Photo credit: Eric McCandless/ABC.
Disney Night is always magical on Dancing With the Stars — the costumes, the themes and the feeling it evokes in each of the couples. There is also a couple in Season 28 who delivers magic every week, defying the expectations of a first-year pro and a woman who is over the age of 50. We are here to celebrate the partnership of Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov.
In the last 10 seasons, most of the pros were promoted through the ranks of the troupe. It was a great opportunity for dancers to learn the ropes of DWTS and grow into the position. When a pro is thrown right into the ranks of being paired with a celebrity partner, the expectations to deliver are high. Pasha not only brings world-class ballroom to the table already, but he's also showing up with personality and choreography chops that are making Kate shine in the best way possible.
Kate arrived to DWTS with the best attitude — ready to tackle the challenge of dancing on live TV and ready to learn from her pro. She wasn't disappointed one bit when she didn't get a veteran pro. She embraced him and trusted him from the first rehearsal, which set the tone for their partnership in Season 28.
On Disney Night, Pasha finally broke the Mary Poppins' curse with not a single prop broken (Charlie White, Season 18) or dropped during the number (Charlie White, Season 18 and Doug Flutie, Season 22). He delivered a jazz number that even pleased the normally cranky Len Goodman by incorporating elements of ballroom or partner dances into their "A Spoonful of Sugar" piece.
"There was a nice section of polka, you don't see that a lot," praised Len on Monday night’s show. "There was Charleston. There was a bit of Quickstep and that was all wrapped up in a sweet and delicious routine."
"The medicine worked wonders. I will tell you what I liked about it. It had a wonderful olden-days musical feel — full of content — and you brought your own personality to it," judge Bruno Tonioli chimed in. "It was your own personal take on Mary Poppins and it really, really worked. Well played!"
Pasha proved that a jazz routine doesn't need to look like freestyle or a contemporary piece, it can have a ballroom flavor and still charm the viewers. Kate is charming the viewers with her personality and strong ability to understand movement in the dances she's given.
At 55, Kate is living her best life and allowing DWTS viewers to see her strengths and vulnerabilities. She's showing her personality and talents beyond the hilarious Meredith from The Office and it's working. On a show as taxing emotionally and physically as DWTS, this should be celebrated.
The couple isn't resting on their laurels, despite what the praise they've received most weeks from the judges. They are in the rehearsal studio pushing ahead, while Pasha has assigned additional homework for his contestant to stay sharp mentally.
With Kate and Pasha plowing toward Week 6 after no elimination on Disney Night, the duo are a great reminder that nothing replaces hard work and a big splash of personality. It's what the DWTS voters love to see and reward. Watch out for these finale dark horses!
Don’t miss Dance Network’s ‘To The Pointe’ interview with ‘Dancing With the Stars’ pro Daniella Karagach: