Jump to content

The Troupe


  • Please log in to reply

65 replies to this topic

#1

oakgal

oakgal

    Stalker

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 8:37 PM

Okay, so I thought I'd start a thread about (what seems to be) everybody's least favourite element of the show--The Troupe! We are always talking about them in the performance/results threads so I figured they might need their own thread.

The Members (past and present):
Kiki Nyemchek (S12, 13)
Ted Volynets (S12,13)
Sasha Farber (S13)
Oksana Dmytrenko (S12,13)
Sharna Burgess (S13)
Dasha Chesnokova (S13)
Nicole Volynets (S12)
Tristan MacManus (S12--upgraded to Pro)
Peta Murgatroyd (S12--upgraded to Pro)

We'll need a clever title. Suggestions?

Edited by oakgal, Nov 10, 2011 @ 8:38 PM.

  • 0

#2

anothermi

anothermi

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 9:12 PM

I feel bad for these guys. They take the place of our 'beloved' pro dances (frequently) so as to give the over worked pros a break and all they get is sh*t and abuse. They were lambasted as much last year as this year and Tristan was part of the group at that point. Now that we've gotten to see him as a unique person - not filler - he's getting nothing but praise. What's to say the others wouldn't shine if given the chance?

But, despite trying to defend them, the only title that comes to my mind is a predecessor Troupe (waaaaay before these guys were even born) that epitomized f**ked-up-ed-ness... F Troupe.

Tying the title in to those incompetents, I would suggest:

The F (ing) Troupe: Can They Replace Our Pros?
  • 0

#3

oakgal

oakgal

    Stalker

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

I don't remember having a huge impression of them last year but this year they stand out like a sore thumb. I swear they are worse this year. I just don't understand how they manage to dance so out of sync all the time. I have no doubt that individually they are good dancers but as a unit they are not cohesive.

I think Sasha was on the AUS DwtS. And he was in Burn the Floor with Peta and Tristan. He seems nice enough, he's been featured in a number of the Nancy/Tristan YT videos.

I'd like to see each troupe member paired with a Pro and see if they can dance as one in that situation. Something is amiss there.
  • 0

#4

QueenL

QueenL

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

I don't remember having a huge impression of them last year but this year they stand out like a sore thumb. I swear they are worse this year. I just don't understand how they manage to dance so out of sync all the time. I have no doubt that individually they are good dancers but as a unit they are not cohesive.

It's funny, the main routines I remember liking from them last year were when just two of them would perform together.

I specifically remember liking a Paso Doble, Rumba, and Samba. Here it is.

They were all really good in that (Tristan is in the Paso Doble, by the way), so I don't know what the problem is. They just need to stop dancing together as a big group. I think a big part of the problem is lackluster choreography. It's no coincidence that that was the only choreography performed by the troupe that I remember liking.

Oh, also, I actually did like this group performance to "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez, but it also featured the pros. I thought that the troupe were good in this, though.

P.S. Tristan going nuts at the 1:04 mark during the "On the Floor" performance was fun too!
  • 0

#5

Elsa

Elsa

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 11:18 PM

Moved from the episode thread:

I'm not trying to defend the troupe by any means, but I tend to think that as dancers individually (or in couples), most of them are just fine. But they're being used in group numbers, and I don't think ballroom dancers are that used to dancing in large groups where you have to not only watch what your partner is doing, but what other couples are doing. In that sense, I think the troupe probably just need more rehearsal time with each other so that the synchronization is better and not so distracting.

That's interesting but both Tristan MacManus and Peta Murgatroyd (last year troupe members) came directly from "Burn the Floor" (and Tristan did "Dirty Dancing" either on Broadway or the West End in London, plus he did a stage show called "Floorplay." I believe he also had a stint in "Strictly Ballroom" in Europe and Australia.) Every one of those shows depends on perfectly synchronized group dances so I'd argue that he and she should be better than our pros, or at least as good as the other ones who've done a lot of stage-show dancing. A new troupe member this year, the short guy, Sasha Farber - I'm pretty sure he came from Burn the Floor too, as did Damian Whitewood or whatever his last name is, who partnered Pamela Sue Anderson that season - and his girlfriend (I think I've got this right) is Peta, who partnered Metta World Peace Ron Artest this season.

