Up Close: Dancing with the Stars

Marianna mingling with Maksim and Val of “Dancing with the Stars”

Yes, that would be the Chmerkovskiy Brothers of “Dancing with the Stars!” My daughter, Marianna Riccio is happy to be sandwiched between Valentin (known as Val) and older brother, Maksim. Her friend, Jade looks happy too! 

Bring on the glamour! I’m a fan of “Dancing with the Stars.” I love the energetic frenzy of dancing, live music, personalities and sparkling performances, beginning with the parade of costumes at the start of the show. As my eyes follow the rainbow line-up of glittering color I think of myself walking on stage in one of those costumes. For me, that is a vicarious moment of fun and imagination, a type of window shopping to a Diva fashion show. After a day at work, I welcome this diversion of fantasy.

In reality, these past few months Marianna has bumped into Maksim at special events. His brother is also a talented dancer and a rap artist, so Marianna shared some of the songs she wrote with them. Last year, when my daughter was invited to Mya’s birthday party with the “Dancing of the Stars” cast, she took her parents along too. Lucky us!! It was a treat to chat with some of the cast, like Cheryl Burke and see them interacting together. It was a familiar vibe and I felt like I was back in time, hanging out with my fellow performers of The Dean Martin Golddggers. At any rate, I thought Mya was a sure winner, but Donny Osmond surprised everyone with a spectacular last dance and took the coveted mirror trophy home. It was a sweet moment when his sister, Marie joined him at the finale. This made me reminisce on a time when my sisters (The Alberici Sisters) performed on a Telethon that Donny & Marie hosted. The Osmonds are such an inspirational and talented family!

Enjoy this “retro” TV footage of the Alberici Sisters on the “Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon singing “In the Mood”

<a title="Alberici Sisters, The former Dean Martin Golddiggers, "Rat Pack" book" href="http://

Who will take home the “Dancing With The Stars” trophy this season?

Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of the Pussy Cat Dolls has been a front-runner, dazzling us with her stunning performances. She has shown much dedication and has been a joy to watch. Maksim has worked well with ESPN reporter, Erin Andrews. She has shown much improvement but I think our Olympic gold medal winner, Evan Lysacek will surprise us with his athleticism during the final free-style dance.

Of course we can’t forget the entertainment of the hosts and expert judges, who are humorous and dramatic while each contestant strives to do their best. The chemistry between the judges, Carrie Anne Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli is a good mix. Bruno’s demonstrative explanations is a complement to the hosts, Tom Bergeron’s dry wit and Brooke Burke’s poised beauty. Sometimes, I even get mesmerized by the magic of a performance and if the spirit moves me, I call in a vote.

On some occasions, I take out my high-heeled dance shoes to dance with my husband, Carmine. We never took serious dance lessons together but we find it fun and romantic to do our own thing on the dance floor!

DANCE & EXERCISE: As a Lifestyle Educator at Kaiser Permanente, every week I teach a Dance Exercise class where we sweat and burn fat while moving our bodies to salsa music and then sculpt our bodies with some Pilates. This week as a representative of KP, I demonstrated various types of fitness at the Princess Cruises headquarters as part of their “Princess Healthy Living” campaign. During their lunch break, employees were in the flow as they participated in Tai-Chi techniques, Yoga three-part breathing and learned how to strengthen their core muscles. Then, I put on some Latin music as they moved their hips with simple cha, cha, and rumba steps. From my view, it was a grand site!

Put on some music and when no one is watching let your body move and groove with a sense of freedom and joy. Breathe and find your own rhythm, get your circulation going, de-stress and feel alive. Why not? It’s your moment and you’re the Star!

Healthfully yours,

Maria Lauren (AKA) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog



Alberici Sisters

Marianna Riccio is currently entertaining as a solo artist and with the Alberici Sisters in “Showstoppers.” The Alberici Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg are authors of the book, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” about the Icons of the 20th Century and that includes the legendary Rat Pack!

Contact: YGTPower@aol.com

Marianna’s Website    My Website

Exercise Schedule at Kaiser Permanente


Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Riccio-You-Got-The-PowerThis is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

10 thoughts on “Up Close: Dancing with the Stars

  1. Pingback: Dancing With The Stars, family and friends for health! | YourPowerfulLIFE Blog

  2. I’ll say it again, with your contacts from show business, and your definite talent and still amazing energy limber and rhythmic body I think you absolutely should be on that show!!!!! I think it every year…. Even though I don’t get it on TV here in Greece, I can catch it sometimes on internet…It’s a wonderful show and definitely has given many dance studios new life while giving people a great way to tone… I’ve always thought dance is one of the very best exercises in the world.

