Summer Hummer 2011 Update #1

We have a generator! Bill says the hotel is ready for us – we can stay holed up here at the special dance rate, and Bill will keep the floors down until the storm is done with us. This is FUN! Can you imagine a funner place to be stuck in a hurricane than in a hotel with all your favorite people, a floor, DJ’s, and a generator? Instead of a pool party Bill and Yuna should have a hurricane every year.

Summer Hummer is in Framingham, 20 miles west of Boston so 20 miles closer to where Hurricane Irene is scheduled to touch down sometime tonight. Local news here is showing Red Cross shelters set up, people in long lines stocking up on water, batteries, candles, medicine.  We flew in from DC on Thursday and when we asked the agent if he thought we’d have problems returning home on Sunday he burst out laughing, saying all east coast airports would be evacuated, airplanes moved into the midwest since, as airplanes are made to be lifted and tossed around by wind it might not a great idea to leave them sitting in the middle of a hurricane. So no, we weren’t going to be flying anywhere on Sunday. Or Monday. The moment we landed we got an email telling us all AirTran flights had been cancelled Saturday through Monday. So la voila! Here we are! At the Sheraton Framingham until who knows when! The same hotel which last year leaked hours of toilet water from the room above us into our clothes, dance shoes, toiletries, computers, suitcases, bed, food …

So far we are having a blast. Yesterday was Strictly’s (Adv/Allstar and Pro), JJ Prelims (Inter and Adv), and Showcase.

Adv/Allstar Prelim Judges:
Ben Morris, Melissa Rutz, Sean McKeever, Michael Kielbasa, Katrina Branson, Larry Mongeau, and Chief Judge Maira Pineda

Chevy
Estelle
Khy
Catherine Cogut
Katrina Ostrenski
Tammy Greene
Mrs. Anna Lumsden Balcom
Tammy Rosen
Abi Leggette
Linda Leverock
Maria Ford
Angelique Early
Sarah Richard
April Sakaluk
Priscilla Brown
Daria Mikloukhina
Sue Lambell
Kimiko
Susan Flaminio
Brianne Cline
Yvonne Dodson
Larysa
Rose Bartolini
Missy Ralston
Nina El-Badry
Dawn Sgarlata
Tashina

Mitch Marcello
Matt Smith
Koichi
Glen Acheampong
Hugo
Ed Francell
Ro Vaughn
Genieboy
Akil
Rajeev
Stephen Hall
Evan Schwartz
Evan Macdonald
Richard Smith
Alex Kosiorek
Marcus Schwartz
Josh MacDonald
Cory
Will Montgomery
David Ward
Bradley Wheeler
Denis Riley
Brandon Rasmussen
Dave Raines
Peter Fradley
Randy Payne
Clint Glasgow
Kumar

Showcase was really good. Others may have predictions but I have no idea whatsoever how placements for this division might stack up. It’s a NASDE division and the Open is only three months away so it will be interesting to see what happens with these couples.

An interesting Judging Panel for this division :
Anne Fleming, Didier Jean-Francois, Donna Roesel, Jennifer Lyons, Larry Mongeau, Gary Jobst, and Chief Judge Maira

1. Greg and Lemery – We’ve now seen this beautiful winning routine all over the country (and at home). Just keeps getting better.

2. Brandon Lee Detty and Yvonne Dodson – First time I’ve seen this one – loved it! Love their music (some wonderful Irish step-dance-meets-rock-and-roll something or other) and loved their combination of step dancing (only a little taste – not so much that it overshadowd the swing of the routine) with west coast. They’re both tall and lean, too, so you wanted them to stand there in tandem and lift those mile-long legs Riverdance style. Seemed well rehearsed and clean to me but I was glued to the camera so might have missed bobbles if there were any.

3. Myles and Tessa – Only second time I’ve seen this (Dave Matthews – forget the name of the song) but I love it. Love their choreography, love their tricks, love how prolific they are, love their taste in music, love to watch Tessa move.

4. Robert and Nicola – Their new routine! It was beautiful at Swing Fling but was WAY beautifuller last night – they changed it and it’s great, my favorite of their routines in recent years.

5. Arjay and Jen – This routine looked way changed too (I saw it last at Liberty). I’m probably embarrassing myself – it might have been an entirely different routine. The music sounded different – was it? Or am I imagining things? Their costumes were black and neon but more refined and elegant, less baggy hip-hop, less yellow (Jen didn’t have the bright yellow wife-beater this time), the look was toned-down and tighter-fitting, cleaner lines. Whether it was the same routine revamped or a new one I preferred last night’s version.

6. Benji and Torri – Same amazing amazing routine they’ve been performing all year since the Open and what can you say? They’re astonishing. So so sososososo FAST. Sheesh. I guess I do have one prediction for placements – they’ll probably win. Then again on our circuit you never know.

More about last night in the next update … now we’re on our way down to the ballroom for Newcomer, Novice, Allstar and Champion JJ’s. Then the Hurricane Party this afternoon. Without Black Flies! We had a plague of them last year so Bill and Yuna outsmarted those suckers and arranged for Irene to be here this weekend. Ha! You abominable critturs you. Let’s see you just try to hang on to my arm in Category 3 gale force winds.

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