City of Angels 2013 – Update #12

Brandi has legs. Dragon-Slaying legs.

How could you pay attention to anything else on Friday night when Brandi’s legs walked out? Under an ethereal coral pleated gossamer mini A-line as fragile as a xenophyophore, so filmy it twirled and floated with every movement.  You had to stare so you wouldn’t miss the moment it might flutter up into the air and off her body entirely.

With multi-colored 6″ platform peep-toes. AUGHGHGH! Shoes to make men cry and women refinance.

Then she did it again Saturday night! In a little black dress. A little black dress. Brandi’s Legs smouldering onto the floor in 6″ white and silver diamond-encrusted heels, and that little black dress.

So that made two nights where no one heard a single word said.

Then it’s Sunday Awards and here they come again strutting out there, legs that could blind and deafen a person, legs that could have been poured from molds in the Barbie manufacturing plant, legs in a tiny black skirt and prim black-and-white schoolgirl blouse. And 6″ black peep-toe platforms.

Brandi is stunning.

She’s also kind, generous, funny, talented, hard-working, smart, savvy, and a ridiculous perfectionist. You wish you could hate her but you just can’t. She’s loveable – so is Ronnie – they’re good people through and through.

Brandi said that their goal was to create an atmosphere which was familiar and comfortable so that people would arrive and immediately feel safe and know what to expect. And then to add extras, special touches, to make the event exciting and memorable.

They accomplished exactly this. You entered the ballroom and, like I said in an earlier update, something just felt right, felt like home.

And so many special additions! Gorgeous trophies – engraved glass champagne flutes! First-place trophies which from a distance looked like engraved glass pieces the size of a large jewelry box. Large cash prizes ($100 to $800!) for all Jack and Jills and Strictlys as well as routines! Video introductions before each routine! So funny! You must see the DVD. The photo booth! Saturday night’s Dress To Impress red carpet with Brad’s formal pictures.  Food trucks at 1am out on the sidewalk! Midnight buffet included in the ticket price so no one would go without. The ballroom! That elegant backdrop, stunning lighting, surround-sound multiple speakers, the risers and platforms.

A classy weekend in every regard, just like Ronnie and Brandi. They clearly put the dancers’ experience first, before their own profit, and it showed.

Loved the judging panel, too – combinations of Carlito, Michael Kiehm, Laureen, Barry Jones, Katie Boyle, Martin Parker, Chuck, Kellese, Matt Auclair, and Jen Deluca.

Loved that the ballroom was PACKED from the start of the day – packed for Novice! – till the very end. And the cheering all weekend! I’m serious, I’ve never heard such an enthusiastic crowd. For Novice! And Intermediate, and everything else. Everyone showed up to scream for every division, and like I said earlier, not just scream but heckle, cat-call, yell instructions “SMILE! LOOK AT YOUR PARTNER! TRIPLES!” bang the floor, clap, jump up and down, and yell their heads off all day and all night.

Loved that Matt Auclair danced in front of me twice, to “Shake Your Groove Thing” (with Kara) and “Get Down Get Funky” (with Laureen). HAHAHAHAHAHA! If you’ve ever seen Matt, and if you know these songs, you can imagine.

Loved that an unexplained pair of cowboy boots stood empty in the middle of the floor watching the Jack and Jills, just kinda standin’ around chillin’.  I swear I saw a wispy body turning to watch stuff.

Loved the music. Some deejay music offends half the ballroom. Some music irritates the daylights out of the other half. Some music is so bad everyone hates it. Some music is so inoffensive it could be west coast elevator-muzak or piped in to soothe you in the wsc dentist chair. This team’s music was none of those – it was just plain great, a perfect mix all weekend long.

Loved Ronnie’s opening remarks on Friday night. WOW is he good at opening an event! I hadn’t realized that this is a skill but what a difference it makes when done right. Perfect combination of bounding energy, genuine welcoming and thanking us for attending, giving information, and introducing the staff with the fanfare and respect they deserve.

Loved the hotel – loved the expansive, rambling, low-ceilinged lobby where you walk around a corner to discover yet another social area with a multi-level clutter of couches, chairs and work tables; the open circular bar; the restaurant’s breakfast and dinner buffets in the rambling glass-enclosed restaurant looking out on the pool and cabanas. Loved that Ronnie and Brandi trained the hotel staff to care for the water, food, sleeping, and showering needs of a dance convention.

Didn’t love the shuttle. I was lucky coming in but heard that many people waited an hour for the shuttle to take them the one mile from airport to hotel. I had to fight with the driver to get back to the airport – he had two women going to Delta and refused to take me to American in a different terminal. (I went psycho on him and you can bet he let me get on that shuttle. Don’t mess with me when it comes to travel. Ask Genieboy.) Also didn’t love the soap which lasted through one leg and half your foot. Sheratons are not famous for amenities. (“Amenities?” It’s called soap and shampoo.)

But outside of the shuttle and soap this was an OUTSTANDING weekend – an event only its second year but destined to be a premiere event on our circuit. One not to miss.

Flew home Monday morning (the flight attendant spilled an entire tray of Mimosas on the lady in the aisle seat next to me – if only I had had my camera) and arrived to find that just that day the cherry blossoms and fruit trees have EXPLODED and the streets and neighborhoods everywhere are buried in puffs of pale blossoms everywhere you look. And 93 degree weather! It’s suddenly summer here in DC!


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