Week 3 – Movie Night (29.09.2014)

Introduction
This week theme is Movie Night. The couple can choose one song from the movie that they like to do the routine. But for sure, this week is full of surprises. From Kevin Hart as a very generous guest judge who gave a lot of 9 and 10, the three couples in jeopardy, plus the couple who eliminated this week. This is reality-tv show, full of drama and you never know what will happen next.

For some of potential couples, they are getting better this week. For others, there is an improvement especially on the technique. But we have to admit that body stiffness and age are really the limitation for some celebrities. Let’s say Antonio and Michael, no matter how hard they try, they are not natural mover and it is obvious. For Tommy and Betsey, their performance is better this week. But we can see that Peta and Tony really trying to choose the move very careful. It affects the speed of their routine too.

The routine perform by couple (alphabetically from the first name of the pros)

1. Allison Holker and Jonathan Bennet
Allison is a very humble pro dancer. The comment from the judges on week 3 said that her choreography has less content, really push her to do better for Jonathan. This week they dance a real tango. Maybe it’s not as good as other pro’s tango, but they learn how to do it better to survive every week. I just hope with a very good bonding and spirit between them, they can survive each week challenges.

2. Cheryl Burke and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Until week 3, I have not seen any special element from Antonio. There is still no significant improvement from week to week. Meanwhile Cheryl seems work very hard to promote Antonio and to create amazing choreography. Still did not work until this week. But I have to say they suppose to have a better chance to survive compare to Michael and Emma.

3. Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip
For the third times, we all can see that Michael Waltrip has a difficulty to move his body. Even though Emma choreograph a simple routine and use props and additional dancers, I can not see he can lead Emma the way the other male celeb did. I am very surprised they still safe. Don’t get me wrong for the third time, I always thought that Emma is great, and that is includes her enthusiasm and positiveness.

4. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture
After last week, he seems lost in his performance, Randy come back this week with Paso Doble which requires very sharp movement. The song from ‘Rocky’ is perfect, but maybe the costume could have been a little more matching the song though. He seems hesitant and like Julianne said, seems always waiting for Karina. His confidence when he performed the foxtrot with Karina doesn’t appear this week.

5. Peta Murgatroyd and Tommy Chong
Every week I always concern whether this couple will survive or not. I have seen Peta doing the best she can do for Tommy. I don’t know whose idea is it, but taking ‘Scent of a Woman’ for the routine is a smart choice. I can imagine that the real tango must be very difficult for Tommy, but again Peta succeed to choreograph the moves for Tony. I’m glad they are safe. But the 10 from Kevin Heart as a guest judge ? I’m not fully agree with him.

6. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro
Witney is amazing, she proved herself that she deserved to be the pro dancer in this show. Her choreography is great for them who use the song from ‘Austin Power’. Alfonso perform the Quickstep well, the ballroom dance which requires a love of movement and body contact with his partner. Alfonso is an entertainer, he loves when he can entertain the audience. Somehow Witney is able to accommodate his needs. The segment when Alfonso dance with the Troupe in front of the trailer and the appearance of his son is really entertaining. But that is continue with a good performance on Quickstep. Way to go, Alfonso !

7. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson
Inspired by Lea’s movie is great. They even borrow the ‘Back to the Future’ car for the show. But what matters is when they perform, Lea still killin’ it. The jive she did last week is slightly better than this week. For overall performance, they are very entertaining and I like the chemistry they have.

8. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota
We know that Gene Kelly’s number is unique. And from the footage, also from any other social media, we also know that Derek put all of his heart to this number. They did well, but I have to agree with some people that the perfect score for them may not be right. The 40 for Derek, I agree. The 40 for the number he is doing with Bethany, may be not. The jazz number with Amy Purdy last season, which one of the Emmy nominated for Derek, that’s what I called perfection. Bethany’s facial expression is not match Derek’s. I always love the way Derek’s dance, full of passion and from the heart. Well, as I mentioned, this week is full of surprises, whether you like it or not.

9. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson
This cute couples, has the best costumes of the week. So simple hence so cute, you can’t even hold your smile when you see them. And when they dance, I can feel the joy. Actually I always see Mark has a very good taste of chic and elegant costume for his partner. And his choreography is always nice and entertained. With the routine from the movie UP!, I really thought that they at least get 9’s across the board. My comment is the same with everybody and Mark himself, I rely on Carrie Ann’s comment about this number is her favorite that night. But when I see 8, well, another surprise then. I still think they deserve higher scores.

10. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
This Valentin, is a Wow. I can’t imagine you have to re-choreograph the number two days before the show. And they execute it like they have been rehearsed for the whole week. Janel really has a great charisma. Every time she appears on stage, I can feel her shining. Her expression when she dances is priceless. And this week, the number is really unique. No further comment, it is perfection.

11. Tony Dovolani and Betsey Johnson
This is another surprising couple. Last week Tony did something that transformed Betsey from Hip Hop style Betsey to Lady Betsey. It works, Betsey performed nicely. This week, they perform Contemporary with the famous song from ‘Ghost’. It’s unbelievable to see her dance and do some pose that extraordinary for her to do. Same as Tommy, they both are great in a way that they are willing to push themselves to do better and believe in their partners.

My favorite routines from the couples
1. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson – Vienesse Waltz / Maried Life – Michael Giacchino from ‘Up’
2. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro – Quickstep / Hey Goldmember – Beyonce ft. Devin & Solange from ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’
3. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish – Jazz / America – Leonard Bernstein from ‘West Side Story’
4. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota – Jazz / Singin’ in the Rain – Gene Kelly from ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

My favorite routine from the pros
Opening number with the judges

Reflection from week 3
1. From the beginning of the show, I notice one similar thing from all the pros. They know the rehearsal will be very tough and hard, but they always emphasize one important thing to their celeb partner : just have fun with it. In other words, you do your best when you perform, but don’t think about winning, just dance with your heart and the audience will see you shining. It is the important lesson of life, do everything with your heart.
2. We know about ‘The Show Must Go On’. It is easy to say but it is not easy to execute. Look at the ankle injury of Bethany Mota or Val who got call from the producers just a few days before the show informed him about the legal issue of choreography. If they want, especially the celebs, they may decide to withdraw with all the injury or the chaos in rehearsal schedule. But both the pros and the celeb partners decided to move on and have fun with it. Amazing attitude.

Week 2 – My Jam Monday (22.09.2014) and the result show (23.09.2014)

Week 2
My Jam Monday (22.09.2014) and the result show (23.09.2014)

Introduction
This week theme is My Jam Monday, which means the star can choose their favorite song for their routine. The variations of the dance are cha cha, foxtrot, samba, jive, salsa and jazz. What different is the opening number for week 2 include all the judges to dance a little bit. I love to see Carrie Ann and Julianne dance. But I still think that Len can do better moves than what he did in the opening number, the same with Bruno.

The routine perform by couple (alphabetically from the first name of the pros)

1. Allison Holker and Jonathan Bennet
I was a little shock when I watch their performance. It supposed to be cha cha. Before the judges’ comment, I feel that the number is more like freestyle or modern dance. It shows more on Allison’s flexibility. Last week performance is better. No wonder Carrie Ann, Len and Julianne comments that there is not enough cha cha on this number. I think the best comment is from Len where he advised Allison to watch her choreography and come back next week with more ‘content’. Other than that, I like the setting and the costumes from both of them. And they are kissing, what a brave act – LOL.

2. Cheryl Burke and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Maybe rumba is more suitable for Antonio. Although as Cheryl and Julianne said, doing the rumba in the beginning of the competition is not easy because rumba is a very passionate dance. But somehow, Antonio does his job very well. He is more fluid and more confident than last week. He is an actor but maybe it’s not so easy to have a very intimate body contact with Cheryl in their rumba. But they did it and if he keeps appear to be calm and confident, he will stay for a long time. And by the way, I love Cheryl’s costume, it is so beautiful and she is so pretty in that costume.

3. Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip
There is something missing about Michael, I still don’t know what it is. But this week, I’m not comfortable with the choice of song while they have to do the samba. The beat is not matching the samba movement. If we compare them with Randy and Karina, I can see how good Karina covering Randy, so we still can see both of them hand in hand perform the number. Michael is a nice person from the way he acted, but I got to admit that he is having a difficulty to catch up with Emma. Except for his hip action at some point, it is sad to admit that they did not dance synchronize.

4. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture
Karina’s costume is cute, yellow and has the 1930’s style, matching with Randy who wears the army costume. The song is good, ‘Satisfaction’, perfect for Randy. But I really have to say I agree with Carrie Ann. After last week Randy dance so well and smooth in foxtrot, I really expect him to perform as good as last week (at least) or even better. But he seems a little scared to move although Karina said that his facial expression is good during the dance whilst the camera did not catch it. I really hope he stay this week and I am pretty sure he will work harder for next week.

5. Peta Murgatroyd and Tommy Chong
Age 76, it’s not easy to dance like the other male stars. But Peta is doing a fantastic work, choreographing salsa for Tommy. We knew from the beginning that the physical movement and activities are the biggest hurdle and limitation for Tommy and especially for Peta to choreograph the number. The crowds support them because Tommy is a great personality. He is fun and confident. Peta is more relax this week, maybe because she is already accept that the possibility to be eliminated will always there every week for them. This week I saw her having fun and enjoying the time they perform the routine. Peta’s costume, it’s an amazing pinky one.

6. Sharna Burgess and Tavis Smiley
Sharna has proven from the last season that she is a good choreographer. This week I think the choregraphy is great, also the setting and the costumes. But in the footage, we can see that Tavis was too full with his activities, which is kind of disadvantage for him especially to fully rehearsed with Sharna. I can see that Tavis is doing his best to do the routine, but his last week performance was better. You can’t miss any opportunity to perform the routine as good as you can, so I just hope he get enough votes and scores to survive this week. But seriously, their scores are not bad at all.

7. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro
I can’t write much about this couple – yet – because the clip I got from YouTube has no sund at all when they dance. But looking at the movement, I like what I see. I mean Witney choreograph nicely, she dances great and Alfonso has a natural body movement. I like seeing him dance. But I can see that being on the top of the leaderboard has given him too much pressure. Last week he dances with a lot of smiles. But somehow this week he is kind of tense. But getting all 8 from the judges, it’s not bad at all, not bad at all.

8. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson
Wow, Lea is killin’ it. She is really entertaining. She has quick steps like young girl. And Artem, he is just amazing. Amazing in the way he dance and in the way he convince Lea that she can do it. They get the highest score after Randy and Janel perform. I have confidence she will get better and better. Wearing the leopard printing costume, that is something, Lea. She is my warrior prince this week.

9. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota
Derek is always creative when it comes to choreograph the number. And he is willing to take a risk to provide something unique for the audience. This time he is taking a risk by using the bass as their dance prop. Although it’s only in the beginning, but putting Bethany to stand on the bass, I can say that is a very brave movement and they did it, Bethany did it. Derek always perform in a complete very nice package : the choreography, the costumes and the props. Bethany still looks cute but more feminine compare to last week when she was more like a teenager. That impression comes from the costume, and I think it’s amazing. She can dance, but I like Amy Purdy more because she is an athlete and she has the flexibility for Derek’s choreography. Anyway, whether you like it or not, I have to admit that Bethany has all the advantages to win or at least reach the finale. Just imagine that possibility when you have thousands of followers in the social media, and the Emmy winning choreographer also a very talented dancer as your partner.

10. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson
I love Sadie because she does not afraid to show her enthusiasm about everything. And she has the advantages of a slender body and long legs. Although she needs to be more flexible when she dance, but the hip action is really good. I predict that the trio of Sadie, Bethany and Janel will always get a close scores every week since they are all young and pretty and can dance. The choreography is fun and energetic though.

11. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
Janel is so pretty in her costume. As usual, Val has a very good taste of how to create a perfect setting for the routine. It is romantic, like the way two people dance the foxtrot. I kind of afraid Janel might fall because of the mask they wear in the beginning and fall not far away from their feet. But they dance beautifully, although I think Karina and Randy did better last week. I am 100% sure they will stay for another week.

12. Tony Dovolani and Betsey Johnson
Another shocking couple. Last week I think Tony is so kind that he let Betsey to dress like she usually did. But the result was so poor because they were in the bottom of the leaderboard, yet they are very lucky that they survive the premiere night. And this week, Tony takes in charge. Betsey is amazing, she is clean and she is pretty. I can hardly recognize her because the dress I simple and beautiful. The choreography is nice and Betsey do the routine without any error. It makes me want to cry when she told Erin that Tony did all the changes on her, all of it and she feels grateful. That show how professional Tony Dovolani is. Two thumbs up for Tony who made Betsey turn from a messy lady into a princess. To thumbs up for Betsey that she is willing to follow Tony’s advice to get better.

My favorite routine from the couples
1. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish – Foxtrot / Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jansen
2. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson – Jive / Land of a Thousand Dances – Wilson Pickett
3. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota – Foxtrot / All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
4. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson – Jazz / She’s Country – Jason Aldean

My favorite routine from the pros
None

Reflection from week 2
1. It’s great to see the mutual relationship between the pro and the star. Like Lea, who feels that she can do the steps if Artem ‘touch’ her. For me it’s not depending on your partner, but she really trust her partner. It’s not easy, believe me, in any aspect of life, not only in dancing. You can see all the way to the final that the pro always had their ways to build and maintain the self-confidence of their partner. It’s not easy for the pros and it’s more difficult for the stars. But that’s what friends are for.

2. This show really gave me a perspective about how people handle their stress. Each person has their own way how to channeling the stress and being free from it, because the pressure is really hard. Imagine as a person that is not a professional dancer, you have to learn more and more complex moves from various type of ballroom dances. You have only less than one week to learn a lot of new things and you have to perform in front of the nation. This is a reality show, of course the producers always doing something dramatic to increase the level of enthusiasm from the audience. But I am 100% sure that it is not easy for all the casts to survive week by week. But they made it and that is more important than winning the mirror ball.

3. Being a teacher is difficult. It takes a lot of patience and empathy. Being a dance instructor in this show is also includes how to do your best to make your partner shining when they perform. That’s what I call selflessness.

4. When Tony Dovolani said this to Betsey Johnson : ‘We’re gonna leave it behind us. Because now it’s a brand new week.’ – that is a powerful motivation statement. When Alfonso said that what the judges said is what Witney said, and that’s why he will follow whatever Witney says, that show that the pros has a quality of an excellent mentor and partner. The positive attitude is the most important thing in this life.

Week 1 – the premiere show (15.09.2014) and the result show (16.09.2014)

Introduction
What I love about this new season is the chemistry between the pro and the star, at least for most of the casts are really good. Regardless age differences or the musicality or the ability to dance. Can’t stop smiling seeing the chemistry when they dance. Cheryl and Antonio, Sadie and Mark, Bethany and Derek, Witney and Alfonso, Betsey and Tony, Emma and Michael, the beautiful Karina and Randy, Sharna and Tavis, Janel and Val, Allison and Jonathan, Lea and Artem, even Peta and Tommy.

The pros, we know all about them, they are undoubtedly very professional. They are able to create a comfortable environment for their partner, and what I see in the first week is they are having fun. In week 1, they perform cha cha cha, foxtrot or jive.

The routine perform by couple (alphabetically from the first name of the pros)

1. Allison Holker and Jonathan Bennet
Allison is one of the new pros, but she is already exist in the dancing world. She is a great choregrapher and even got nominated for the number she choreographed together with Derek in 2013. But she proves that she is a good instructor and she has a good rapport with Jonathan. Well, this is the first week. All the celebrities are usually still has a lot to fix, but Jonathan and Allison really have a good time, from the rehearsal until the show. They both tall and Jonathan is a good-looking guy. And if he can catch up all the technical things and moves synchronize with Allison in various type of dance, I can see he will stay for a long time.

2. Cheryl Burke and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Cheryl is undoubtedly a fantastic dancer and a great instructor. But Antonio seems very nervous during the show, which I think affect his performance a little bit. This season they have a lot of good looking guys and good looking girls. And of course Antonio is one of them. I can not predict his journey, because there is nothing special – yet – from his appearance. But with Cheryl as the pro, that might be a chance they could stay a few weeks longer.

3. Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip
I love Emma and she has beautiful smile. I can see that she is also a very energetic person. Look what she did in season 18, where she got Billy Dee as her partner. She was very patient and I see that again in this season. Michael did not have the advantage of a slim body, so for me his performance looks ‘heavy’. And I still don’t see a good choreograph from Emma, especially the costumes. For me, costume is one of the vital aspects when you have to perform in front of a large number of people, especially when you dance. You need to design attractive costumes, match with your choreography and the type of dance. Emma and Michael wore a yellow racing car uniform. The yellow is so bright but the whole costumes did not make you want to watch the routine very carefully. I have a feeling that they won’t stay long. Sorry Emma, I love you but this is the fact.

4. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture
This is a shocking couple. Karina always dance beautifully, and she has a good taste of choreograph a fantastic dance. I’m not a ballroom dancer, but I know that the lady is the main attention in any kind of ballroom dances. And this season, Karina has made it, at least for the first week. She made Randy still looks macho and yet looks soft from the way he handle Karina. I agree with Carrie Ann, he looks fantastic, especially they are doing the foxtrot with one of my favorite song, The Way You Look Tonight. And as I mentioned before, Karina is the best when it comes to the costume design. Her white gown is really flowing, gliding around her body. It’s beautiful, regardless the technical acknowledgement from Randy still need a lot of work to improve. If they continue doing that, I can feel they can stay longer than Cheryl and Antonio.

5. Peta Murgatroyd and Tommy Chong
In the last season, Peta really amazed me with all her fresh and energetic choreography with James Maslow. I can name all the routines they did that really fascinating. I kinda disappointed when I knew that Peta’s partner is Tommy Chong. No matter how Tommy has a great technique for ballroom dancing, but let’s face it, he is over 70 years old. There is no way Peta can choreograph complex routine and there is no way they can get to the final. I don’t know why the producers pair them, but for me, it’s a waste of Peta’s talent. Although she is always smiles, but somehow I can sense her disappointment. From their routine, I can see that Peta really limited herself in choreograph the routine. Tommy’s physical condition is a limitation and I did not see a balance from their performances. I think it’s not fair both for Peta and Tommy. I’m not surprised if they can’t stay for a long time.

6. Sharna Burgess and Tavis Smiley
Sharna has always a fantastic dancer with a great facial expression. Last season she did great with Charlie White. And this first week, at least they have a good start. Tavis has a charming personality and I hope he can catch up with Sharna because I felt the same way for Sharna as I felt for Peta. But at least Sharna has an advantage that Tavis is only 50, still have the opportunity to have a great shape and do all the routine Sharna makes and perform it well. I wish Sharna can stay for a long time.

7. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro
This is one of the cute couple. They perform the last but they get the highest score. Witney is improve a lot from the last season as her debut being the female pro. And she can match Alfonso’s personality and the choregraphy. They did well, in fact, they did great. People are hysterical watching their routine and they really deserve the highest score from the judges. I’m not surprise if they can get to the semifinal.

8. Artem Chigvintsev and Lea Thompson
For reader’s information, Artem has won one mirror ball in the Strictly Come Dancing, the British version of DWTS. So, what else can we expect ? Fantastic pro/instructor and great choreography. He already prove it in the first routine with Lea, which has the basic of ballet 32 years ago. They do the routine very smooth, that’s what I thought because I can only see from the entertainment perspective. I think if Artem is able to create a perfect routine for Lea, they will survive for quite a long time in the show.

9. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota
I never doubt about Derek’s ability to dance and choreograph. He is an Emmy winning choreographer, he won five mirror balls and in the last season he was amazing because he was able to bring out the best of Amy Purdy’s dance ability, in a sense that Amy lost both her legs when she was a teenager and she used two prosthetic legs for years.
I don’t know what is happening in the new producer’s mind, but I suspect that this is about the rating of the show. Bethany has many followers as a YouTuber and Derek has many faithful fans that willing to die for him. Maybe the new producer thinks that conditioning Derek and Bethany to become the champion will certainly boosting the rating. I don’t think so. As much as I love Derek’s ability of almost everything (dancing, choreographing, singing, writing a book and maybe many things which I don’t know), I don’t have the need to see Derek get his sixth mirror ball. Five is enough. But looking at their first routine, I know that Derek is unstoppable. He is always creative, not afraid to do something different. Look at the stage setting for Bethany’s room. It’s fun, it’s young, it’s energetic and it really match the Shake It Off song from Taylor Swift and the Jive movement they did. I don’t want to predict that they will win, but I guess I have to live with the fact that they have a great opportunity to reach the finale.

10. Keo Motsepe and Lolo Jones
Unfortunately the fun is not happening with Lolo and Keo. I know that there was a technical error when Lolo forgot about the moves and it takes quite some time for her to catch up with Keo. But I can see that Keo really tried hard to make Lolo feel comfortable. But I think Lolo is kind of a serious person, she really hard on herself, because she can’t stop talking although the judges did not say anything harsh about the mistake. On the other hand, I really like Keo, he is a very positive person. They were the first couple eliminated in week 1. But Keo will stay with the Troupe until the end of the competition.

11. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson
I never watched Duck Dinasty, so I don’t know Sadie Robertson. But when I first watch her, I like her. She is young, funny and cute in a different way with Janel. Last season, Mark really have fun with Candace, but this season I think Mark is more than happy to have Sadie as his partner because she is young and willing to try anything, related to the dance. What’s a fun fact is that Candace and Sadie are faithful to their religion. And I think Mark is superb because he took Candace to the finale last season with Candace’s limitation of some moves or costumes. Similar condition with Sadie this season, but she has the advantage of being young and single. That’s why their first routine is so colorful and cheerful, they are doing well with Katy Perry’s song and Sadie is so cute that Mark can not help laughing. She is a serious contender.

12. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
Well, a lot of people wrote that Val and Janel are ‘Maks and Meryl’ in this season. I completely disagree. Although we always look at Maks because of his ‘bad boy’ image is so strong and that;s what makes Maks a very interesting personality, I always see Val as a strong personality too. Comment from Danica and Meryl proved that thought. Val is more serious than his big brother, and I always thought that he has the talent to choreograph such an interesting routine. When he did the Argentine Tango with Meryl, they have very positive comments from the judges.
What’s happen now it’s not the ‘Maks and Meryl’ thing like people write in every entertainment news. It is about the relation and the chemistry with his partner. I’m not a fan of ‘Pretty Little Liars’, but when I see Janel smile and talk, I like her. She has a great spirit, funny, pretty and expressive. We knew that a great chemistry always help the couple to synchronize their body on the dance floor. And it happens on Val and Janel. Their jive with ‘Bang Bang’, the new song from Ariana Grande / Jessie J. / Nicki Minaj is superb from the choreography point of view. And they dance beautifully. I have 95% confident level that they will reach at least to the semifinal.

