On October 17th, 2015 ten dance pairs hit the dance floor in the Czech Republic to kick off the much awaited 7th annual StarDance competition, the licensed equivalent of Britain‘s Strictly Come Dancing. This sparkling gem of the Czech fall broadcast season was, in the end, closely followed by almost 2 million people, or 50% of country’s adult viewing audience – both live, on screen, and on the internet, where fans fervently discussed each night’s events to the smallest detail.
This uniquely elegant ballroom dance competition, which pairs a celebrity with a professional dance partner, was once again sponsored by none other than PRECIOSA. The Czech crystal magnate was proud to provide its PRECIOSA Crystal Components to HELLER DANCE & FASHION, who created the extravagant dance costumes for all the participants. “We were thrilled that PRECIOSA was the program’s partner”, exclaims Tomas Heller, owner of the prestigious fashion studio. Heller explains “For us, they are the best crystal component manufacturer in the world. And we need to work with the best in our trade. It may not seem so, but you don’t just need a superbly and brilliantly sparkling product in the dance business, but one that is resilient as well. Dance partners are in close contact during their performance; there is a lot of movement and physical stress on the costumes. So the stones really have to be top notch, otherwise they fall off quite easily.” This could be disastrous not just in terms of appearance, but for the dancers on the floor if they step on them during their routine.
The task of creating so many new costumes for the dancers each week was certainly a challenge. In the latter part of the competition, each dancing pair usually performed multiple dances – typically a Standard and Latin dance. So each Saturday night (the night of the competition) HELLER was always in standby mode to find out who was eliminated so that design process for the following week could immediately begin. By Sunday morning a new set of original costumes were cut and began to take form – including the sewing or gluing of the tiny glittering crystal components. With each Standard dress needing, on average over 8,500 stones, and each Latin one using approximately 7,200, that is a lot of stones during the course of the ten week dance competition. It’s over a ¾ of a million stones, in fact!
The resulting creations were, of course, always a hit with dancers and the audience alike and added and air of glitz and glamour of the Saturday evening performances. The Czech nation was captivated right up until the end with the show’s perfect combination of dance, elegance and culture. Come with us now and take a look back at how the competition unfolded, and at some of the most memorable dances and stunning dance costumes that helped to make both the show and the dancers such a resplendent success.
The dance floor shimmered with Latin rhythm to the samba of actor Marek Taclík and pro dance partner Martina Marková.
"DJ Lucca" Dvořáková and dance pro Michal Kurtiš gave a sensual samba performance in this sexy blue and white number.
Swinging hips and quick footwork characterized the truly Brazilian samba of TV presenter and personality Leoš Mareš and Katarina Štumpfová – who dazzled the stage in her sparkling jaguar dress.
Some light comic relief was provided by comedian Lukáš Pavlásek and dance pro Lucie Hunčárová who twinkled in nautical aqua sequins to The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine paso doble.
Toreador and Olympic boxer Rosťa Osička tamed his pro dance partner Romana Motlová, who shone as his vibrantly sparkling “toro”.
DJ Lucca Dvořáková and dance pro Michal Kurtiš gave a breathtakingly rendition of Sting’s Englishman in New York in an elegantly shimmering black & yellow combination. Surprisingly, the pair was the first to be eliminated in the competition.
The delightful and graceful dance pair of singer and songwriter Radoslav Banga and dance pro Tereza Bufková enthralled the audience with their ethereal waltz in pastel pink.
A dazzling dance unfolded as dance pro Petr Čadek dipped his protégé, psychologist Kateřina Cajthamlová in a dramatic move during their walz.
Psychologist Kateřina Cajthamlová and her partner Petr Čadek let loose on stage – Cajthamlová in a fringed knee-length creation sparkling with Fuchsia AB and Sapphire AB stones that underlined the song the pair chose for their chacha: He’s a Dream from Flashdance. But it just wasn’t enough to outshine their competition.
‘Sandy’ (dance pro Katarina Štumpfová) and ‘bad boy Danny’ (TV presenter Leoš Mareš) proved that they really did We Go Together with their sparklingly rockin’ quickstep from Grease.
Singer Leona Machálková gave a tender performance with pro Michal Necpál in a flowing lilac ruffled gown to the classic I Hunger for Your Touch.
Spicy salsa was the flavour of the week: Jitka Schneiderová and Marek Dědík put on another stirringly spicy show with Schneidrová in a little glittering red hot number of her own.
Spunk and pizzazz marked this fun pair throughout the competition, and actress Marie Doležalová and Marek Zelinka once again did not disappoint in their equally shimmering dance costumes.
Jitka Schneiderová & Marek Dědík took black and white to the next level in dazzling mirrored elegance to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Va-va-voom!
Singer Leona Machálková and Michal Necpál didn’t make it through to the seventh round despite their sexy rhumba – and an equally alluring emerald georgette number – which they danced to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.
This week was marked by a special evening dedicated to the clients of Centra Paraple, an organization that helps wheelchair-bound children and adults. The fundraiser featured an original trio of dance partners on the dance floor, and managed to raise over 11.5 million Czech crowns.
TV presenter and personality Leoš Mareš, pro dancer Katarina Štumpfová and Petr Fila were first to tango – and the first to move the judges with their striking choreography.
Singer and songwriter Radek Banga, dance pro Tereza Bufková and former ballet dancer Anna Krátká gave a fantastic and fun-filled performance to tune of Hit the Road Jack. Judges rewarded them with the highest score of the evening – a perfect 50 points.
‘Chambermaid’ Jitka Schneiderová, ‘valet’ Marek Dědík and ‘Lord’ Zdeněk Zezulka entertained the audience and judges with their humorous yet elegantly executed tango to Queen’s I Want to Break Free. They came in a close second with 48 points.
Jitka Schneiderová & Marek Dědík floated in Barbados Blue and Aqua in this graceful waltz. It’s no wonder the pair was one of the competition’s favourites!
Another crowd favourite, singer and songwriter Radoslav Banga & Tereza Bufková truly went Straight to Memphis in their action packed hot magenta samba.
Actress Marie Doležalová danced a graceful waltz in hues of Crystal, Rose, Siam, Fuchsia and Ruby to a classic choreography of What the World Needs Now is Love with her partner Marek Zelinka.
Did Antonio Banderas inspire Marie Doležalová to give this moving latin performance in her Capri AB and Indicolite AB tassled design with partner Marek Zelinka? It certainly earned the pair a spot in StarDance final!
The playful quickstep of singer and songwriter Radoslav Banga and Tereza Bufková to I Wanna be Just Like You was delightfully entertaining. Sadly, it did not get enough support among the voting public to allow this talented pair into the final round.
The ever popular comedian Lukáš Pavlásek made it to the final with his partner Lucie Hunčárová with an amusing performance in shimmering pink to the classic When I’m Sixty Four.
Audacious and talented in her sparkling peach mini, actress Jitka Schneiderová once again captivated the audience with Marek Dědík, with their favourite dance, the jive. The dance helped them earn second in this seventh season of StarDance.
Lucie Hunčárová floated on the dance floor in her peppermint green gown with Crystal and Peridot stones in her and Lukáš Pavlásek’s favourite dance, the waltz.
Actress Marie Doležalová capitulated in the final in mesmerizingly metallic gold and brown crystal to Golden Brown (The Stranglers) with dance partner Marek Zelinka. The winning pair danced an enchanting waltz – their favourite of the competition.