lot of skill.

In rehearsals, Monica told Val about her initial career ambitions when she was young, and her passion for coaching her cheer kids. It was cool to learn more about Monica, because I have really grown to like her. Her tango with Val was really great. It was sharp, and I thought she was really connected to the music.

I enjoyed this waltz so much! The choreography was beautiful, and that choreography combined with the set and costumes reminded me of this gorgeous scene from the movie Enchanted. And the end, when AJ and Cheryl placed crowns on each other’s heads, was so cute!!

This routine definitely showcased Skai and Alan’s strengths as a team: great shapes, tricks, and traveling. They’re keeping up the momentum they gained last week. I smiled all the way through while watching this performance.

Vernon and Peta danced to Eye of the Tiger, which I thought was a fun song for a tango. Throughout this routine, Vernon was a little heavy-footed, stumbled a bit, and needed to point his toes. He just needs to be more relaxed when he dances, like he has been in previous weeks.

The beginning of this routine was so cute! I loved it, even though it took a while for them to really get down to the tango choreography. Kaitlyn was really sharp and in control the whole way through, which was great. The break dancing segment at the end felt a little abrupt to me, but it did display Kaitlyn’s versatility, which was this team’s objective this week.

So many people are wearing wigs on 80s night, and Daniella was no exception. She looked like she had come straight out of Dirty Dancing, which was great.

This samba was another dance where Nelly showed that he has a knack for feeling the music when he dances. He was a lot looser than he has been in previous weeks, but I wasn’t sure if he was fully bouncing in the way the samba requires.

To prepare for their dance this week, Johnny and Britt went to an ice skating rink to help Johnny become more familiar with the movements. It really helped, because this was a truly gorgeous routine. It was a contemporary dance to Total Eclipse of the Heart, which is a great song for a dramatic contemporary routine. This performance felt like watching ice dancing, but more grounded. Johnny and Britt flew and glided across the dance floor, fully connected dance partners. The judges loved it, and Johnny gave a lot of credit to Britt. They have a really great partnership.

In rehearsals, Nev told a story about how he first got into dancing. When he was a kid with ADHD, he joined an after-school dance program, which helped him a lot. I really liked hearing that story, because it’s just another example about the transformative nature of the performing arts for kids. Performing teaches young people how to be in control of their bodies, as well as giving them an outlet for their emotions and their creativity.

Nev and Jenna’s quickstep was awesome. Nev was a great leader, in control and giving a lot of energy. I always enjoy watching this team.

(do not read if you are avoiding spoilers!!)

The bottom two couples this week were Vernon & Peta and Jesse & Sharna, neither of which was a terrible shock. The judges voted unanimously to eliminate Jesse & Sharna and save Vernon & Peta. I don’t mind seeing Jesse go. With so many great contestants this season, he never really did much for me.

And that’s it for 80s night on Dancing with the Stars! I can’t wait to see what next week brings!

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