Summer Hummer 2010 Update #4

Ohhhhhh Kaaaaaaayyyy. As I write this is Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Dallas is happening, Festa’s “Hudson Swing Affair” is happening. It is mind-blowingly GORRRRGEOUSSSS weather here in DC, and ta da! Here’s the last of the Summah Hummah updates.

Okay so lessee, already told ya about Strictly’s and routines … so Jack and Jill’s finals and placements:

Newcomer Finalists:
Lionel Marks, Anthony Perocchi, Andrew Maury, Alex Ferguson, Andrew Maslin, Paul Babineau, John Nye, Tony Walker, Chris Sacks, Steve Yi; and Stephanie Courtemanche, Vanessa Karonack, Mary Harvey, Megan FErguson, Kristin Bianco, Maggie Jamolowski, Brittni Rea, Megan Webb, Christina Leuci, and Jessie Rosenberg.

And the winners were:
1st Andrew and Stephanie
2nd John and Mary
3rd Anthony and Megan
4th Steve and Maggie
5th Paul and Vanessa

Novice Finalists:
Vernon Smith, Nicolas Besnier, Phouvanh Meckasinh Gesundheit, Brian Linacre, Matt Smith, Heath Burns, Roberto Corporan, Stanley Seguy, Donnie Neron, Miguel Valle, Jerome Fernandez, Tyler Sullivan, and Justin Spencer; and Marina Motronenko, Alice Diggs, Emma Katzberg, Laetitia Blanchet, Trista Eazell, Natalie Kuczma, Kiona Leah, Tracy Gauthier, Kelli Kilgore, Laurie Goldfarb, Anna Reguero, Michelle Fletcher, Sarah Morgan.

1st Stanley and Laetitia
2nd Justin and Kelli
3rd Jerome and Kiona
4th Matt and Marina
5th Roberto and Emma

Intermediate Finalists:
Neil Crosbie, Cory Vingl, Morry El Badry, Mitch Marcello Paris via Pittsburgh, Cameron Crook, Jay Hull, Hrafnkell (Hrafn! Hrafn! Woof-Woof! Grrrr) Palsson, Jerry Wang, Doug Morgan, Glen Acheampong, Bradley Wheeler, Josh MacDonald, Steve Broskey; and Sarah Richard, Anna Lumsden, Beverly Brunerie, Wendy Cart, Daria Mikloukhina, Valerie Armstrong, Emeline Rochefeuille, Quenna Wong, Jessica Johnson, Anna Novoa, Kathleen Armstrong, Aly Yorek, Tracey Melin (Alts: Will Burbage, Dan Devan, Melena Bronson and Natalie Fisher)

And Winners ….
1st Cameron and Anna
2nd Glen and Emeline
3rd Mitch and Sara
4th Neil and Kathleen
5th Cory and Aly

Advanced Finalists:
Chris Lo, Evan Schwartz, Julien Valier, Steve Hall, Peter Bailey, Steven Hunt, Billy Montgomery, Rome Slater, Rob Glover, Brendon Rasmussen, Gilbert Rodriguez; and April Sakaluk, Erica Smith, Joanne Jephcott, Caroline Amblard, Tori Ellington, Lemery Rollins, Kara Frenzel, Priscilla Brown, Chevy Slater, Samantha Fernandez, and Connie Gauthier (Alts: Todd Sumrall, Dima, Abi Wood, and Lori Wahl)  (oh yeah and the Judges for Advanced were Anne Fleming, Donna Roesel, Deborah Szekely, Chuck, Arjay, Jess and Tess).

Advanced Winners Were:
1st Brandon and Lemery
2nd Rob and Tori
3rd Julien and Sammie
4th Steve Hunt and Erica
5th Peter and April

Allstar Finalists:
Alfred, JB, Brian Faust, Rob Jackson, Doug Rousar, Chuck, Greg Scott, Sean McKeever, Nick, and Trey; and Yuna, Adair, Malia, Tall One, short one, Rhoni, Courtney, Taletha, Melissa Rollins, and Kelly Faust. (Alts: Haider, Jake, Krista, and Rebecca) (Judges for Allstar were Cordoba, Donna Roesel, Rutz, Szekely, Jess, and Sarah).

And Allstar Winners:
1st Sean and The Short One
2nd Chuck and Malia
3rd Trey and Courtney
4th Rob and Yuna
5th Nick and Rhoni

Saturday night there was also a World Cup thing for which I do not seem to have taken very good notes, maybe cause I didn’t quite get what it was about. It was a strictly, which you danced with the same stricly partner you’d danced with the night before. How you got chosen to dance in this division I never did figure out. There was a couple from each country present, and three or four or five couples from the USA, I kept bellowing ICELAND! ICELAND! since the entire Icelandic community (of two people) was in the room but not in the World Cup until finally Gudrun Maria Jonesdottr (I love her name! It’s even more beautiful than Hrafnkel and has more vowels) crawled across the floor to say Liza thank you but please stop yelling Iceland Iceland – we’re not dancing we’re students and can’t afford to enter). Which I guess means you didn’t qualify you just entered in the name of your country. I dunno. In any case, some of the couples were Rob and Sammie, Doug and Yenni, Maxence and Emeline, Peter and Anna, Sean and Tori, Jerome and Anna. I *think* Emeline won this – pretty sure, since I think she won everything she entered last weekend. She is adoorable. She should just win for adorableness. So I guess France won the Summer Hummer World Cup.

