Shall We Dance?

It is time to learn more about Dancing with the Stars pro Tristan Macmanus. This will be his third season as a Pro on Dancing with the Stars, after appearing first in the “dance troupe.” He was first partnered with Nancy Grace, then Gladys Knight and now Pamela Anderson. As we all know from hearing him talk he is clearly Irish with an adorable accent we all love! Tristan was born in Dublin and raised in Bray, Co.Wicklow (the next county south of Dublin on the East Coast of Ireland). He toured America with a few shows for a few years and got approached to be a part of DWTS while working on Dirty Dancing on the west end of London and he has been dancing for us since. He has been in the states now since starting the show, but always goes back to Ireland after each season. When asked if he still considers Ireland home he says “Ireland still is and always will be ‘home’. All my family still lives there in Bray.” I asked Tristan if he thought being a part of the “dance troupe” may eventually lead to being an official pro on the show and if he followed the show before appearing on it. “When I joined the troupe I was a pro haha, I think the term is used too loosely but I took it for what it was and thought I could be partnered with somebody and hold my own so I guess once I got my foot in the door I had more of a chance to be partnered than before- luckily for me I got a chance and hope to hold onto it. Touring makes it very difficult to follow the show but I saw the odd dance here and there over the years- you watch out for people you know and wish them well.” One thing you will notice in Tristan’s answers is that he is a very gracious and humble person. The fame from being on the show seems to have no effect on him at all and he truly has his partner’s feelings and needs put above his own. One thing I was interested in knowing is whether or not the pros get to choose the songs they dance to each week. I also wanted to know if Tristan found it harder to come up with choreography to the music given or teaching the choreography to his star. Tristan explained “You can submit songs but you don’t directly get to choose this or that, if you are lucky now and again you get it. We have a great department who makes it possible but I generally think it’s your partners experience so they should have the choice and sometimes you have the same interests and sometimes not but that’s the job as the choreographer to make it work regardless. Choreography is difficult enough to come up with but so is teaching, so neither is harder than the other -sometimes you can’t do your ideas justice and sometimes you can’t do your partner justice.” When asked about any dream partners he may have he said “I don’t have any preferences to who I’d be partnered with each and everybody have different challenges so if they want to dance with you then you can’t go wrong.” Personally, I was hoping for a juicier answer but honestly I love that he is so grounded and that he is willing to work with anyone as long as they are willing to put the work in. With that said, I had to throw in my idea about having an average joe/jane or two thrown into the mix so people like me could have their dancing dreams come true! How fun would that be? When I asked if he thought that could ever actually happen he humbly answered “Well we are all average joes but the show is called Dancing With The Stars so maybe a re-think but I think it is a great idea.” Hear that ABC? He thinks it is a great idea and I have decided it should be called “Dancing with the Stars and You.” So you can go ahead and sign me up for that thanks! Next, I decided to ask the age old question of whether he thinks it is harder for the male or female “stars” to be on the show. “That argument could go on til’ the end of time but you can’t generalize that as much as people want to its entirely up to who you partner- there is always gonna be something that another person is gonna be better at be it man or women there are things that one artist of footballer or basketball star or garbage man can do that another cant! You still do the same things but in different ways and then it’s somebody else’s opinion who did it best.” Very true in that it depends on the person, their abilities, and experiences, I agree. I was also interested to know if one certain dance stood out as his favorite thus far “I don’t really have one that stands out I’ve enjoyed them all maybe your first dance of each season is good for different reasons or whichever dance your partner got the most enjoyment out of is always a nice feeling.” Once again he is thinking about his partner and their feelings awww. How sweet is that? Now it is time to learn a bit more about Tristan and his favorite artists, tv shows and movies. “I love music I love The Doors but I love Irish music as well. Good old trad. music and you can’t compare The Doors to The Dubliners but I love them both- too many to choose. My favorite movie is “The Field” and I love “East of Eden” and “Rebel without a Cause” and “Giant” but I always choose Richard Harris over James Dean.” As for food and sports he shared “,I love lamb and steak, I am a meat and potatoes guy haha football is my favorite sport but again Gaelic football is my heritage and you can’t beat an Amateur sport for pride.” When I asked what he missed most about home and what he enjoys about L.A. he explained “ I miss everything about Home, and the sun always shines in California.” I would say those are extremely different in terms of weather especiallly, but I am glad he enjoys being in both places. We definitely want to keep him around! Like many, I wondered if the pros on the show hung out a lot outside of work and Tristan shared “I’m friends with a lot of the pros we don’t necessarily hang out all the time but we get on, me and Sasha and Peta go way way back so it’s great to see them do so well but I’ve just gotten started to know the rest and everybody is pretty cool for different reasons- maybe not close friends but I enjoy their company, I like Val a lot too, he is a cool guy with very interesting thoughts.” I often notice that unlike some, Tristan seems to be great about keeping his cool with his partners and not getting angry and frustrated with them. When asked what the secret was to doing so he shared “the secret is remembering that they are not dancers, they have made a choice to step out of their comfort zone and try their best to get better and keep me employed!! Nobody wants to do average, everyone is trying their hardest I’m not the quickest at picking things up and I hate someone barking at me about it and I am my worst critic when I’m not doing as good as I want to at things and they are the exact same. I’m doing what I know but they are learning what they don’t.” Sounds like he would be the most understanding pro to have to me! He couldn’t be more considerate. I love when the pros dance with each other and we can see what they can really do. I asked Tristan if he had a preference or favorite pro to dance with. “All the dancers on the show are great, I enjoy dancing with them all and because they are all so different it gives me an opportunity to improve all the time and take things from them that I’d like to try teach my partners.”
On a completely different note We all have guilty pleasure whether it be chocolate, salty chips or watching “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” but when I asked Tristan for a few of his he said “Whiskey and women” hahaha so honest he is. Now back to being on topic! We all want to know who the couple to beat is this time around on DWTS. Cheryl Burke recently claimed the athletes/Olympians are the ones to watch out for when asked on “The View.” When I asked Tristan he said “I try take a different mentality to the competition, you can’t control what others do you can only control what you do and that’s the plan to stick to- if your partner feels like she has done her best and is happy well… that’s the competition beat.” Such a good and realistic outlook to have on the competition! As for an All Star show being more pressure since no one is starting from scratch Tristan agreed “the expectations will be higher from the show, the judges, and the viewers- but pressure is for car tires. You can only do your best and decide how much pressure you want to put on your own shoulders, the rehearsals start and the blinkers go on and you focus on your own objectives. The show should get tougher each season but if you are part of it then you are doing something right.” I think that we can all agree that Tristan is doing something right and I look forward to more seasons with him on it! Tristan finally has a twitter account for us to keep up with him @TristanMacManus so go follow him today. I personally cannot wait for Monday to get here and even though I will be on vacation I plan to watch! Best of luck to Tristan and Pam and the rest of the couples. Tune in September 24th for DWTS All Stars! A big thank-you to Tristan for being a part of this interview and letting us get to know him better and see what a great person he is. Below are pictures of Tristan and his partners …and Tristan and Chelsie Hightower when they were voted as viewers’ favorite pros for “Design a Dance.”