13. Tony Dovolani and Betsey Johnson
I don’t know why the new producer picks Betsey Johnson for Tony’s partner. Tony is the longest pro in DWTS history, and although his routines was not always fantastic, but I love watching Tony on the dance floor. With all the mess with the props when they dance, I feel sorry for Tony. I didn’t say Betsey is bad. She is a very energetic lady for her age. But like Peta, I think Tony deserve a chance to prove that he is a good pro and choreographer, that once won the mirror ball in DWTS All Star. Sadly I don’t think they can survive.

My favorite routine from the couples
1. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture – Foxtrot / The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
2. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota – Jive / Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
3. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson – Cha cha / Birthday by Katy Perry

My favorite routine from the pros
1. The new pros dance (Artem, Allison and Keo) with ‘Come Get It Bae’ from Pharell Williams. The trio is very good. I don’t know who choreograph the dance but all I can say that it’s very entertaining. The dance divided into three short segment. First, the trio do the intro. Second, they dance accompanied by the other pros and troupe. It’s really good to see the dance of Allison – Val – Henry, Keo – Peta – Lindsay, Artem – Jenna – Sharna. The last segment is the group dance with the trio closing the dance.
2. The nine female pros and troupes, in white and silver nuance with the lighting that give a golden effect, dance beautifully. Choreograph by Mandy Moore, it is the best combination between great choreography and fantastic professional dancers I’ve ever seen. They deserve standing ovation. Dance to the song ‘Bo$$’ from Fifth Harmony, they move together like angels. It’s a jaw-dropping perfomance. It’s fascinating to see the nine of them dance effortless, fierce but feminine. I will never forget a simple and extravagance setting, and the unique moves that Mandy Moore created.

Reflection from week 1
1. As always, every time I watch this show, I always saw something. They respect each other, the pro and the star. In some point, I know it’s not easy to work so close together with somebody you just know from the entertainment or sport news. But I believe the pros always have a fantastic spirit that really contagious as long as their partner are positive.
2. It’s hard to be sportive yet wise. Especially when you are eliminated. I admire the positive energy from the stars.
3. The casts always find a way to have fun with dancing. And I always believe that dancing is fun.

Dancing With The Stars – Season 19 (Fall 2014)

I love watching people dancing or playing music. One of the great and highly produced TV show in America that includes great dancers, great choreography, emphasize on ballroom dances (which I think is beautiful dances but not easy to learn) with fantastic setting on-stage and extraordinary crew is DANCING WITH THE STARS.

Unfortunately I won’t be able watching the show in here where I live, so the only source I can watch is from YouTube or TV online (which is sucks because most of the time the internet connection is not good). But I never give up, as long as I can still watch the show it doesn’t matter if I can watch the show a few hours or a few days later. Because for me, watching the DANCING WITH THE STARS (DWTS) is not only watching the professional dancer and the celebrity dance in various type of ballroom dances, but I can learn a lot … I really mean it … learn a lot about the way they prepare the show and learn a lot from the people that involved in the show. I think I will write some of my thoughts in the end of the season. But this is what I really like to do since the last season, writing about what happens and what I thought about the show week after week. Similar to any kind of review people or entertainment news did in America.

But first of all, let me give you a glimpse about the show. DWTS is reality TV show focus on the ballroom dances, and additionally include contemporary, jazz, freestyle and some other type of dances. The show itself is always have couples, one is the professional dancer (a.k.a. the pro) and the partner is usually celebrity, sometimes athletes or even the Olympian athletes. There is a small group of professional dancers we called the Dance Troupe, they will join the pros to do some routine performances during the break (called as ‘bumper’) and opening number or special number, and even help the couples in their performance. The judges have a related background to the type of dances and they will judge from the technical perspective. They are choreographers, producers, experienced judges and professional dancers. Usually there will be several guest judges who will give comments about the entertainment point of view. In one year, there will be two season of the show, the spring season and the fall season. Each season usually takes 10-11 weeks. The type of dance is different every week for every couple. Let’s not forget that this is the Live Show. So what you see on stage, it’s really amazing. The changing of the background or stage props, were done by the fantastic crew during the commercial break.

All of those incredible things added by how hard the pros rehearse for their routine numbers and also rehearse and teaching their celebrity partner who usually doesn’t have a dance background or experience. They still have to do the dress rehearsal before doing the live show. Some of the celebrity or athletes still have to do their regular job. And sometimes the pro has to go to the city where their partner stays for their job at certain circumstances.

The casts
In this season, there are 13 couples in the show. 6 couples with the male pros and 7 couples with the female pros.
This list begin with the pro and their celebrity partner :
1. Allison Holker (new) and Jonathan Bennet
2. Cheryl Burke and Antonio Sabato Jr.
3. Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip
4. Karina Smirnoff and Randy Couture
5. Peta Murgatroyd and Tommy Chong
6. Sharna Burgess and Tavis Smiley
7. Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro
8. Artem Chigvintsev (new) and Lea Thompson
9. Derek Hough and Bethany Mota
10. Keo Motsepe (new) and Lolo Jones
11. Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson
12. Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Janel Parrish
13. Tony Dovolani and Betsey Johnson

There are also a few great dancers too in what we called the Dance Troupe. For this season they are : Lindsay Arnold, Jenna Johnson, Henry Bilyakov, Sasha Faber and Gleb Savchenko.

This season they have four permanent judges : Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough. Although referring to what happened in the last season when Julianne say something harsh to Maks as a guest judge, I see the she is trying hard to be more careful in the way she gave comment to the couple.

The host is Tom Bergeron, I love this guy, always calm and funny. Erin Andrews is back as the co-host and that is the thing that I love about the new producer’s decision. A lot of people said that Erin is not worth it because of the way she talked and I even read a rumor that she acted like a diva on the set. I never believe it because as a sideline reporter of the sport show, she must have a very good response about what to say and what to do. And I can see that Erin is start this season with more careful in week 1. But I love to see the energetic Erin like I saw in season 18.

This is my first experience to write a short review about the TV show. So what I would like to do is to write my opinion from performance perspective every week which cover some aspects such as :
1. Introduction of the theme of the week and hi-light about a few things in the related week
2. The routine perform by each couple
3. My favorite routine of the week from some couples
4. My favorite routine of the from the pros if there is any
5. Reflection of the week

To help us, including myself and the readers to memorize the show, I will use some data from Wikipedia which I think is the most comprehensive data about the show.

REFLEKSI PESTA DEMOKRASI DI INDONESIA

Hari ini seluruh rakyat Indonesia yang sudah memenuhi persyaratan untuk ikut serta dalam pemilihan Presiden, dengan sangat antusias berbondong-bondong datang ke TPS yang telah ditentukan, untuk menggunakan hak pilihnya mencoblos calon pemimpin bangsa untuk 5 tahun mendatang.

Dari laporan pandangan mata selama seharian ini, banyak orang yang tidak mau menyerah begitu saja jika namanya tidak tercantum dalam Daftar Pemilih Tetap. Yang sudah terdaftar dan bisa menjalankan hak pilihnya dengan baik, langsung merasa senang karena berharap Presiden terpilih ini akan membawa Indonesia ke arah yang lebih baik.

Sungguh luar biasa bahwa dalam waktu 2 jam sejak ditutupnya Pemilu, ada 5 lembaga survei di beberapa stasiun televisi lokal yang sudah menayangkan hasil dari sekitar 92% sampel suara. Namun yang mengagetkan adalah bahwa tidak lama kemudian ke dua kubu langsung mendeklarasikan kemenangan mereka. Walaupun tetap di ujungnya mereka menyatakan bahwa mereka tetap menunggu real count dari KPU di tanggal 22 Juli nanti.