    • Robyn, thanks for your enthusiasm, I can feel it all the way from Greece! Don’t think I have the celebrity needed for ‘Dancing With The Stars’ but I do love to dance!
      Remember the times when all ‘the girls’ got together to dance after our shows just for fun? Come to think of it, we did some singing and dancing with the stars as part of our job… How lucky was that?!!
      Sending you a smile 🙂 and a hug.

  3. Pingback: Weight of the Nation: Obesity Prevention « YourPowerfulLIFE Blog

  4. Dancing With The Stars has expanded reality tv show dance popularity. My experience meeting Maksim and his brother was definitely cool! My best friend Jade and I were at Teddy’s nightclub at the Roosevelt Hotel (one of the oldest and most classic hotels in Hollywood, CA) It was about 1:45 AM when we were leaving, and I lost Jade, so I decided to sit on a bench close to the valet, where the most expensive and luxurious cars are parked. Then to my surprise, I received a tap on my shoulder. Celebrities do look different in person, so at first I thought it was just a hot guy trying to say, “whats up!” But then once I realized it was Maksim, I pretended I didnt know who he was until his brother was like, “Oh, he’s on a little show, not sure if you’ve heard of it, called Dancing With The Stars.'” (hehe) Then, I said “Ohhhhhhhhhh, that’s why you look familiar…my mom and grandmom love you on the show”…The brother replied, “Yeah, they’re his biggest fans!” lol. They were very kind and decided to take us for a ride to our car parked at another location in the Kodak Theatre lot. It was there in a more private location, where the paparrazi werent around, that they listened to my original music and we listened to Val’s (Maksim’s brother’s) music too! He is a talented rapper! Move over eminem! haha…Anyways, dancing with the stars has made the vitality of ballroom dance popular again and not for just the “old fuddy duddys!” It has brought glamour to the TV sets and if anyone knows me, they know I’m a diva when it comes to glamour and dance!
    xox to Mama Maria,

    • Darling daughter, thanks for sharing your little story with us. Dancing With The Stars reminds me of the grand variety show era and The Dean Martin Comedy Hour. It was such fun to be a regular on Dean’s TV show, you never knew what to expect! Our producer, Greg Garrison included most of the mistakes in the show just for laughs … even one of mine!! This was reality TV in it’s infancy.
      Marianna, I hope all your adventures are good ones. I’m always here for you.
      Love, Mama Maria

  5. Dancing has always brought joy to my heart and soul. This week I took a tap dance class with some talented and free spirited woman. It was a lot of fun and quite a work out! During the class at Agoura Hills Dance and Performing Arts Center, which frequently hosts rehearsals for “Dancing With The Stars”, I joked with my teacher about literally dancing in the same spot where Pamela Anderson and other contestants of the show had danced. “Dancing with the Stars” and my instructor, Betsy Melber, have been a source of inspiration to many and I am happy to see woman keeping their minds and bodies active with dance and other forms of fitness. Of course, my biggest inspiration is you, Maria. As a Group Fitness Instructor at Total Woman Gym and Day Spa, I am grateful to have been able to follow in your footsteps by training and motivating woman to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. Love and blessing, Linda

    • “Dancing With The Stars”
      One of my absolute favorite shows!! I love it for so many reasons, but I especially love to watch the transformation that happens with the “Celebrity ” dancers… especially the ones who have never danced before. It truly seems to change people for the better. I think most people think dance is so much easier than it really is, and seeing the suprise and shock when reality hits.. Their spirits and bodies truly transform week after week, as they are challenged to move through blocks, and express themselves with their amazingly talented “Pros”…. I am in awe of these Pros, and the show itself is an inspiration. I am always deeply moved by the dancers and choreography on this show. To be able to be part of this show, and have cast and crew use my facility, has been a joy, an honor and a huge thrill. I am proud to offer so many dance classes for adults, and will continue to do so, and would love to expand into the ballroom arena as well!! Thank you for your kind words Linda! I love having you all these years in our spirited adult tap classes, and all the fun we have had. I look forward to continuing and expanding and providing the space for dancers of all ages, and “Dancing With The Stars” for many years to come. I am so grateful to have dance in my life everyday, and for people around the world, embrace dance, and be exposed to it by wonderful, amazing shows like “Dancing With The Stars” every week. Dance is Alive and Well, and I encourage everyone to move to the beat, and it is never too late to start!!! Thanks Linda!! love, Betsy

      • Brava to Linda and Betsy for tearing up the dance floor with your tap dancing!! I’ve seen you in action at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza … Way to go! Dancing is the best aerobic exercise I know for burning fat and having fun too! Thanks for being an example of youthful energy in the “Golden Years” or at any age!
        Continued blessings,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s