Vail Valley dance pro Colin Meiring predicts who will crush it on ‘Dancing With The Stars’
The 28th season of the ABC reality dance competition premieres tonight at 7 p.m.
“Dancing With The Stars” premieres tonight at 7 p.m. on ABC. As the dance competition reality show enters its 28th season, it’s got a cast as star-studded as ever. Celebs including Kate Flannery – Meredith from “The Office” – and Lamar Odom – he won NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers while married to Khloé Kardashian, from whom he is now divorced – will tango and foxtrot with their professional partners.
With such a strong dance culture here in the valley, the Vail Daily tapped into a local expert to speculate about the cast: who will rise to the top and whose choreographic dreams will end early?
Colin Meiring is the Artistic Director and Choreographer at the Vail Performing Arts Academy. He also teaches hip-hop, lyrical and ballroom dancing at the Vail Valley Academy of Dance and spent 11 years as the director of the Star Dancing Gala, a fundraiser based on the TV show. Meiring paired up local public figures with local professionals, most of whom were his students.
Before he came to Vail, Meiring was a professional dancer who performed internationally for 25 years. He’s won numerous awards, including every National title in his home country, South Africa.
Meiring has seen many seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.”
“The best dancer is determined by who they’re partnered with. The best professionals bring out the best in the person. The new professionals usually don’t ever win,” he said.
Traditionally, when ABC releases the cast list, it also reveals the celeb-dancer pairings. But this year, for the first time, ABC only released the celebrity cast list. DWTS superfans have been scouring the tabloids and social media, seeing who’s spending time together and using that determine who’s paired with who. But not having the pairings makes Meiring’s job a little more interesting.
“I thought, ‘Oh this is so easy, who are they partnered – oh… we don’t know,’” he said.
Here are Meiring’s predictions for whose twinkle toes will yield victory, and whose flat feet will flop early.
Former Press Secretary and Communications Director under President Donald Trump
Like the rest of the population including the show’s host Tom Bergeron, Meiring is baffled as to how and why the producers chose to cast Spicer. Fans of “Saturday Night Live” might recognize Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of him as a stupid, bumbling character. Meiring will be surprised if he’s not the first boot.
Two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, former husband of Khloé Kardashian
While Odom is an athlete, Meiring said that since he’s a tall, gangly basketball player with big feet, his body won’t be able to move with the same grace. The athletic skills required to be a basketball player don’t translate well to dancing, and for that reason, Meiring’s confident he’ll be an early boot.
Actress most known for her role as Meredith in “The Office”
Most “Office” fans would likely agree with Meiring that it would be hard to see alcoholic, lusty, and not-put together Meredith – many of the characters in the office have similar personalities to the actors that play them – dancing.
“The Bachelor” season 15 contestant
Meiring thinks Brown’s placement on the show mostly has to do with the fact that “The Bachelor” and “Dancing With The Stars” are on the same network.
Member of Motown group The Supremes
“I’ve seen her perform,” Meiring said. He met her while he was working on cruise ships. “She never moved, she just stood and sang.” The choreographers might incorporate ‘60s Motown arm movements as a nod to The Supremes, but Meiring doubts her footwork would be as good as an athlete’s.
James Van der Beek
Actor most known for starring in late-90s/early-‘00s teen drama “Dawson’s Creek”
Sports betting sites say his popularity might bring him far when the public vote is involved, but his dancing chops are yet to be seen.
Swimsuit model most known for her Sports Illustrated spreads and covers in the ‘70s
Brinkley has performed in “Chicago” on Broadway, so it’s clear she can dance, Meiring said. But her age might prove an Achilles heel – at age 65, she might not be as athletic as she once was, Meiring said. That’s proven to be the case ahead of the premiere – after breaking her arm during rehearsals, Brinkley’s daughter will be taking her spot on the show.
Culture expert on the Netflix reality makeover show, “Queer Eye”
Meiring has seen Brown dance. “There was one session where they took one of their heros to a dance session, and he was really good with the ballroom dancing,” Meiring said. “He’s going to do a lot better than people are saying.” Meiring thinks he’s in the top five. Plus, since “he seems like the nicest guy in the world,” Meiring also thinks the public will respond as well to him as they do to his show.
Country music star and season 10 “American Idol” runner-up
“She can obviously dance,” he said. Again, without knowing her partner, it’s hard to know exactly how well she’ll do.
Comedic actor most known for starring in the original and reboot of Nickelodeon’s “All That”
Mitchell has been seen with pro Witney Carson, who’s won. “She’s really good,” he said. “Her choreography is amazing.” Meiring has also seen Mitchell dance on “Dawson’s Creek” and he was pretty good.
Member of pop group Fifth Harmony
“She’s got lot’s of ‘tude,” Meiring said. “So she might get into the top five because of her attitude.” But since there are no signs of her partner, Meiring said it’s hard to be sure.
Retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker
Lewis has been seen with dancer Cheryl Burke, and Burke is a “remarkable professional” who’s won the competition twice, Meiring said. Since Lewis is a football player, Meiring thinks his agility, combined with Burke’s skill, will make him the top candidate to win.
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