Desert City 2012 Update #9

Sunday’s Finals!


Not all contestants had realized they’d be up on stage in front of the cameras, their every facial expression televised live all around the world, just them and their partner all by their lonesome selves for two and a half long long minutes …  hahaha pretty exciting!

Masters Finals Couples

Mark Endo and Kelly Wentling
Ric Shube and First Lady of Phoenix Peggy Allen
Louie Juarez and Susy Fries
Mike Booth and Laurie Shafer
Russ Hausske and Linda Marcus
Martin Brown and Glenda Smith
Patrick Plagens and Dawn Deeks
Warren Pino and Mindy Halladay
John Demnkoff and Vivian Glucksman-Weiss
Jack Ray and Jill Aversa (Ronnie: “Jack and Jill?!?  JACK AND JILL??!?  hahahah okay Now THAT is just FUNNY!”)
Bob Brown and Bess Rodriguez (Ronnie, walking off the floor, passed by Patty Vo crouched down trying to help re-pin Bess’ bib. Ronnie: “Wait. There are three of you here. This is supposed to be a couple, not a ‘throuple.’ Somebody sit down.”)

(Judges: Phil, Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jackie; and Chief Judge Cathy)

All-Skate: “Every Time I Roll The Dice”
Jam: “DJ Got Us Falling In Love” (a Masters Flash Mob! Seriously, we should do this. Old folks springing up from benches in the mall (ok maybe not springing) to do west coast. We should do it! No we shouldn’t.)
All-Skate: “I Like The Way You Move” (I think Dave Koppelman likes this song. I don’t recall hearing it played as competition music anywhere else in the country in, like, I don’t know how many years. This weekend I heard it at least once every seven and a half minutes, maybe more frequently. I happen to love the song so I am enjoying the earworm that’s been singing it all day and all night in my sleep for the last 72 hours.)

Funny story between divisions: Janelle Guido told us about a guy at a comp coupla years ago (we won’t name the guy or the comp) who showed up with major holes in his pants. Big holes in inconvenient places (or maybe convenient, from his perspective.)  This guy would do dips with Janelle and the other girls and he would Lock. You. Down. in a stranglehold from which you could not escape and from your perspective down there those holes would definitely be inconvenient. I forget what prompted this discussion. Oh now I remember, it was Janelle smiling for the camera with lettuce in her teeth.

Novice Finals Couples

Gabriel Munoz and Tracy Preston
Matt Richey and Temre Brandt
Joe Foster and Jessica Green
Brenden Hansen and Galia Ilakov
Jay Groh and Monica Peterson
Corey Flowers and Linda Marcus
Joel Van Bergen and Celina Omori
Sean Carney and Karla Catana
Mike Carringer Trisha Anderson
Montriel Jamari and Kimberly Boyd
Jonathan Rogul and Angela Baker
Devin Guiliano and Susan Gucciardi
Armando “HEET ON HER!” Guimaraes and Caitlin McCarthy
Andrew Cheung and Corrie Schwartz

(Judges: Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jeannie, Dawne, and Chief Judge Cathy)

oops! Forgot their all-skate songs! Their Jam song was “Dangerous.”

Intermediate Finals Couples

David Guido and Rachel Cureton
Cesario Dos Santos and Rehanna Loncar
CJ Wheelock and Miki Finley
Justin Zadro and Leigh Young
Patrick Plagens and Christy Parker
Thomas Carter and Kelly Reis
TJ Bednash and Sammi Sekhon
Bret Navarre and Skye LaPointe
Hareesh Kapoor and Amanda Thompson
Jason Bryan and Victoria Henk
Nick Moor and Maddy Finley

(Judges: Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jeannie, Dawne, and Chief Judge Cathy)

All-Skate: Spankin’ Leroy
Jam: Up Against The Wall
All-Skate: more Up Against The Wall

Intermediate level girls out here in the wild west dance totally differently than Intermediate girls back east. It’s easily noticeable. They’re “dancerly,” for one thing. They all look as though they’ve had training in modern, jazz, maybe ballet. They have posture and grace and no stray body parts (like hands, feet, or head) which aren’t cooperating. But what’s most noticeable – moreso in this division than any other – is a huge amount of styling and flourish. Maybe too much but I’m not sure about that – maybe not too much. Mesmerizing for me as a female dancer to watch these girls. I saw a little of this among Advanced girls, too but practically none in Allstar girls. In Champions none at all. Champion girls dance “their dance” and are – don’t know how to describe it – “quieter” might be the word, even with their spectacularly dramatic movements. Intermediate girls reminded me a little bit of Alyssa Glanville (if you don’t know her you will, soon, a superbly gifted natural talent, showed up on our circuit couple years ago with her own unique style – thrilling to watch) and some of what I think I was seeing was like imitation Alyssa-ness spreading through the community (knowing her I’m sure she’d be embarrassed and flattered to know this.) Whatever it is they’re doing, they’re doing a lot of it, and, like I say, I couldn’t stop staring. I want to do it too, whatever it is, although I’m not sure how it would look on a Senior Citizen. Who cares, I want to do it anyway it’s cool and YOLO.