Also on Sunday – the Golden Ticket tour. I’m enjoying this Golden Ticket tour. I’ve said before but I’ll say it again: something about the way this comp is set up brings out a sweatier, more excited energy and surprising creativity from people you’d never have expected to have it in ’em. Not sure why this is – maybe cause the judges are right there in your face raising their paddles for or against; or it’s going two at a time like a boxing match; or the tight circle of people at your feet cheering and jeering; maybe it’s the “dance or die” stakes where you get this one chance or you are *out* baby out; maybe it’s being paired with a person from another division, someone you’re likely to have never danced with before; maybe it’s the chance to continue to the Open with that big shiny pot ‘o gold at the end. Dunno what it is but it is different. Very cool. It’s interesting to watch the judges’ vote, too – to see what each person likes (or doesn’t like) without time to think too much, voting their gut reaction. That’s fun. The judges this time were Royston, Myles, Taletha, Stephanie, and Chuck – and I want to announce that Chuck Brown takes the prize for getting EVERY SINGLE VOTE wrong. If everybody was blue Chuck was red, they were red he was blue. This got funnier and funnier the longer it went on – got to be you were more interested in how Chuck was gonna vote than which  couple was gonna win. Very funny. because he was consistent, consistently wrong. I guess you can’t call it “wrong,” just that Chuck appears to prefer any couple everybody else doesn’t prefer. I want Chuck to judge me from now on.

Golden Ticket Placements:
1st Abi and Ben Plante – this was Abi at her over-the-top soulful fiery wildest best
2nd Emeline and Jerome – Soooo elegant (and so funny! When the judges raised their paddles in that final round and they were finally beat they cried and threw a fit stamping the ground and clawing at each other making distraught faces)

Invitational JJ:

This was FUN. Of course! With added funness, cause at Summer Hummer the Invitational guys get to pick their songs beforehand – WAAAAY cool! I love this. First cause it is interesting to see who likes what kinda music.   What, you were hoping I was gonna make snarky comments about somebody’s musical tastes? Not in writing.

Some of them pick REALLY great songs. And because they’ve picked the music (usually several songs, the DJ then picks one from the list) this often makes for seriously great dancing. And I mean seriously gorgeous great: you get the best wcs dancers in the world dancing to their favorite songs – wow! Makes for some breathtaking creativity and wit.

And by Sunday, when Champion JJ finals are almost always held, these folks have been on their feet working since Thursday (or Wednesday, or the entire previous week, or year, or 25 years) not to mention having done a routine the night before for which they had to cram in practice between privates, dj-ing late LATE nite, workshops, floor trials at 7 am. So I’m all in favor of making their creative process *easier* not harder. Makes for a much more inspiring, educational, mesmerizing show, too.

Invitational couples were:
– Cordoba and Jessica;
– Brennar and Stephanie Batista,
– Myles and Torri (wow Torri’s dancing is just blowing me away – so CLEAN! So quick! Smooth, correct, precise – aughghgh!);
– Ben and Deborah;
Parker and Sarah (PARKER!!!! THIS WAS SOOOO GOOOOOD!!! Sarah is pure magic … but Parker! Parker got up there and from the first moment you knew you were about to witness an amazing thing. So soulful, so filled with heart, beauty. What a treat!);
– Kyle and Rutz (they are SO good – they are both so so SO good. And so goofy! I love when these two draw each other);
– Jordan and Tessa (baaaaad-ass X-rated dirty dancing, complete with Tessa’s beautiful lines, and Jordan’s funny faces and miming (maybe it’s Marcel Marceau he reminds me of, more than Charlie Chaplin);
– Maxence and Jill Dimarco;
– Robert Royston and Tat (HA!! OMGAWD this was hilarious! Guess what song Royston chose? Mwa-hahahaha gawd! oh my goodness … Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline! Okay I’m losing it here again, just writing the name of the song. This was an inspired choice. And what can I say – you should have seen Robert Royston and Tatiana Mollman skipping from one end of the floor to the other, ten standing side by side, looking out at the audience, conducting a sing-along “Hands, Touching haaaands, Touching Meee!, Touching youuuu!” Priceless. These are two Very. Funny. People.
– And the final couple, Arjay and Jen, absolutely gorgeous GORGEOUS choreography by each of them, weaving, sliding, snapping in and out and off of each other – brilliant dancing.

Invitational Placements:
1st Parker and Sarah
2nd Robert Royston and Tatiana
3rd Ben and Deborah
4th Joran and Tessa
5th Kyle and Melissa

Oh, and the famous annual Summah Humah Pool Party.

But first, I have a question for Black people out there: Do Black people have a problem with bugs? Like a special allergy or something? I ask because this year at the pool party there was an attack of some horrible flying-insect thing, a stinging bee or black-fly or something. It was like a plague, a thick swarm of them dropping down like pellets from the sky. They kept getting stuck in your hair, dive-bombing into your ears, softly alighting on your shoulders and then biting a big chunk of your flesh, stinging you on your back, appearing suddenly on your lip or getting breathed into your mouth – they were everywhere. But there was a table of Black folks over between the food and the dj booth – looked like a lot of older relatives and friends of the competitors maybe – and these folks were having a TERRIBLE time, a battle. The whole table was swatting and smacking at things, each other. the chairs, the plates of food, wiggling and twisting all over the place with furious faces, jumping up and swinging at the air like they were gonna kill someone.  There was a war going on over there. So I was just wondering.

As for the rest of the pool party – food, swimming, limbo, and karaoke, all fun even if a bit overshadowed by the plague sent down upon us.  And here are pictures so far, loads more to upload:

So – that’s almost it for Summer Hummer. Little bit of hotel stuff I’ll tell you about next time.

We’re in Phoenix now, as I’m finishing this – Desert City Swing. I’ll send a Phoenix update later!


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