Banyak komentar di sosial media bahwa capres kali ini, keduanya tidak siap menang atau kalah.

Tapi menurut pendapat saya, memang orang boleh berbeda pendapat. Namun pernyataan mas Anies di televisi merupakan analogi yang sangat bagus. Mas Anies menjelaskan tentang perbedaan lawan dan musuh. Dalam setiap kompetisi, kita pasti punya lawan. Misalnya dalam bulutangkis, wajar kalau lawan melakukan smash. Tapi setelah pertandingan selesai, sang lawan akan kembali menjadi kawan. Tapi kalau sang lawan tiba-tiba melempar raketnya ke kita, itu namanya black campaign.

Maka setelah hari ini dibuka dengan menjadi pemilih pertama di TPS saya (karena saya menghindari antri), lalu sampai sekitar jam 3 sore dag dig dug melihat hasil quick count, dan sekarang masih melihat berita tentang kedua capres yang sedang berkumpul dengan para pendukungnya, saya mencoba berefleksi tentang pilpres kali ini.

1. Jangan pernah under estimate atau merendahkan rakyat. Rakyat kita tidak bodoh. Walaupun mungkin pengetahuan politiknya minim, termasuk saya juga seperti itu, tapi kami selalu berusaha melihat dan menggunakan hati nurani kami dengan cerdas, dalam menentukan pilihan.

2. Ternyata kaum elite politik di Indonesia belum matang. Saat kedua kubu saling memberikan deklarasi kemenangan, hal tersebut membuat rakyat bingung. Saya malah geleng-geleng melihat komentar seorang host talk show di sebuah stasiun televisi yang sedikit menyindir : apakah calon nomor 2 yang menang atau kita punya 2 presiden.
Lalu agak malam, mulai ada yang ‘mencolek-colek’ Ahok, katanya Ahok memprediksi Jokowi menang. Lho, Ahok sudah menyatakan itu dengan terus terang koq. Dan itu hak beliau walaupun beliau memilih nomor 1.

3. Indonesia yang sudah dikenal dengan kedewasaannya dalam pemilu yang LANGSUNG, UMUM, BEBAS, RAHASIA – sedikit ternoda dengan adanya perbedaan hasil dari 7 lembaga survei yang muncul di berbagai stasiun televisi. Dua asosiasi yang menaungi lembaga survei di Indonesia sudah memberikan pernyataan tentang hal tersebut. PERSEPI (Perhimpunan Survei Opini Publik Indonesia) menyatakan akan melakukan audit tentang metodologi yang dipakai. Sementara dari Asosiasi Survei Indonesia menyatakan bahwa kesalahan perhitungan itu wajar dan berkaitan dengan kapabilitas/kemampuan periset – namun kebohongan tentang data berkaitan dengan integritas periset. Saya yakin orang-orang yang bekerja dalam lembaga-lembaga survei tersebut adalah orang berpendidikan. Saya hanya berharap agar tidak ada kebohongan dalam pelaksanaan quick count.

4. Saking uniknya capres tahun ini, terus terang saya salut dengan tingkat antusiasme yang sangat tinggi dari WNI yang tinggal di luar Indonesia untuk menggunakan hak pilihnya. Dan saking hebohnya dan uniknya pilpres tahun ini, membuat kedua anak saya yang baru menginjak remaja, menjadi tertarik untuk bertanya dan mengikuti perkembangan quick count hari ini.

Sebagai penutup, saya bangga menjadi rakyat Indonesia. Karena rakyat Indonesia adalah rakyat yang punya hati nurani cerdas karena mau menggunakan hak pilihnya demi kemajuan bangsa. Saya bangga karena rakyat Indonesia sebenarnya sangat menjunjung tinggi demokrasi karena terbukti berhasil melakukan ‘pemilu langsung’ selama ini.

Hendaknya sekian ratus juta rakyat Indonesia, termasuk saya, dihargai keberadaannya oleh para elite politik Indonesia. Kami tidak perlu tanda jasa. Kami hanya perlu mereka meletakkan negara diatas kepentingan pribadi, sehingga tidak ada lagi korupsi, semua bekerja bersama untuk memajukan kesejahteraan bangsa.

Sebuah rangkaian syair yang indah dalam lagu ‘Indonesia Pusaka’ yang merupakan refleksi hati rakyat Indonesia :

Indonesia tanah air beta
Pusaka abadi nan jaya
Indonesia sejak dulu kala
Tetap dipuja-puja bangsa

Di sana tempat lahir beta
Dibuai, dibesarkan bunda
Tempat berlindung di hari tua
Sampai akhir menutup mata …

Me-time

Wanita diciptakan Tuhan untuk menjadi mahluk yang multi tasking, dalam berbagai wujud. Tanpa melihat motivasi, latar belakang dan kualitas dari hasilnya, wanita itu memang luar biasa.

Bayangkan, ada wanita yang karirnya sangat hebat. Tapi biar bagaimanapun dia masih berusaha untuk mengasuh anaknya dan menemani suaminya. Atau ada ibu rumah tangga yang full time membereskan pekerjaan rumah, mengasuh anak, memasak untuk keluarga, tapi masih sempat berjualan makanan. Kalau kita lihat para pengemis di jalanan, walaupun mungkin yang digendong bukan anaknya, tapi dia tetap multi tasking. Mengemis (karena dikejar setoran oleh boss premannya), sekaligus mengasuh anak yang dipinjamnya.

Saya sendiri seorang wanita, yang merasakan bahwa secara tidak tertulis, saya memang dituntut dan dibentuk oleh hidup saya untuk bisa melakukan berbagai hal dalam waktu yang bersamaan. Dan saya bisa bilang bahwa hal tersebut todak mudah. Butuh latihan bertahun-tahun dan kesabaran yang sangat besar. Saya sendiri masih kurang sabar koq, tapi saya menyadari bahwa kodrat kita adalah ‘bertangan banyak’.

Tapi hari ini, di saat saya harus menyiapkan segala keperluan di rumah, lalu siang langsung buru-buru pergi karena harus mengantar anak saya ke Jakarta, saya menyadari satu hal yang mungkin selama ini saya anggap sepele.

Kebetulan anak saya harus latihan tari yang memakan waktu sekitar 2 jam. Setelah mengantar anak saya ke studio tari, saya minta kepada sang ‘sutem’ (supir tembak – baca : supir sewaan) untuk mengantar saya ke sebuah mall besar yang tidak jauh dari studio tari. Disana saya mencari tempat yang enak, tenang dan bersih. Saya duduk di pojokan, memesan minuman dan mulai bekerja. Saya merasa waktu berlalu dengan sangat efektif. Saya berhasil mengerjakan beberapa pekerjaan, bahkan sempat menulis satu artikel untuk blog saya dan masih sempat pula chatting dengan rekan kerja karena ada yang harus diselesaikan.

Setelah dua jam berlalu, saat saya sedang berjalan ke lobby mall tersebut, tiba-tiba saya sadar bahwa ada yang berubah di dalam diri saya. Rasanya hati menjadi ceria, badan menjadi segar, dan tidak ada rasa lelah sama sekali. Dalam perjalanan pulang ke Cikarang, saya berpikir apa yang bisa membuat saya seperti itu. Dan jawabannya ternyata sangat sederhana. Saya perlu ME-TIME. Time for myself, just thinking about what I want to do not what I have to do.

Me-time, dimana saya berada dalam sebuah tempat yang baru, dimana saya bisa memperhatikan hal-hal yang baru namun sekaligus bisa menjadi diri sendiri tanpa khawatir ada teman atau relasi yang memperhatikan.