I'm not positive but I think Val was a competition champion - he might have the excuse of not working in big group numbers where synchronicity is drilled into them, over and over. Tristan's been doing that sort of thing since he was 19 or so, so for about a decade. He quit the comps long before the golden trio and was a West End, Broadway, Vegas/Reno (and world-wide) touring-show type dancer.
  • 0

#6

MadameL

MadameL

    Video Archivist

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 11:47 PM

It's strange--I completely ignored them both this season and last. Although I watched every episode of S12, I have no memory of those routines whatsoever. When Tristan became a pro this year, I couldn't recollect ever having seen him. Peta I did remember a little for some reason. It makes me feel like I should give the current troupe more of a chance in case there's someone else there with Tristan's potential and likeablility, but so far I just can't muster up any interest in them at all. I think I'm also holding it against them when, like this week, for example, they come out and dance during an artist like Andrea Bocelli's performance when I was hoping to see Anna and Jonathan. And next week they will annoy me when I think that Tristan is now free for pro dances and they show up instead.
  • 0

#7

Elsa

Elsa

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 11:54 PM

If you watch this season's group dance carefully (or any of last season's troupe dances), you'll see how good Tristan is at it -- in fact, at the beginning of the 'money money' group dance this season, they picked two male pros to do a little stint all alone to start the number, while the other males sit at tables - and the two they picked were Derek and Tristan. Interesting that both of those guys have done a lot of stage-dance work, especially Tristan - Derek toured the UK and appeared in the West End (the British Broadway) in Dirty Dancing (so did Tristan) - Derek also went to a stage school and he's in BoA's new film - and I listed all of Tristan's shows above - at least the ones I know about. He also appeared (as a dancer) in the film "Ella Enchanted" at 18 or so - I don't know what that is, but I'm assuming it's another stint as a show-dancer doing group numbers.

ETA In fact, another example: the rumba that Kym and Tristan did together to Kelly Clarkson's song "Mr. Know it All", almost as a pas de deux, that got SO much attention from the press and even Kelly herself. He did it right, like a stage actor, not like a prima donna competition guy. That's why it's so friggin' hot! Compare his rumba with almost anybody else's, and you can see that the drama and the art and telling the story for the audience come first, and the look at me me me and how quick and acrobatic and showy I can be (yes, I'm talking about you, Mark and Maks) don't come first and obliterate the effect of the dance as a little "play." I think you can see that same attitude in Derek and Allison's number, as well, even when Derek's not wearing a shirt!

This ties in to the Troupe thing - because not only Tristan, but at LEAST, Peta and Sasha also came from stage work. The others, I know nothing about.

Edited by Elsa, Nov 11, 2011 @ 12:13 AM.

  • 0

#8

Serendi

Serendi

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 11, 2011 @ 1:25 AM

Thanks, oakgal, for setting this up. I've been thinking since last season maybe there should be one, held off on doing it myself for some unclear reason.

Anywho. A couple of troupe members have been named as likely the reason they're out of sync--Teddy is one, I forget the other. Would love to see troupe numbers danced without the relevant people, see whether they're better done.

And Oksana's gonna *hurt* someone one of these days with that hairography. Ouch!
  • 0

#9

oakgal

oakgal

    Stalker

Posted Nov 11, 2011 @ 1:59 AM

Speaking of Oksana's hairography, this is perhaps my favourite ever moment involving her hair and Mark (at the 2:20 mark): Cousin It. It never fails to make me laugh heartily.
  • 0

#10

Thirteenthjuror

Thirteenthjuror

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 11, 2011 @ 10:59 AM

oakgal, that is probably one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen on this show! The visual annoyance in Mark's body language after it happened is television gold as well. She really needs to STOP with that flinging hair crap. Except in dances with Mark that is.
  • 0

#11

Sunnyheart

Sunnyheart

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 11, 2011 @ 11:22 AM

oakgal, I remember that moment and I laughed my ass off when it happened. The woman's hair is a safety hazard!

