We’ve just finished JJ’s and have a four-hour break for workshops and dinner.
Rob and Sheila, event directors, are pleased – 400 people! – pretty good for a first year in a community that’s not been on the map. Bunch of us were saying we don’t recognize any of the newcomers or novice, which means they don’t travel and are probably local, which means they’ve come into the community via Rob and Sheila’s dances and group lessons. Kudos Rob and Sheila! It would be nice if there were a Philly community. Here in the local area there is a small handful – a toddler-sized handful – of very good long-time dancers but none of them have ever taken any kind of leadership role here to teach or build a community. And they don’t attend local dances. So they’re invisible. There really is no community here. Yet. But judging from this event it looks like Rob and Sheila are building one.
Nice “Meet and Greet” yesterday in the hospitality room – cookies, grapes and cheese, tea and coffee, couches and chairs, Rob and Sheila strolling around dressed as George Washington and Betsy Ross, personally welcoming everyone.
Opening Ceremonies last night: Sascha Newberg (looking fab! Elegant, artistic, and hip all at the same time) sang the Anthem, Royston (on the mic for the weekend) adding “I couldn’t hit that note if you forced me into a splits.”
The only agenda for the evening was Strictlys. Judges: Jessica, Jen DeLuca, Arjay, John Lindo, Deborah, and Jennifer Lyons. Twelve Novice couples, seven Intermediate, and oops forget how many Advanced/Allstar (they danced in heats of two).
Winners (100% of the registration fees went back to the winners):
1st John Nye and Amber
2nd Michael and Janet
3rd Anita and David
4th Louis and Stephanie
5th Cory and Francois
1st Jim (Yin Chi) Chow and Jessie
2nd Keith (Yen Chi) Chow and Karen
3rd Nicholas and Giselle
4th Steve Wilder and Nanette
5th Alan and dang I didn’t get her name
1st Jody Moscari olo-olo-olo-lol-lol-lol-donatella-pecorino-romano-lambrusco-ferrari-olo and Abby. Stone.
2nd Brad and Sarah Wheeler
3rd Dave Damon and Mariele (who, I discovered today standing in the jj line, is an even spacier, flakier, dumb blonde than me, which is an accomplishment. You have to meet her. She’s funny, poor thing.)
4th Roy and Faith
5th Dennis Riley and Lee Mansfield
Five minutes after awards Lindo (contest coordinator) posted scores outside the ballroom where they remained for one half hour only. No pictures allowed.
John Festa DJ’d early, then Anthony DeRosa (wow is he GOOD! Our new favorite DJ. In addition to Helen, Louie, Kelly, and Victor of course. Special side room for beginner dancers, with music just for them (hopefully meaning the tempo and rhthym were easier to manage, hopefully not meaning “blues only” or “gross songs nobody liked then and still don’t” which is often what is played for beginners which might not be the best way to get young people excited about west coast, saving up all the worst music for them.)
Today was JJ’s. Judges: Jessica, Deborah, Arjay, Cordoba, Festa, and Jennifer Lyons.
No videographer this year so videotaping was encouraged – funny to look around the ballroom and see a wall of video-cameras hovering mid-air.
Robert announced that because the wsdc made an error – listing the event under its registry member events – and people then signed up thinking they’d get points – that because of this error the wsdc decided that points would in fact be awarded. (The rules state that an event can’t give points till its second year.) And he encouraged us to support the wsdc since the wsdc exists to take good care of dancers – the rules are designed with only that one purpose in mind. Probably a good reminder at the beginning of this new year of massive promotions and demotions.
The floor bounces. This was in my notes at this point so I thought I’d mention it. (It’s been explained to me that this has to do with the carpet. At Spotlight New Year’s, for instance, the floor slid half-way across the room – almost into the wall. People were rearing up screaming, like a huge wave was approaching. Okay just kidding people weren’t rearing up screaming. But Becky (wonderful videographer for Spotlight) had to untape and retape her cables several times to keep up with the floor and it really did slide half way across the room. That floor REALLY bounced, like a trampoline. But enough about Spotlight.)
Okay so Jack and Jills:
Newcomer two heats, 25 girls, 15 boys.
Novice two heats, 22 guys, 2 gals.
Intermediate two heats, 24 of each. (I think. I was busy being blonde with Mariel and then dancing.)
Advanced/Allstar two heats, 18 girls, 10 boys, two couples per heat and then an all-skate.
Five-song break till finals … and … Here are your Jack and Jill Winners! For the very first Freedom Swing wsdc-sanctioned brand new event! Drum roll!
Oh oops they haven’t announced winners yet. Later tonight.
In one hour (at 8:30): Evening show (some classic routines I hope I hope?) then Rising Star. And *then* Awards. And that’s it! After that it’s social dancing all night. Tomorrow is workshops only.