Frekuensi saya mengunjungi mall di Jakarta adalah jarang. Karena itu efeknya cukup signifikan. Namun esensi dari sedikit pengalaman saya tersebut adalah : percayalah pada orang/majalah/film yang mengatakan bahwa kita harus menghargai diri sendiri, yang sudah melakukan yang terbaik (menurut versi masing-masing) untuk keluarga. Jadi boleh dong kita memberikan hadiah untuk diri kita sendiri dengan ME-TIME.

Banyak cara yang bisa dilakukan untuk menikmati ME-TIME. Namun saya merasa dua jam ME -TIME saya hari ini telah memberikan energi baru dalam diri saya. Seperti layaknya handphone yang baru di-charge.

Jangan pernah merasa bersalah untuk meluangkan waktu agar dapat menikmati ME-TIME.

We deserve it ….

MFM-CP

HIDUP DAN RODA

Orang bilang, hidup itu seperti roda. Kadang kita diatas, kadang kita dibawah. Kadang kita berjaya, kadang kita ditimpa banyak masalah.

Kalau kita sedang berjaya, rasanya dunia ini milik kita. Semua orang menjadi teman kita. Segala sesuatu terasa lebih mudah didapat. Tapi sangat terbuka kemungkinan kita akan lupa untuk berterimakasih dan terus mendekatkan diri kepada Tuhan.

Kalau kita sedang ditimpa banyak masalah, kita cenderung mencoba memecahkan masalah itu dengan kekuatan kita sendiri. Atau dengan kekuatan orang lain. Kalaupun kita ingat Tuhan, kita cenderung marah dan protes, mengapa kita jadi susah.

Orang bilang, hidup itu seperti roda. Baik diatas maupun dibawah, hanya satu yang patut disyukuri. Bahwa Tuhan masih sayang pada kita, sehingga kita masih diberi kesempatan untuk bisa menjadi dewasa secara iman dan kepribadian, lewat pengalaman hidup yang menyenangkan dan menyedihkan.

Kalau Tuhan saja tidak pernah habis menyayangi kita, apakah kita tidak punya keinginan untuk balas menyayangi Dia? Kita hanya perlu selalu ingat Tuhan dalam setiap peristiwa kehidupan kita. Selalu bersandar pada Dia jika kita sedang dalam keadaan sedih, marah, putus asa, tertekan.

Orang bilang, hidup itu seperti roda. Roda yang tidak pernah protes ketika ada di bawah, dan tetap bersatu dengan bagian lainnya saat berada diatas. Karena dia selalu menyatu dengan poros roda, yang merupakan sumber kekuatannya.

Orang bilang, hidup itu seperti roda. Tidak hanya selalu berganti posisi, tapi tetap menyatu dengan sang poros yang menjadi kekuatannya. Bisakah kita bersikap seperti roda?

The Millenium Parenthood – Day 07 : KOMUNIKASI – Two Different Wor(l)d

“Ora na azu nwa” – It takes a village to raise a child (Nigerian proverb)

Beberapa minggu belakangan ini saya sedang menghadapi situasi unik di rumah. Pertanyaan yang timbul dalam benak saya adalah : mengapa anak saya yang sudah remaja tumbuh menjadi remaja yang seolah tidak punya nilai hidup yang baik ? Kemana semua nilai hidup yang sudah kami ajarkan selama ini ?

Lalu semalam saya mencoba mencari referensi dengan browsing di internet. Dan saya menemukan sebuah artikel yang sangat menjawab pertanyaan saya tadi. Artikel ini saya baca di http://www.empoweringparents.com. Saya tersenyum membacanya karena saya menyadari bahwa dunia saya dan dunia anak saya adalah BERBEDA.

Saya baru menyadari bahwa di saat saya sedang mencoba untuk mengingatkan anak remaja saya tentang betapa pentingnya mengingat tentang sopan santun, cara merapikan kamar dan meja belajarnya, sebenarnya saat itu yang ada dalam pikirannya adalah bahwa aku cantik, aku sedang ‘suka’ dengan temanku, aku ingin beli buku tentang boy band yang sedang ngetop di Amerika sekarang, dan berbagai macam ‘persoalan’ yang timbul di usianya yang baru memasuki masa remaja.

Akhirnya yang terjadi adalah sebuah adegan yang lucu, saya sebagai ‘sang ibu’ sedang bicara tiada henti sementara putri saya sebagai ‘sang remaja’ hanya diam mendengarkan namun pikirannya sedang berjalan-jalan entah kemana.

Terkadang saya merasa putus asa, merasa sedih memikirkan mengapa putri saya sekarang tumbuh menjadi remaja yang sulit diberitahu dan diatur, padahal dulu dia adalah anak yang manis dan menyenangkan.

Diberitahu dan diatur – sebuah kalimat yang pada akhirnya perlu dipertanyakan ulang. Dari sisi siapa kita melihat ? Dari sisi orang tua. Kita ‘menilai’ bahwa anak remaja kita sulit diberitahu dan diatur. Bagaimana dari sisi mereka ? Pernahkah kita memikirkan tanggapan mereka. Saya baru menyadari bahwa putri saya ternyata merasa ’banyak dikritik’ oleh saya.

Maka terjadilah benturan. Pihak orang tua merasa sedih dan putus asa karena ’nasehatnya’ tidak didengar, sementara sang remaja merasa dirinya terlalu diperhatikan dan banyak dikritik.

Two different world, two different words. Tidak akan bertemu di tengah-tengah jika tidak ada kompromi dari kedua belah pihak. Dan kompromi hanya akan bisa terjadi jika timbul kerelaan dari diri masing-masing untuk mau berkorban bagi pihak lainnya.

Tidak ada pengorbanan secara fisik, tidak ada harta atau uang yang dikorbankan, tidak ada harga diri yang dipertaruhkan. Yang diperlukan hanya kerelaan untuk menyediakan waktu, pikiran dan hati untuk mau membuka pikiran dan terbuka terhadap satu sama lain.

Saya pun saat ini masih sering mengalami kesulitan untuk bisa rela mendengar dan memahami putri saya. Apalagi putri saya yang masih sangat belia. Namun semua itu adalah proses. Dan proses itu akan berjalan jika dimulai dari pihak orang tua, kita yang sudah lebih lama hidup di dunia ini dan sudah pernah mengalami masa remaja, walaupun kondisinya sangat jauh berbeda.

Tidak pada tempatnya jika kita langsung menuntut anak remaja kita untuk lebih bisa mengerti kita. Mereka masih sangat muda dan baru saja mulai untuk bisa melihat dunia dengan segala macam permasalahannya.

Kompromi yang paling sederhana yang bisa kita lakukan adalah belajar mendengar dan mengerti dunia mereka. Mencoba mengerti bahwa lagu-lagu One Direction (grup boyband yang saat ini sedang nge-top) itu adalah sangat COOL. Mencoba mengerti bahwa lagu-lagu SNSD dan Wonder Girl, serta tariannya adalah sangat KEREN. Mencoba mengerti bahwa sinetron Putih Abu Abu itu menarik sekali. Dan sekaligus mencoba mengerti bahwa mereka tidak bisa mengerti mengapa orang tuanya masih suka mendengar lagu-lagu Harvey Malaiholo, ayah dan ibu selalu ribut tentang meja belajar yang rapi padahal mereka sendiri tidak merasa itu menjadi masalah.

Belajar untuk mendengar dan belajar untuk mengerti dunia remaja, adalah dua hal mendasar (menurut saya) yang paling penting kita pelajari. Cara menasihati dan lain-lain itu adalah prioritas ke-sekian.

Saat ini saya mengalami bahwa belajar mendengar akan lebih mudah jika kita sudah belajar untuk mengerti dunia remaja. Saat ini saya belum bisa mengerti dengan sepenuhnya. Saya masih sering mencoba berpikir dengan logika saya dan buka dengan cara berpikir remaja.