It's interesting to hear about Tristan's stage background. It's been my impression that he is very good at acting. Some of the pros don't have that talent, bless their hearts.

I swear they are worse this year. I just don't understand how they manage to dance so out of sync all the time. I have no doubt that individually they are good dancers but as a unit they are not cohesive.


ITA. I get that it's difficult to dance in synchronization, but as it was pointed out in the show thread, that's the only thing these people do on the show. Maybe they should work in more rehearsal time or get rid of the troupe members that can't keep up (TEDDY). And if they absolutely cannot dance in sync, then they need to stop with the group dances and have each couple dance on their own.

But the worst part about the troupe is not their fault. They are not the established pros and our pros are the ones that I want to see dance. I agree with everyone else that it's a huge disappointment to think that Anna and Jonathan are coming out and instead you get these buffoons.
  • 0

#12

katdlf

katdlf

    Video Archivist

Posted Nov 12, 2011 @ 1:53 AM

...at the beginning of the 'money money' group dance this season, they picked two male pros to do a little stint all alone to start the number, while the other males sit at tables - and the two they picked were Derek and Tristan.


To be fair, there were only three male pros in that group number: Derek, Tristan, and Maks. The eliminated pro and troupe males did a group number with Kristen Chenoweth and a guest dancer earlier that night (first 2 minutes of Cousin It video referenced above) that was quite successful, imho.
  • 0

#13

katdlf

katdlf

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 2:29 AM

Season 14 troupe news (yes, they're back):

Sharna Burgess has tweeted that there are 2 new members. Among her tweets is congrats to another Burn the Floor alum, Emma Slater, on joining DWTS. She's Sasha Farber's girlfriend and his latest tweet is "Wow I love it when a plan comes together !". (BTW, Sharna and Sasha are friendly exes, unless they were kidding about dating in this BTF interview.)

Another new member may be yet another BTF alum, Henry Byalikov, who's latest tweet reads "... and now off to LA for the next season of Dancing With The Stars USA!!! " He was on the NBC show Superstars of Dance and auditioned for SYTYCD (videos are online). Like Sasha, he seems diminutive.

As for who's out, Nicole Volynets accepted condolences on her and Teddy's behalf regarding troupe, but she's also tweeted about possible good news. Their agent, Elena Grinenko, also represents the Di Lellos of SYTYCD and BTF fame and has been tweeting them about the Vegas DWTS show. Perhaps the Volynets are being considered as well.

Troupe so far is Sharna, Sasha, possibly Emma S. (pending official confirmation), possibly Henry B. (pending official confirmation). No word on Kiki, Dasha, or Oksana yet. No word on how big the troupe will be.
  • 0

#14

oakgal

oakgal

    Stalker

Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 2:38 AM

I hope Oksana and her crazy hair is out. She was terrible.

Teddy seemed nice, and I think he's probably a good dancer but he was always bad in the troupe. He was always ahead or behind everyone else. It was so distracting.
  • 0

#15

olderdcr

olderdcr

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 3:22 PM

I saw Oksana recently on Tom Burgeron's show Funniest Home Videos, so I think she'll be on.

