Chicago Classic 2009 Update #1

About the hotel: not particularly fancy, just a standard Marriott. But it is three miles (10 minutes in the free hotel shuttle) from O’Hare airport which makes life so much easier (unless of course you’re Kelly Hull and fly into the other airport all the way across town, an hour’s trek from the hotel on public transportation), cause it means no rental car, taxi, or lengthy drive, which matter most at the end of the event when we’re dawg tired and spacey (more than normal) and want to stumble onto a plane and fly home.

Also about the hotel: staff are great – every single person we dealt with was friendly, helpful, smiley. Also also about the hotel: the sheets on the bed go the whole length of the bed!  And tuck in at both ends! So your feet aren’t sticking out one end, face grossed out on a mattress pad at the other.

Also also also about the hotel: great breakfast buffet which runs till noon, great dinner buffet with many chocolate desserts, all right in the lobby and reasonably priced. The event provides a hospitality room right next to the competitors’ meeting room with bagels, cream cheese, fruit, muffins, orange juice, and tanks of coffee.  There’s a grocery store right across the street. So you have options for not starving yay! Inexpensively, too! The previous weekend (MadJam) we subsisted entirely on purple Hershey’s kisses.

Genieboy has watched enough of himself on video and received enough feedback to have reached the conclusion that his dancing is what Mario called “staccato” – meaning sharp quick movements. And since west-coast is a flowy dance Genieboy has decided that if he wants to advance in Advanced he is going to have to force himself to dance in what he calls “Limp Dick” style. So that’s his latest thing: learning to dance Limp Dick style.

Sean and Brandi brought their very chunky, fat-legged, adorable little bruiser of a baby to Chicago! Dylan is beautiful. He looks just like his father, even makes the same expressions. Huge blue eyes. Just gorgeous. And Brandi looks beautiful! So happy! So proud of her cute baby. He’s six months old, such a fun stage where he’s noticing that there’s an interesting world out there, other things besides his own bodily functions. That’s more than I can say for some adults I’m thinking of.

Brandi and Ronnie’s routine is beautiful. So clean! She (both of them) are an amazement. Brandi danced a strictly with Jordan – they were both cracking up – giggling that made them keep bending over holding their stomachs, dropping their hands and turning away trying to regain composure, avoiding each others’ faces so they could hold it together and finish the dance.  On Sunday Brandi drew Jason Barnes for the JJ – that was also terrific.  So smooth, subtle, connected. Mesmerizing. I couldn’t take pictures – had to put my camera down to stare.

Forgot to mention!  Nice group of juniors! Nowhere near as many as at Capital, but some, anyway – maybe 10 or 15? Juniors make an event MUCH more funner.

Nancy Tuzzolino (co-director, with Jim Becker) sang this weekend. The anthem for opening ceremonies and duets with a pianist friend for the Saturday night show.  What a gorgeous voice! Also on Saturday night: a modern-dance group of 10-15 young girls (8 – 12 years old) performed two routines;  Jimmy Mulligan and his ballroom partner (didn’t catch her name) performed a waltz; Brianne and Andrew did their (juniors) routine; and a group of old fogies (from the Chicago club) performed a Frankie Valley lip-synched tribute – funny and wonderful, all songs I grew up with and love. I sang along too loudly to Walk Like A Man, Sherry, Rag Doll, Big Girls Don’t Cry.

Our DC crew: Kelly Hull (she won in Advanced! With zero sleep, plugged ears, and drugged up on an entire pharmacy of coughing sneezing sinus ear-infection medications), Rob Jackson (who didn’t make finals in Advanced which no one can understand – makes no sense – he looked fantastic – he even looked fantastic while receiving a surprise upside-down foot in his face during a basic sugar-push), Keith (who made finals and drew Lara!), Lara (who made finals and drew Keith!), both Orion and Rebecca (who nailed their routine yet again), Khy (who made finals!), Michael Blackburn (who NEVER sits down, the man is an energizer bunny), GB and me.

Cody and Tracy Melin did a showcase routine in which he threw her waaaaaaaay up in the air where she flipped over and landed back down neatly in his arms. He’s huge and hunky with tattoos and a ponytail, she’s teeny tiny with a teency weency six-pack not big enough to contain internal organs which all the women sitting around me were bitching and muttering about throughout the routine.  Cody and Tracy received three violations because they danced in jeans, which we were told in the Competitors’ Meeting is now, according to wsdc rules, no longer allowed. (This includes JJ’s and Strictly’s, too, so bear this in mind for future comps).

Fun comp! I took a fatrillion pictures which I’ll upload to Facebook and send the link.

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