Dunia remaja adalah dunia yang ’unik’, penuh dengan permasalahan mulai dari jerawat, model rambut, pertemanan sampai gaya bicara. Dunia remaja adalah dunia yang tidak mudah dimengerti dengan logika, karena didalamnya bercampur segala macam emosi dan perasaan, tanpa ada batasan dan definisi kapan dan dimana perasaan itu bisa timbul. Dunia remaja adalah dunia yang penuh dengan tanjakan dan turunan, suka dan duka, sedih dan gembira, marah dan tertawa, yang bisa terjadi kapan saja dan dimana saja.

Mungkin sampai putri saya sudah dewasa nanti, saya belum dapat memahami 100% dunia remaja. Namun setidaknya dalam hidup ini saya sudah berusaha untuk mencoba mengerti, walaupun saya harus rela berkorban waktu, pikiran dan perasaan saya untuk bisa melakukan hal tersebut. Yang saya selalu ingat adalah bahwa saya melakukannya untuk anak saya, yang sudah ada dalam rahim saya selama 9 bulan. Maka apalah artinya waktu, tenaga dan pikiran yang harus saya sediakan saat ini untuk bisa memahami putri saya.

Two different world, two different words. Akan bertemu di tengah-tengah jika kita mau belajar mengerti dunia mereka dan belajar mendengar.

It’s not easy but it’s possible.

Slide presentasi dari posting ini dapat dilihat dan diunduh di : http://goo.gl/2W7lE

The Millenium Parenthood – Day 06 : KOMUNIKASI – Berbicara Tentang Seks Dengan Remaja (Bagian 2)

“Ora na azu nwa” – It takes a village to raise a child (Nigerian proverb)

Setelah di bagian 1 kita berbicara mengenai hal-hal apa saja yang perlu diberitahukan kepada anak remaja kita tentang seks dan bagaimana cara menyampaikannya, maka di bagian ke 2 ini saya ingin berbagi mengenai beberapa ide sederhana dan menarik untuk menyampaikan mengenai seks kepada anak remaja kita.

Dari penulis Corey di SimpleMom, digabungkan dengan sedikit pengalam pribadi saya, memang ada beberapa ide menarik dan mudah untuk dilakukan seperti misalnya :

1. Mulailah membiasakan diri menyampaikan tentang seks dari sejak usia sekolah, tergantung kesiapan mereka.
Mulai dengan cara menggunakan istilah organ reproduksi secara benar. Tentunya sesuai dengan berkembangnya usia, maka kita dapat menambahkan sedikit demi sedikit informasi mengenai seks. Hal ini juga akan membantu orang tua untuk mengikis rasa malu dan tabu saat berbicara tentang seks dengan anak, jika dimulai saat anak masih di jenjang SD. Mengapa demikian ? Karena anak usia sekolah cenderung tidak bertanya hal-hal yang serius mengenai hubungan pria dan wanita, sehingga tanpa disadari kita juga berlatih untuk menyampaikan hal yang lebih serius saat anak kita memasuki usia remaja.

2. Berinisiatif untuk memulai pembicaraan.
Misalnya dengan menggunakan contoh nyata, ada teman kita yang sedang hamil. Gunakan kesempatan tersebut untuk bicara soal bayi yang berada dalam perut ibu. Sekali lagi, tentu saja disesuaikan dengan kesiapan dan usia anak dan remaja.

3. Saat menyampaikan tentang konsekuensi hubungan seks di luar nikah dan lain-lain, hindari bersikap menggurui dan menasehati. Jika kita terlihat ngotot dalam memberitahukan hal tersebut, terbuka kemungkinan anak remaja kita malah penasaran mengapa orang tuanya sedemikian takut. Jangan sampai mereka malah mencoba-coba mencari tahu dengan cara yang kurang baik.

4. Ide yang sangat menarik untuk saya adalah memberikan contoh nyata mengenai kencan.
Corey memberikan ide yang sangat bagus. Salah satu hal yang perlu dimengerti oleh remaja adalah bahwa hubungan seks adalah sebuah kegiatan fisik yang selayaknya dilakukan dengan pasangan hidup kita yang terikat dalam sebuah ikatan pernikahan. Untuk bisa melalui tahapan pernikahan, pria dan wanita perlu saling mengenal lebih jauh lewat ’kencan’.

Maka jika Anda memiliki anak remaja putri, ada baiknya suatu saat sang Ayah mengajak remaja putrinya ’on a date/kencan’. Jika Anda memiliki remaja putra, tidak ada salahnya sesekali sang Ibu mengajak remaja putranya untuk ’kencan’.

Kesempatan ini memiliki banyak sekali nilai positif yaitu :
• Menghapus image yang diberikan dari film-film yang ada, bahwa sebuah kencan pasti akan diakhir dengan hubungan seks
• Kencan bertujuan untuk saling mengenal calon pasangan, sekaligus mengenal diri kita sendiri mengenai perasaan yang kita miliki untuk lawan jenis
• Ayah atau Ibu bisa menunjukkan bagaimana cara kencan yang masih dalam batas normal yang sesuai dengan usia dan kematangan remaja, misalnya bahwa bergandengan tangan bisa memberikan kenikmatan jika dilakukan dengan perasaan, bahkan hanya dengan mengobrol juga akan menjadi sebuah momen yang baik untuk kencan.
• Ayah dapat menunjukkan bagaimana contoh pria yang baik dan sopan saat mengajak remaja putrinya berkencan, misalnya berpakaian sopan, mau mendengarkan dia berbicara, membukakan pintu saat di tempat ramai. Ibu juga bisa menunjukkan kepada remaja putranya bagaimana seharusnya mereka bertindak jika suatu saat mereka mengajak teman perempuan mereka untuk berkencan, bagaimana sikap dan perilaku seorang perempuan yang baik saat diajak kencan.

Bagi saya, iden ini luar biasa. Kegiatan yang sederhana, karena kita tidak harus mengajak anak remaja kita ke restoran mewah, tapi momen yang diperoleh adalah sangat istimewa. Saya berniat untuk mencobanya.

5. Berikan informasi yang akurat sesuai dengan usianya.
Jangan memaksakan berbagi cerita tentang kehamilan di luar nikah dengan anak usia 9 tahun. Atau tentang burung bangau yang membawa bayi untuk dimasukkan ke perut ibu dan diceritakan kepada anak remaja kita.

6. Berilah penjelasan mengenai nilai hidup/values Anda mengenai seks.
Ini adalah tanggung jawab utama Anda sebagai orang tua. Jika anak remaja bisa mengerti dan memahami nilai-nilai positif yang kita berikan, maka hal tersebut akan menjadi ’pagar pelindung’ mereka dari hal-hal yang tidak baik. Misalnya nilai kehidupan bahwa suami/istri adalah satu-satunya orang dimana kita bisa melakukan hubungan seks dengan kenikmatan dan kepuasan yang seharusnya. Bahwa ada batas-batas saat kita berpacaran, dimana mereka harus bisa menghormati diri sendiri dengan cara menjaga diri saat berpacaran, misalnya tidak membiarkan dirinya sembarangan ’disentuh’ oleh sembarang lawan jenis.

7. Ciptakan suasana nyaman dengan cara mencari ide untuk mengajak bicara di saat anak remaja sedang santai, atau sambil jalan keluar jajan dan sebagainya. Pesan yang harus diterima anak remaja kita adalah bahwa berbicara mengenai seks degan orang tua adalah hal yang menarik dan menyenangkan.

Mungkin sebagian pembaca akan melihat kegiatan ini adalah kegiatan yang sederhana dan akan mudah dilakukan. Dan sebagian lagi akan berpikir seribu kali untuk mencoba melakukannya karena merasa hal ini adalah hal yang berat untuk dilakukan.