I can't figure out why Nicole was ousted - she was a very good dancer. Why Oksana continues to be on this show is beyond me.
Teddy was terrible, and I am not surprised he is gone. Sasha is apparently good friends with Tristan, so it will proably be fun for the two of them to be on the show together.
  • 0

#16

Elsa

Elsa

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 9, 2012 @ 3:42 PM

With the new Henry being 5'7" and Sasha about that, as well, I think they need Oksana, who for some reason, I like. I don't know why they got rid of Nicole - but Sharna was on Burn the Floor, I'm pretty sure, and may just have been viewed as a better prospect. What we didn't see, but Tristan said they did, was have all the troupe have guinea pig people to train - and then the training tapes were assessed by the producers, so maybe they didn't like what they saw of Nicole's? And the two brunettes came to mind.

Hey, we can't have Sasha's girlfriend Emma, Oksana, AND both brunettes, so maybe Dasha is out? They seemed to push Sharna more (she was in the semi-final pro dance with Sonny Pederson, Tristan & Kym - and one dance, they even said she and Sasha choreographed it - and she is the BTF girl.) Oksana's lucky she's so small and two of the troupe males are, as well.

ETA Sharna Burgess tweet, just a few minutes ago, answering "please tell me Dasha is back and oksana!?" - she answered, "sadly no dasha, but we have a new girl u will love!" Sasha's girlfriend Emma, if she's the new girl and I think so, is small and blonde, like Oksana, which is good because Sasha and Henry need small girls. Wonder if Kiki will be back to dance with Sharna? Kiki tweeted on March 6 that he was taking a trip to Canada for "a few days" - a weird time if he's gonna be on the premiere? He also had a depressed tweet a couple weeks back about how some days, you just don't know why you keep trying... something like that, which I wondered at the time meant he was told he was off the troupe - the timing was about right for that, but the tweet was vague and could have meant anything.

Edited by Elsa, Mar 9, 2012 @ 4:29 PM.

  • 0

#17

setsuna

setsuna

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 1:15 PM

I like Oksana and even like her hairography. She's probably actually the most memorable member of the troupe for me, so I'm glad she's back. I am surprised they have so many fairly short members of the troupe. Given that there are often tall athletes and models on the show, I'd think they'd be on the look out for taller dancers.

However, I can't complain, I liked Henry on Aussie DWTS.
  • 0

#18

Elsa

Elsa

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 10, 2012 @ 3:51 PM

I know! Kiki can't be much over 5'9", if that. So the whole troupe are small people, except "average-size" Sharna.
  • 0

#19

katdlf

katdlf

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:46 AM

I am surprised they have so many fairly short members of the troupe.


Makes me wonder how much faith they have in Sasha as a future pro. He'll be 30 by season's end, so they'll have to decide soon. Henry is around 26 (based off an old article), so they could keep him in the troupe a while before promoting him. But it looks like Sasha got his girlfriend into the troupe, so he's probably feeling pretty good about things.

Kiki can't be much over 5'9", if that.


Ah, to think that just last year he was the little guy in the troupe. He's still young at age 20, so he could still grow and fill out. Like Derek, he's a "boy wonder" type, so maybe they're grooming him to assume Derek's role eventually. He needs to stand out more personality-wise, however.

They seemed to push Sharna more (she was in the semi-final pro dance with Sonny Pederson, Tristan & Kym - and one dance, they even said she and Sasha choreographed it - and she is the BTF girl.)


Losing Dasha is a big surprise, but maybe part of the thinking is to spotlight Sharna even more this season. Last season, it was hard to tell the two brunettes apart at times.

Edited by katdlf, Mar 11, 2012 @ 1:24 PM.

  • 0

#20

olderdcr

olderdcr

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 15, 2012 @ 2:46 PM

30 is not that old. Tristan will be 30 in July. Both Maks and Tony are over 30 - Tony way over. I think Sasha has time.

However, this Henry guy looks very promising. He has a ballet background which is going to make him an *awesome* ballroom/latin dancer. He's not as cute as Tristan, but if he can dance really well, I'll bet he may be a pro before too long - and there will go Sasha's chances.

