What a rowdy crowd! Packed ballroom whistling, pounding and screaming for Novice prelims (which came even before Opening Ceremonies.) There is huge support for beginner dancers here, huge excitement and “ownership” of the new dancers, and it shows in how they dance. Novice dancers are good here, really good, clearly getting a strong foundation in basic technique right from the start. Lots of kids danced in Novice – little kids – with big attitude. They seemed un-phased that most of their partners were several feet taller than them. What’s most noticeable about these kids is that each seems to have already found his or her own personality as a dancer, a thing which, among adults, seems mostly (maybe only) to be found among Champion level dancers. These kids dance as *themselves*, they’re each uniquely themselves. I’m sure all this novice-level expertise can’t be only because of Laurie Schwimmer but I’m also sure much of it is indeed because Laurie lives and works in Phoenix. The Schwimmers – what an amazing family they are.
45 leaders in Novice prelims, 89 followers, four heats. Judges: Phil Adams, Carrie Lucas, Laurie Schwimmer, Nathan Miller, Buddy Schwimmer, Jeannie Tucker, Jackie Ford, Dawne Kiehm, and Chief Judge for the weekend, Cathy Tigges.
As Ronnie said the judging panel this weekend represents 300 years of experience. Top-notch expert judges this weekend – I love it.
I sat beside the Brasilians – talk about loud and rowdy! Man do they yell. The six of them make as much noise as 20 other tables combined. Diego bellowing to Armando “Paquerar! Paquerar!” which they asked me “if theees girl beautiful, in English you say “heeet on her” right? We tell Armando “THIS GIRL SHE EEES BEAUTIFUL! HEEET ON HER! HEEET ON HER!” I love these guys.
So who made Novice Semi’s?
Armando “Hit On Her” Guimaraes
Joel Van Bergen
Three songs for semi’s, Dave Koppelman DJing:
Sweet Home Chicago
Click, Click, Click; and
Bright Lights Big City
Judges for Novice Semis:
Phil Adams, Laurie Schwimmer, Nathan, Martin Parker, Buddy, Jeannie Tucker, Jackie Ford, Dawne Kiehm, and Chief Judge Cathy Tigges
Opening Ceremonies and the “surprise!”
First “Team Diva,” eight ladies in hot pink dress shirts with bright red collars, gray vest, pants, and tails, black and white oxfords, diamond neckties, and top hats; dancing to “Steamed Heat” (from “Pajama Game”) choreographed by Laurie Schwimmer. Snazzy!
Next, “Senior Company,” the two Clonch sisters Hannah and Nicole, two blondes Madison Malone and Victoria Henk, and one kwazy wunnerful boy in the middle, Chris Dumont, in a piece choreographed by, who else but another Schwimmer, this time Lacey, to “Rock and Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain)” (Skrillex) – a crazy wild marvelous thrashing bad ass jazz-dance piece which looked exactly like the song sounds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyE3EDCigE). Lacey is incredible. These five dancers were SUPER incredible.
And then, the surprise. Ronnie said “sorry I have no notes to be able to introduce this next act. All it says here is “Desert Heat. Moments In Black.” and out came six very hot, very good looking guys, in black clothes and wigs, dancing to “I’m Sexy and I Know It” – when they turned around they had
“W H A T ? ?“
one letter on each arse – and they ripped off their wigs and strutted around and they were actually so damn hot, and actually knew it, you kind of couldn’t actually laugh you kind of felt more like squealing. I did at least, as did all the giggling women sitting around me and probably many of the men. Then they dragged poor Peggy Allen up (they’d told her they’d be needing her to hand out flowers so please sit close to the front) – she returned to her seat visibly shaking, shocked to have found herself lifted and passed from one guy to another, the centerpiece of the show.
The sexy guys of Moments In Black: Tony Schubert, Mike Carringer, Brett Navarre, Thomas Carter, Jonathan Rogul, and Cary Maunder.
When it was over Ronnie picked a wig up from the floor and called Gadberry over to put the wig on his head and pose for the cameras, explaining that he and Mike are having their own contest this weekend called “You have more hair than me.”
Masters JJ Prelims (18 guys, 30 gals, two heats) (Judges: Phil, Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Buddy, Jeannie, Jackie, Dawne, and CJ Cathy)
Intermediate JJ Prelims (33 guys, 52 gals, two heats) (Judges: Phil, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jeannie, Jackie, Dawne, and CJ Cathy)
Joshua Danger Baine
T J Benash
Cesario Dos Santos
Allstar JJ Prelims (Judges Phil, Carrie, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jeannie, Jackie, and CJ Cathy)
(DJ’s Shawn Jessup, Dave Koppelman, and Victor)
Heat 1 (in which three people, at three different moments, fell flat on the floor. Not on purpose.)
“Fine Brown Frame”
“Let’s Get It On”
“I Can Only Imagine”
Masters Strictly: (Judges Phil, Laurie, Nathan, Martin, Buddy, Jeannie, Dawne, and CJ Cathy)
Patrick Plagens with Sue Fries
Martin Brown with Laurie Schafer
Louie Juarez with Jill Aversa
Ed and Mindy Halladay
Warren D’Aquin with Vivian Glucksman-Weiss
John Demenkoff with Bess Rodriguez
Mike Booth with Cheryl Grampp
Michael Heath with Sarah Grusmark
Warren Pino with Peggy Allen
All Skate to “Waking Up Slow”
Jam to “Take You There”
Final All-Skate to “Right Round”
This dance floor is SUPERB. Best best floor. Shiny smooth, seamless, wonderful wonderful floor.
Food vendor right outside the ballroom.
Israel is here this weekend, Japan, Brasil, UK. Texas, New York, even New Jersey.
Informative conversation about bra sizes in which we learned the term “boob salad” which is not a Phoenix weather condition but rather a female asset.
Ronnie: “If you have any questions – anything at all this weekend – ask Mike and he’ll have an answer for you if he’s sober enough to talk.”