Ladies' Lounge

Carrie Ann Inaba’s Dancing With the Stars, All-Stars Blog: Week Three

October 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

Photo by Dominick Guillemot/Contour by Getty Images

It’s one o’clock in the morning and I’m still buzzing from tonight’s show. Wow! There was electricity in the ballroom; this all-star season just keeps getting better. I was so impressed and the thought of two contestants going home makes me anxious. I can’t imagine what the contestants are going through. I’m sure they aren’t sleeping tonight either!

I LOVED tonight’s show. The challenge of making the celebrities the artistic directors added a whole new element of fun. I was impressed with Apolo Anton Ohno’s artistic vision of the moving statues and the romance element without a lot of fluff. It was one of the most creatively daring performances and I think it had true impact. All of the elements worked perfectly together to create a beautiful statement. This was creative direction gone right!

I probably should explain the lower score for Sabrina Bryan who dances like a wildebeest (and I mean that in the most complimentary way). Her natural ability and determination is amazing. Combine that with Louis Van Amstel’s ambitious detail-oriented choreography and that puts them in a league of their own. However, she has to be careful not to do the same thing over and over again. She gives us so much content at level 10 that sometimes it gets to be too much to absorb. It becomes status quo and even if her status quo is of high quality, I don’t suggest that anyone be status quo this season because you have to surprise the audience. You have to excite the judges and impress us with things we’ve never seen before. You have to do the unexpected and you have to do it well! You can’t just rely on what you do well—you have to push yourself and go into what is not safe for you. That’s when magic happens and tonight, magic happened. Read more


Do You Have a Great Story to Tell?

October 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm , by

 

For our second annual Personal Essay Contest, we want to hear about a memorable moment in your life — the day, or the hour, or the second that changed everything. We urge you to be poignant, reflective, funny. Make us howl with laughter. Make us blubber in our cubicles (we can take it!).

Ladies’ Home Journal is a community that shares stories — and we’re dying to hear yours. If you win our essay contest, we’ll give you $3,000 and the chance to have your essay published in the Journal. You’re free to interpret the topic in whatever way you like, but remember that we value creativity and clarity above all.

Essays will be judged on their emotional power, originality, and the quality of their prose. They should be no more than 2,000 words and ideally typed or written in a Microsoft Word document.

You can enter the contest by e-mailing your submission as an attachment (with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address) to LHJessaycontest@meredith.com or by mailing a copy to Personal Essay Contest, Ladies’ Home Journal, 805 Third Ave., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Entries are due by December 7, 2012.

Visit lhj.com/essaycontest for official rules and answers to frequently asked questions.

(Photo credit: Flickr user jonas.lowgren)


Tell Us About the Day that Changed Your Life

October 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm , by

 

For our second annual Personal Essay Contest, we want to hear about a memorable moment in your life — the day, or the hour, or the second that changed everything. We urge you to be poignant, reflective, funny. Make us howl with laughter. Make us blubber in our cubicles (we can take it!).

Ladies’ Home Journal is a community that shares stories — and we’re dying to hear yours. If you win our essay contest, we’ll give you $3,000 and the chance to have your essay published in the Journal. You’re free to interpret the topic in whatever way you like, but remember that we value creativity and clarity above all.

Essays will be judged on their emotional power, originality, and the quality of their prose. They should be no more than 2,000 words and ideally typed or written in a Microsoft Word document.

You can enter the contest by e-mailing your submission as an attachment (with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address) to LHJessaycontest@meredith.com or by mailing a copy to Personal Essay Contest, Ladies’ Home Journal, 805 Third Ave., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Entries are due by December 7, 2012.

Visit lhj.com/essaycontest for official rules and answers to frequently asked questions.

(Photo credit: Flickr user wrumsby)


Have You Entered the Ladies’ Home Journal Essay Contest?

October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm , by

 

For our second annual Personal Essay Contest, we want to hear about a memorable moment in your life — the day, or the hour, or the second that changed everything. We urge you to be poignant, reflective, funny. Make us howl with laughter. Make us blubber in our cubicles (we can take it!).

Ladies’ Home Journal is a community that shares stories — and we’re dying to hear yours. If you win our essay contest, we’ll give you $3,000 and the chance to have your essay published in the Journal. You’re free to interpret the topic in whatever way you like, but remember that we value creativity and clarity above all.

Essays will be judged on their emotional power, originality, and the quality of their prose. They should be no more than 2,000 words and ideally typed or written in a Microsoft Word document.

You can enter the contest by e-mailing your submission as an attachment (with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address) to LHJessaycontest@meredith.com or by mailing a copy to Personal Essay Contest, Ladies’ Home Journal, 805 Third Ave., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Entries are due by December 7, 2012.