Three Albums To Try

I would like to share three albums I would recommend purchasing. First of all I just purchased Pink’s latest late last night called “The Truth About Love”. She always has the catchiest pop/rock tunes along with some powerful raspy ballads. I am a huge fan of raspy voices like Pink, Phillip Phillips, Demi Lovato, etc. This album does not disappoint with catchy pop hits such as the future Friday 5:00 radio hit with Eminem “Here Comes The Weekend.” It also features ballads that remind us of her incredible vocals like “The Great Escape” and witty songwriting such as “The Truth About Love.” All around it is worth buying.

Next is my favorite album of the last few years John Mayer’s “Born and Raised.” I don’t know many people that purchased it since it wasn’t heavily promoted due to John Mayer’s current inability to sing due to damaged vocal chords but this is his best yet. It is a shame it wasn’t marketed well because it is a folk/pop combo album that somehow is the most genius combination as odd as is sounds. I love “Born and Raised Reprise” the best but they are all absolutely wonderful mostly low to mid tempo chillaxing songs. Do yourself a favor and buy this (even if you don’t like him) his music and voice are so amazing!!! Looove this.

Last, my first Carrie Underwood album. “Blown Away” is great. I have denied her albums before but this album was so catchy I could no longer resist. She mixes up-tempo hits like “Good Girl” with some mid-tempo ones such as “Do You Think About Me”and ballads with great stories like “Blown Away.” The variety makes for a non-boring album you will enjoy! Plus I love the island-feel of “One Way Ticket” maybe the most …just because it isn’t Carrie-typical.

Those are my music picks for 2012 thus far!! Let me know your thoughts!