It's hard to move up in the show, professional spots are hard to come by. They have already added two new pros to the show (Tristan and Peta), and other more established pros are not willing to make way for newcomers. You'd have to really stand out to get a shot at this.
  • 0

#21

katdlf

katdlf

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 15, 2012 @ 8:11 PM

30 is not that old.


No, it's not. Sorry if it sounded that way.

My wording was based on the debut ages of male pros on DWTS. Only 3 of 7 males debuting over age 30 (Tony, Louis, and Jonathan) have competed more than 2 seasons, and none who debuted after season 2. By contrast, 5 of 7 males debuting under age 30 (excluding Tristan and Val) have competed at least 3 seasons. Tristan and Val could make it 7 of 9.

The female numbers are sadder. Only 4 of 14 female pros have debuted over age 25. (Excluding Andrea Hale for lack of age info.) Of those 4, only Kym (30) and Karina (28) appeared more than 2 seasons. No female over 25 has debuted since season 3, so even Sharna is pushing the envelope at 26.

Adding: FWIW, going back to season 1, the "glass ceilings" for debuts appear to be around 32 for males and 28 for females. Other than Kym--who was 28 when she debuted on Australian DWTS--no older debuting male or female has competed more than 2 seasons, although Louis did turn 33 during season 1.

It may not mean anything, because each dancer should be his/her own case, but the show has shown a preference for younger dancers. Hopefully the additions of the troupe and BTF dancers will make it more about the individuals, because as you say, 30 for guys (and 26 for gals) really isn't old.

this Henry guy looks very promising. He has a ballet background.....I'll bet he may be a pro before too long


From what I've read, he decided to focus on ballet fairly recently and is currently the principal dancer in the Tasmanian Ballet. He's just 26, but ballet has a shorter shelf life than ballroom (I think), so DWTS may be a side project for now. I imagine he's actively cross-training while in L.A., as it looks like his ballet company has shows scheduled for the summer.

BTW, it's been reported that Dasha may have left the troupe to resume competition.

Edited by katdlf, Mar 16, 2012 @ 6:20 PM.

  • 0

#22

KarenM

KarenM

    Fanatic

Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

@SonnyFp is the new troupe dancer...replacing Kiki. He seems very accomplished and definitely a future pro material. I'll miss Kiki though.
  • 0

#23

ktsee

ktsee

    Channel Surfer

Posted Nov 21, 2012 @ 6:29 PM

I have been very liberal with the FF button on the results shows this season (like up the last 3 minutes to see who gets the boot), but I just watched a bunch of dances on youtube and WOW the troupe is so much better than it used to be.

Teddy was clearly dead weight, nice as he is. Cutting him helped enormously, but I'm not sure what the other factors are. More rehearsal time? All I know is they have contributed some skillful, intricate, exciting routines to this hell hole of a season.


Henry B. is the standout for me. I hope they promote him soon. He's somewhat similar to Mark and Derek in the variety of strengths and training (not so much in personality, yay), and his choreography has been excellent. I think he brings something interesting with the ballet training. He does seem to be getting a lot of facetime. They obviously value his choreographic talent, although perhaps second to Sharna's. Unfortunately for her the openings seem to be on the male side.


It would be cool to see him and Peta do a ballet inspired ballroom dance. I believe she also has extensive ballet training?

If not Henry I hope they bring some new blood in. Everyone just seems tired.
  • 0

#24

QueenL

QueenL

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 6:20 AM

I'm really liking Henry. Absolutely adored his choreography for the pro Samba to Beat it like a drum. He made classic, traditional, Samba exciting, fun, and very hot.

Also feel like he's been the only one to really be able to show off the troupe in a really good way. Seamless and great timing and letting it breathe a little bit.

Also liked what I saw of him in the rehearsal package with Melissa during the trio. "You feel me?" he said to her, when showing her a move. I thought that was really cute, and didn't expect him to use that type of lingo. Also seems to have a patient personality from what I've seen, which is not much.

I was never high on him before, but I'm liking everything I'm seeing of him and from him this season.

