MadJam 2012 Update #5

The energy Sunday night! From just after awards (around 5) till 7am Monday morning – sheesh! Lots of people saying it was the highlight of their entire weekend. One of those dimly lit “in the zone” nights where a roomful of dancers are transformed.

We’ve always had good late-nite dances at our comps here in DC, seems like it’s always been true, even with our tiniest events like the Easterns in its senile years, on the famous “lobby floor” at the Hilton – the all-time weirdest space – a small pass-through foyer-hall sandwiched between outside doors at one end (neon-pink signs taped all over the glass “KEEP LOCKED AT ALL TIMES USE OTHER DOORS” so naturally for four days they remained propped open with chairs, shoe-boxes, cans of red-bull (so many funny, important, memorable conversations right outside these doors in the smoking/drinking “lounge”) and at the other end a winding hallway and doors to the main ballroom (which had a beautiful floor and stage lighting and which sat utterly empty all night long – desolate except for one lonely DJ wondering why everyone was dancing crammed into each other on the other side of the wall out in the hallway on that floor with the steel pieces that ripped your shoes and made you trip and fall on your face and every couple hours we’d have to get down and pull the whole thing away from the wall because it kept sliding across the carpet. And yet the energy all night long! People in and out all night, up to the rooms and back down again, dancing and dancing and laughing all night long, lounging on the couches along the floor dragging chairs to the back of the room, trying on shoes at 4am, hanging with Louie who’d still be playing music at 9am when the first morning workshop began.

This year’s MadJam Sunday night dance was in a smaller meeting room – same one used for workshops and the Thursday night dance (which was not particularly well-attended – we counted 20 couples on the floor at the most crowded time of the night on Thursday, and by 2am the room was almost cleared out.)  But last night all 45 of the French were still here! And the Aussies! And the English and Canadians, Californians and Texans and all the hard-core DC locals! All finished with competing, teaching, and other responsibilities and wanting to rock and roll. So Sunday night was WOW! Room was jumping. Until 7am we heard. We also heard a few people decided to miss flights rather than miss dancing. Now that is truly devoted!

Also also heard that instead of the MadJam “Pickle-Shots Parties” of previous years that this year there was a “Luge Party.” Since I had heard of neither “pickle shots” nor “ice luges” I had to have both explained: 1. Shot of Jameson’s followed by a shot of pickle-juice brine (with or without the pickle); 2. A humongous double-bed-sized ice sliding-board down which is poured a stream of one’s choice of alcohol, with someone’s open mouth hopefully at the bottom to catch the drink as it comes sliding down. Ice luges also come in the shape of interesting body parts. What can I say – google it. So Sunday night was dancing/partying/fun times all around the hotel! You could feel it – people walking around smiling, cracking jokes, camped out in circles on the carpet sharing pizzas, friendly with strangers, happy happy happy smiling people everywhere, even having gone without sleep for at least four days.

So! I’m getting emails, texts, and facebook messages asking about results. I was scratching them down by hand as they were being announced until someone told me not to bother cause full judges’ sheets would be posted on … but so far anyway (It’s Tuesday 5pm as of this writing) I can’t seem to find results posted anywhere. So … from memory only (my memory is 347% accurate):

(11 couples: Judges: Festa, Bill Cameron, Debbie Ramsey, Parker, Gary Jobst, Brent, Dawn CJ)
1st Brennar and Torri
2nd Arjay and Jen
3rd Kyle and Sarah (new routine! Even newer than the Open!)
4th Ben and Melissa
5th Sean and Court
6th Kris and Rebecca

(Six couples; Judges: Bill Cameron, Festa, Barry Jones, Debbie Ramsey, Parker, Dawn CJ)
1st Myles and Tessa
2nd Roystons
3rd Greg and Lemery
4th Rob and Connie
5th Ben and Rebecca
6th Sebastien and Vanessa

You can watch Showcase here:

And Classic here:

For those who can’t get to a computer right away:


  1. Myles and Tessa – “Rolling In The Deep” (their gorgeous USOpen routine)
  2. Roystons – “Edge of Glory”
  3. Greg and Lemery – their new “No Diggity” – this time in shimmery gold and black
  4. Rob and Connie – “Drops of Jupiter” – last time on the floor, best they’ve ever danced it even with – or maybe even because of – a 16-beat lead-and-follow at a critical point, in which Connie said this, using eye-contact only: “Haha dude you screwed up! You’re the leader I’m following you! Good luck, hope you fix it! And if y’don’t I’m laughing my ass off!”
  5. Ben and Rebecca – “Little Bad Girl”
  6. Sebastien and Vanessa – “You” (Martin Jondo) (I love Sebastien’s taste in music! Another one with tempo changes, hits, yelps (I’m a sucker for yelling in a song) – tons of stuff to choreograph.) Something went wrong within the first few seconds so they stopped dancing and had to have their music restarted. That’s not allowed, of course. What a shame, to come all the way over from France and then have a glitch like that right at the beginning and be disqualified. The audience – during this glitch and several others (I’ll tell you about them) was SO supportive! Cheering, pounding hands, yelling YAAAAAY YAAAY Allez La France! Go Sebastien and Vanessa!”  Some crazy lifts, of course. Sebastien always does crazy lifts. Jody Moscaritolo (stepping in for Robert during Showcase (came out afterwards taking his pulse.)


  1. Kevin Fitzhugh and Ashley Riddick “Changes” (Hendrix)
  2. Kyle and Sarah – an acoustic version of “Somebody Told Me” (Killers) Very easy routine, not much to it, really.   Except for the fact, that is, that the song is ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE BEATS PER MINUTE! Hello! Holy Flying Footwork! hahahaha Try this yourself! Without bouncing! Good luck!
  3. Sean and Courtney “Feelin’ So”
  4. Sebastien and Blandine “Broken Sorrow” (their USOpen routine, with her nine pirouettes holding her foot behind her) – they received penalties (and a drop in placement) at the Open for what appeared to be a separation for too many counts (Sebastien says it is only an illusion, he actually maintains contact with her back) – great dramatic music choice, again and yet another costume creation (they do all their own costumes – for their own routines, their students’ routines, and their teams) – one of her legs in wispy black netting all the way up to the lacy fringe at her hip, one arm snaked with black ribbon the other only a black sequined cuff. And a wide black choker. Crazy sexy.
  5. Ben and Melissa “You and I” (Robert walked on the floor afterwards shaking his head, muttering “Holy Knickerbocker’s Meat Market WOW. I am a fan of dresses. Can I get an AMEN? For the Church of Short Skirts and Heels! Where we party Saturday night and pay for it Sunday morning.” (booming overly enthusiastic amen from the men in the audience)
  6. Brennar and Torri “Sadly Beautiful” (When it’s over Robert walks on the floor says “Okay quick impression. Who is this?” sits down in the middle of the floor, cross-legged, staring off into space, mouth wide open jaw hanging on his chest, and just sits there staring dumbfounded like an imbecile, then asks us, “Raise your hand if that was you.” It must be funny to stand at the other side of the floor and watch the audience’s reactions.)
  7. Ben and Cameo “Fort Knox”
  8. Arjay and Jen, “Moves Like Jagger” (Robert: “I’m a fan of short skirts AND leopard print”)
  9. The Markers “Unwritten”
  10. Kris and Rebecca dancing for the very last time their marvelous flying “Into The Night” (they’ll debut their new routine this coming weekend at Chicago! you’ll be able to watch it here:  (Rebecca, by the way, dancing not one but two routines last weekend – on a torn meniscus. Amazing.)

More in a little bit ….


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