Liberty 2012 Update #5

We’ve said John Lindo is generous, right? So get this: He gave out $6,300 in Jack and Jill prize money. Every penny paid by contestants to enter a Jack and Jill was given back in prize money, the amounts based on the number of registrations for each division. So the lucky winners of Novice, for instance, went home with $670! Not bad! Not bad at all. John doesn’t have to do this, he could choose to keep most of that money and give winners much smaller prizes.  Or he could choose to keep all of it, give half a glassful of Hershey’s kisses as a prize, and go home with an extra $6,300 in his pocket. But he gives it all back to the dancers. We’re glad, too, that the biggest pots go to Novice, the new people in the community.

As Royston told us, when you attend a wsdc event one dollar of your jj registration goes to the wsdc. Most event directors add that dollar to your registration. Not John. He pays that dollar out of his own pocket. For every JJ contestant at his event.

John also provides breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the sunlit lobby just outside the ballroom. Fresh melon, grapefruit and oranges, all kinds of berries and fruit, yogurt, croissants, bagels and cream cheese, cereals and granola, coffee, juices. All free with your weekend ticket. Costs him a pretty penny but he does it anyway because he is a generous man.

The professional staff all agree that he takes extra special care of them financially and in all kinds of other little and big ways too.

John Lindo is just a gracious host, producer, and employer. Period.

So great to have Mario on the mic for some of the weekend. Mario before Teams on Saturday night, “There is no videotaping in the ballroom tonight. No videotaping whatsoever. No videotaping.  In Spanish: No-o videotaping-o tonight-o. In French: Ce n’est pas de videotaping.” In Swahili: [tongue clicks and snaps then the word videotaping]” Mario is hilarious.

Three teams, all three really good:

Stephanie Risser’s eight-girl “Divalicious” hustle team dancing to Vanity,

“Role Play” – buncha gays and lesbians. Or pretend gays and fake lesbians. Or straight people leading instead of following or I dunno whatevah. But everybody alternately leading and following each other in a dazzling array of shifting colors and lines, four in brilliant neon green with black ties the other four in purple with hot silver slashes. They won!

Capital – Dawn’s great 7-couple team in copper and black dancing to the coolest didgeridoo/samba piece of jazz. I loved this number.  Scary, like a rumble, like she choreographed an old-fashioned West Side Story-style rumble. Dawn’s team choreography is superb. (By the way Dawn’s daughter Alexis gets more beautiful by the day. She looks exactly like her mother – that wide Scandanavian face, wide almond eyes – she’s a stunner.) I loved that at the finish of the routine the dancers held their final pose long.  Long enough for the audience to get closure.  Maybe I’m too sensitive but it bothers me when a routine finishes and they leap up before I’ve even started clapping.  Feels amateurish.

Mario after Teams: “That was a didgeridoo. Does anyone know what that is – a Didgeridoo? Anyone ever hear of a Didgeridoo? Show of hands, who knows what a Didgeridoo is? Anyone speak Didgeridoo? Okay I’ll tell you. In Didgeridoo, that meant “No Videotaping In The Ballroom.”

Mike Glasgow tells me he was on his way over to Mario to say how nice it was to see him and hear him on the mic and tell him what a classy professional he was … but just as he was approaching Mario sidled over to a few older women at the edge of the floor and launched into an impromptu Chippendale burlesque, lip-syncing to some dirty song Louis had thrown on between heats and was in the middle of removing his jacket when Mike decided maybe “professional” wasn’t the best way to describe him after all.

Mario loved this story. Mario! So FUNNY! One of the funniest ever.


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