I think that he will be the next one bumped up into the pros, and I think it's deserved. I said in another thread that they might even have very high hopes for him.

Now if only he'd lose the mohawk...
  • 0

#25

legaleagle44

legaleagle44

    Stalker

Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 6:08 PM

Well, since Derek is leaving this year and Maks is leaving next year, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Henry become the second troupe member promoted to full-time pro status by the end of 2013.
  • 0

#26

avecsans

avecsans

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Henry become the second troupe member promoted to full-time pro status by the end of 2013.


He would be the third, after Tristan and Peta.
  • 0

#27

katdlf

katdlf

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 8, 2013 @ 10:13 PM

Season 16 troupe update: Sasha and Emma have confirmed that they are returning. Henry has kind of hinted that he's returning, but hasn't said so outright. (Thinking Henry would have made pro if Derek hadn't come back.) No word from Oksana or Sonny yet, but Sonny is promising "great news" soon. (Looking forward to seeing Zendaya and Val, but wouldn't Sonny be the logical partner for Zendaya?)

Anyway, Henry guessed that Gleb's dance partner (and wife??) Elena Samodanova might be a new troupe member, and she's in L.A. now as per her tweets. What's interesting is that she's been tweeting with another dancer, Julian Tocker, and it looks like he might be joining DWTS as well? (Refer to @ElenaSamodanova and @julztocker on Twitter.) New troupe members, here?

ETA: Julz Tocker has confirmed that he's in the troupe:

Quote
Julz Tocker ‏@julztocker
Can't wait to be in the cast of Dancing with the stars in troupe for season 16. #DWTS


And Oksana, like Henry, has indirectly confirmed that she's back. That leaves Sonny and maybe Elena Samodanova as unconfirmed.

Leave it to Sasha to name the troupe members. According to his tweets, the Season 16 troupe is:

Sasha, Henry, Julz Tocker, Oksana, Emma, and Witney Carson from SYTYCD.

Witney's confirmation tweet:

Witney Carson @Dance9Witney
That's a wrap for @ESStheMovie! Excited I was able to make it in time to be apart of @DancingABC troupe!! #DWTS let's do this!!:)


Edited by katdlf, Mar 8, 2013 @ 2:11 PM.

  • 0

#28

oakgal

oakgal

    Stalker

Posted Mar 9, 2013 @ 2:25 AM

Witney?! The Curse of Mark continues. Yuck.
  • 1

#29

QueenL

QueenL

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 9, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

I don't think Witney was trained by Mark, was she?

Now I'm even more surprised that they didn't pick Witney over Lindsay. I was thinking that maybe she wasn't available, but now I think that it's even more clear that they put more emphasis on teaching and choreography than I even originally thought. Witney definitely has more star presence, and I think can "pop" a little more, but Lindsay is the better technician, and I know that she has a real focus on choreography.

I feel like Victor and Lindsay will be the forgotten ones, and I think he'd have more of a chance in that regard with Witney. However, I think it's a good thing that the show is focusing on the more important things, if my theory is correct. Lindsay could end up being a one and done, though.

So basically they just replaced Sonny, right? Poor guy. His ballroom dancing was always suspect to me, but he seemed to be one of the more creative troupe members.

Edited by QueenL, Mar 10, 2013 @ 3:15 PM.

  • 0

#30

Thirteenthjuror

Thirteenthjuror

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 10, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

Witney and Lindsay were both trained by Mark at some point, in some kind of way. He refers to them as his girls and how proud he is of them and how far they've come. During SYTYVD I remember Mark referring to them as former students of his. Witney was doing a movie at the time and just finished up last week. I think she was originally approached for the pro gig instead of Lindsay. At least, that's the rumor. It makes sense. She said the movie wrapped in time for her to participate in the Troupe. To be a pro she would have been needed on hand before last week and solidified as available for Victor or whomever they would have wanted her with.
  • 0