Visit lhj.com/essaycontest for official rules and answers to frequently asked questions.

(Photo credit: Flickr user SuziJane)


Carrie Ann Inaba’s Dancing With the Stars, All-Stars Blog: Week Two

October 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm , by

Photo by Dominick Guillemot/Contour by Getty Images

Last night was an exciting show—a little bit of sass, a lot of competitive edges coming out, and a few personal victories. I actually woke up yesterday morning feeling a bit under the weather which is never a good thing because it takes so much energy to do our show. But you can’t be sick on a show day in our business. So, I took my medicine and went on with the day hoping I wouldn’t get sicker. People who have never done live TV don’t know the adrenaline rush that comes with our show. It’s like jumping out of a plane and by Tuesday morning, I often feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. No matter how many vitamins I take, or how well balanced my meals are, or even how much rest I get, Tuesday comes and when I wake up….I wonder which bus hit me in my sleep. But in all honesty, I love it. Sure, I’m struggling right now as I sit here with my coffee and eggs wondering if I should go to my “drenched” cardio work out, but I never forget that I have a great job!

I’ve been doing live television for a long time. I was 18 when I landed my first regular live show, so I’ve been working in dance and mostly live television for about 26 years now. I started as a teen pop star singing and dancing my way into people’s homes on a live show in Japan. I loved dancing so much that I begged the producers to let me to continue dancing on the show even though I had released a record and was performing my own songs across Japan. They thought I was crazy—who would want to dance when they could be a star? Me, that’s who. Read more


Carrie Ann Inaba’s Dancing With the Stars, All-Stars Blog: Week One

September 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm , by

Photo by Dominick Guillemot/Contour by Getty Images

We’re excited to welcome our new blogger, Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba to the Ladies’ Lounge! She’ll be here every Tuesday giving you her take on the performance show and sharing behind-the-scenes scoop from the set. Check out her first blog below, and tell us what you thought of the season opener in the comments!

Well, we’re officially in season 15, the all-star season and it’s as exciting as I knew it would be. The couples have all danced their first dance and some shone brighter than others but it was like a wonderful reunion of a happy (and maybe slightly dysfunctional) family! Love was in the air, but so were nerves—we even had a live TV moment when the audio cut me off mid comment during my first comment of the night to Joey and Kym. (Luckily, I ran into them backstage so I could fill them in on what I didn’t get to say on air and give them their constructive criticism.) I have to admit that I haven’t had that much fun on a premiere night in ages. You see, what you don’t know is that we judges get nervous too.

Everyone else on our show knows what they’re going to do when they get out there. The dancers and stars know their routines, Tom and Brooke have gone over their prompter reads and walked through their staging, the band has practiced every note of every song under the direction of Harold Wheeler, and the camera operators know their choreography too. But Len, Bruno and I have no script and we have no preparation. We only have our experience, our knowledge and our wit and honesty to draw from, so being a judge is a very intense experience.

Many people ask about the judging process so I thought I’d explain it a little more. We have about 7-10 seconds from when the dancers finish their routines and walk over to Tom for us to formulate our comments and turn in our scores. It can be a bit daunting. There is incredible pressure to be sure we make our point and for me, to do it with compassion and honesty for the performers. I like to look at myself as a mentor and give them with some positive feedback as well as constructive criticism to help them grow. And after 15 seasons our audience knows their dancing and they don’t miss a thing! As much as it may hurt or disappoint the star to hear what may feel like negative feedback, it’s only given to help them improve, which you can’t do if you don’t know what’s going wrong. Read more


Special Guest Blog: Teachers Rock!

September 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm , by

In one week, on September 28th, Won’t Back Down starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal hits theaters nationwide. We hosted a special screening of the film, which is about two moms who are fighting for their children to get a better education at their school, and one lucky blogger at the screening won a trip to Los Angeles to cover the Teachers Rock concert in support of the film. Here, blogger Diane Sullivan shares her experience.

The month of September has always held a special place in my heart. As a former classroom teacher of twenty years it is a month that signifies a fresh start, a new chance. It’s always been a time where I find myself setting new goals and looking back at the year that has passed by. This year has had its ups and downs but one of the highlights started when I was invited by The Moms to the NYC screening of Won’t Back Down and talk back session with producer Mark Johnson and actresses Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rosie Perez. Office Depot was also on hand with a very powerful Wall of Empowerment where everyone was invited to write a message on a post-it to add to the wall. I knew mine right away. It’s something I’ve said to many students year after year: “Be yourself! There is only ONE you!” At that point I didn’t realize where the night would take me. Read more