Advanced Finals Couples

Jerome Louis and Terra Deva
Andrew Slac and Regina Shpigel
Tony Schubert and Liza Hillman
Kevin Bretney and Hannah Clonch
Peter Fradley and April Sakaluk
Jason Sun and Mariel Manzone
Geoff Nighswonger and Brandy Richey
Louie Juarez and Elena Kon
PJ Fritzler and Shoshi Kushnir
Josh Williamson and Auntonya Rogers

But uh oh! Kevin Kane made finals but was nowhere to be found. Not in the ballroom, not outside, nowhere. Ronnie borrowed someone’s hot pink crystal-and-glitter blinged-out iphone and called him – on the mic – which would have been hilarious if he’d have answered but he wasn’t even answering his phone. Where was Kevin? Great guy, very responsible, unlike him to just not show.

While we waited for Kevin to appear Ronnie asked Buddy to sing for us! Buddy is a singer! Who knew? As you would expect, just like his dancing his singing explodes with gusto, humor, and art. He crooned “Mountains of Love” and when Kevin still didn’t show “Hello Dolly” a la Louis Armstrong. The Schwimmers! What would the west coast community be without this family? I can’t even imagine.

Still no Kevin.

So. They hated to do it, hated to replace Kevin, but they called in the first alternate.  Guess who it was? The enormously beloved and enormously ENORMOUS John Piper, enormously not dressed for dancing in enormous jeans which looked like they might slide down to his knees and a t-shirt even more enormous than his hair. The audience went WILD, seriously crazy wild, screaming, clapping, jumping up and down … everybody loves Piper. It was a moment.

And then who should walk in but Kevin.

So they let Kevin dance too. And because they had now added an extra leader, they called up the female alternate, too, Camille Webb.

So these three couples also danced for Advanced finals:

Kevin Kane and Aly Yorek
Brandon Manning and Camille Webb
John Piper and Nicole Clonch

(Judges: Phil, Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Buddy, Jeannie, Dawne, and Chief Judge Cathy)

They danced to:
All-Skate: Spankin’ Leroy
Jam: Sweat
All-Skate: more Sweat

You already know who won Advanced – Piper and Nicole. If only you could have heard the crowd then hahaha. Ronnie announced it like this “5th place, 4th, 3rd …. and wait till you hear who’s won First Place! You’re gonna love this! JOHN PIPER AND NICOLE CLONCH!!!” and I am telling you the whole ballroom went crazy, jumped up, standing ovation … hahahaha. It was great.

The other thing noticeably different about dancers out in the west is that they seem to enter in on “1,” from the anchor, with a burst of new energy each time.  “Commitment” maybe it could be called? I dunno something I can’t put my finger on. It’s not that they’re rushing in, not that they’re faster (at least I don’t think they’re faster. Or are they? They do seem to fly.) It’s just some quality of more energy going in, like each step has a purpose. Sounds like I’m dissing the entire east coast, mid-west, and actually, come to think of it, the entire international community here. That’s not what I mean. I’m just searching for a way to describe a wonderful quality I see here in Phoenix and in California, too. I’m sure you teachers out there know what I’m struggling to define and can (and probably already have) put it into words.

Jeans allowed for comps at this event. Cowboy country! – you gotta wear jeans! And no one had to say it aloud it just went unspoken that nicer jeans – dress jeans and a dressy top – were more respectful and appropriate.  There were some smokin’ hot jeans out there on the floor. Guys and girls. Brandi comes to mind.

Speaking of cool clothes – Laurie Schwimmer wore, I dunno, 22″ shiny rust-colored patent-leather heels on Saturday night and then on Sunday 28″ platform heels black leather bedecked in steel spikes. Cathy, beside her, also had black leather heels but hers covered with steel studs, on her forearm a “City of Angels” tattoo with an assortment of black leather, spiked, studded, and very Goth bangles and bracelets sliding up and down over the tattoo. These two gals together were Serious. Bad. Ass.  Two Punk-Rock Biker Chick judges.   Man I love fashion statements!

The first social-dance song after this division and before Allstars was “Mountains of Love,” the original Johnny Rivers version. I like Buddy’s version better.


One response to “Desert City 2012 Update #9

  1. I only played “The Way You Move” twice, once for a comp once for social. I do like to bring back a “forgotten” song a few times a weekend as a change of pace.:) All Skate for Novice was “Backseat Blues”. btw every blues song is NOT Spankin Leroy lol. Love your diaries.

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