Saya yakin para penulis diatas, sudah pernah mencoba mempraktekkan hal yang mereka tulis kepada anak remaja mereka sendiri. Saya pun sudah mulai mencoba mempraktekkan dengan remaja putri saya.

Selama kita melakukannya dengan pemikiran bahwa ini semua demi kepentingan anak remaja kita yang sangat kita cintai, maka yakinkan diri Anda bahwa semuanya akan bisa dilalui dengan baik.

It’s not easy but it’s possible.

Slide presentasi dari posting ini dapat dilihat dan diunduh pada : http://goo.gl/JIvKd

The Millenium Parenthood – Day 05 : KOMUNIKASI – Berbicara Tentang Seks Dengan Remaja (Bagian 1)

“Ora na azu nwa” – It takes a village to raise a child (Nigerian proverb)

Saat kita memasuki masa puber, pernahkah orang tua kita melakukan ‘Sex Talks’ atau berbincang-bincang mengenai seks ? Mungkin hanya sedikit yang pernah mengalami hal tersebut, karena pada saat itu (sekitar 25-35 tahun yang lalu), tidaklah lazim untuk membicarakan seks secara terbuka dengan anak-anak.

Tetapi anak remaja era Milenium sudah berbeda. Mereka sudah terpapar dengan segala kemajuan teknologi sehingga begitu mudah mengakses berbagai macam informasi dalam bentuk video, tulisan, gambar. Ditambah dengan televisi yang menyuguhkan beragam acara yang selayaknya hanya boleh ditonton orang dewasa, tapi diputar di sore hari saat anak-anak masih beraktifitas.

Seluruh media tersebut mempercepat pengetahuan remaja tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan hubungan pria dan wanita, pacaran, menikah dan lain-lain. Sehingga tidak heran jika mereka mudah masuk dalam pergaulan yang ‘terlalu bebas’.

Sebuah tulisan tentang free sex di Bandung (dapat dilihat di http://deep.dragonadopters.com) mengungkapkan di tahun 2002 tercatat ada 104 kasus hubungan seks pra-nikah, dan setiap tahunnya terus meningkat. Alasan yang dilontarkan adalah : upaya menyalurkan dorongan seks (58% dari responden), tanda ungkapan cinta (38%), dipaksa pacar (27%), supaya dianggap modern (21%).

Itu hanya data sekilas kondisi di Bandung, padahal kasus seks pra nikah terjadi di berbagai tempat. Misalnya di Cikarang, yang merupakan komunitas pekerja yang merantau dari berbagai daerah, pasti banyak kasus hubungan seks pra nikah, belum lagi para remaja SMP dan SMA saat ini yang sudah bisa menukar diri dengan setumpuk uang untuk pulsa atau handphone.

Tentu saja tidak pernah sedikitpun kita berharap bahwa anak remaja kita termasuk dari salah satu orang seperti itu. Namun apa tindakan preventif yang sudah kita buat ? Apakah kita sudah mengesampingkan rasa tabu dan malu untuk bicara tentang seks dengan anak remaja kita ? Apakah kita sudah meluangkan waktu untuk menjelaskan mengenai seks kepada anak remaja kita ?

Sebenarnya apa sih yang disebut dengan ‘Sex Talks’ atau pembicaraan mengenai seks ? Inti pembicaraan seharusnya tidak jauh dari penjelasan mengenai masa puber dan apa yang akan mereka hadapi setelah melewati masa puber.

Maka ada beberapa yang bisa kita ambil dari tulisan Denise Witmer (http://www.parentingteens.about.com) mengenai apa saja yang perlu diberitahukan kepada anak remaja kita tentang seks :

1. Remaja perlu belajar tentang tubuh dan organ seksual. Bukan seperti mata pelajaran biologi di sekolah, tetapi menjelaskan dengan bahasa sehari-hari mengenai fungsi dan perubahan yang terjadi. Banyak blog ataupun website yang saat ini menyediakan informasi mengenai hal tersebut.
2. Remaja perlu menyadari mengenai seksualitasnya dengan body imagenya. Mereka perlu tahu bahwa orang akan melihat mereka ‘menarik’ jika memiliki tubuh yang sehat dan bugar, bukan tubuh yang kurus namun hasil dari penyakit bulimia/anoreksia.
3. Remaja perlu mengetahui bahwa tidak salah jika memiliki perasaan ‘cinta’ terhadap lawan jenis karena memang hal tersebut normal. Sekaligus menjelaskan bahwa ada beberapa tindakan fisik yang memang bisa menyatakan perasaan tersebut, tentunya dalam batas-batas yang sesuai dengan usia dan kematangan remaja.
4. Remaja perlu diberitahu dengan jelas bagaimana seorang wanita bisa hamil, dan merupakan hasil hubungan antara pria dan wanita yang sudah terikat dalam sebuah ikatan pernikahan.
5. Remaja perlu diberitahu apa hubungannya antara hubungan seks dengan hubungan antara pria dan wanita yang dijalankan dengan komitmen dan keseriusan. Sekaligus dijelaskan mengenai resiko hamil muda dan penyakit akibat hubungan seksual jika melakukan hubungan seks pra-nikah.
6. Remaja perlu ditingkatkan kesadaran dirinya agar tidak menjadi korban pelecehan seksual oleh teman maupun orang dewasa di sekelilingnya.

Cukup banyak hal yang harus dijelaskan, dan yang pasti memerlukan persiapan penuh dari orang tua saat menjelaskan, karena kita harus membekali diri dengan pengetahuan yang memadai dan pertanyaan yang mungkin timbul dari mereka.

Namun ada beberapa tips praktis yang saya ambil dari SimpleMom.net dan digabungkan dengan pengalaman saya mengenai cara menyampaikan hal-hal tersebut kepada anak remaja kita :

1. Berikan fakta yang sebenarnya dengan bahasa yang seharusnya. Misalnya menggunakan kata ’penis’ dan bukan ’burung’, menggunakan kata ’vagina’, dan beberapa istilah dasar yang memang sudah seharusnya mereka ketahui. Jika kita tidak malu mengucapkannya, maka mereka juga akan belajar bahwa mereka juga tidak perlu malu menggunakan istilah-istilah tersebut untuk bertanya kepada kita.
2. Gunakan metode diskusi dan sharing, dikombinasikan dengan membagi pengetahuan. Terutama diskusi tentang pacaran, hubungan seks yang belum waktunya, kehamilan dan lain-lain. Perlu disinggung bahwa hubungan seks dan kehamilan bukan merupakan peristiwa yang menjijikkan jika dilakukan pada waktu yang tepat dan dengan orang yang tepat, seperti suami/istri kita.
3. Berikan gambaran mengenai konsekuensi dari pergaulan bebas. Apa risiko hamil muda bagi sang ibu, bagaimana kehidupan rumah tangga jika dipaksa menikah karena kehamilan diluar nikah sementara usia masih SMA atau masih bersekolah.
4. Gunakan bahasa sederhana dan ciptakan suasana yang nyaman dan relaks. Suasana yang serius akan membuat anak remaja kita menjadi tegang, seolah-olah sedang diadili.
5. Yakinkan anak remaja kita bahwa orang tua adalah pihak yang paling tepat untuk bertanya mengenai hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan seks dan ’pintu’ kita akan selalu terbuka untuk mereka. Hal ini paling penting disampaikan untuk mencegah mereka mencari orang luar untuk dimintai pendapat/nasehat yang mungkin akan menuntun mereka ke arah yang kurang baik.

Di bagian berikutnya, kita akan mencoba melihat beberapa ide sederhana dan menarik untuk menyampaikan mengenai seks kepada anak remaja kita.

Slide presentasi dari posting ini dapat dilihat dan diunduh pada : http://goo.gl/tmmc3