City of Angels 2013 – Update #4

Two food trucks parked outside the ballroom!

Along the sidewalk hungry exuberant dancers fresh from the AMAZING Champions finals are lined up in the dark to order Mexican food – YUMMY DAGGONE IT’S SO GOOD! – and desserts – LORD HELP ME SO DANG GOOD! – we’re talking majorly delicious food-truck food – WHAT A GREAT IDEA! How fun!

Just one more of Ronnie and Brandi’s brilliant ideas that are making this event among the best I’ve ever been to ever.

This is an AMAZING event. I am so impressed with Ronnie and Brandi! They’ve given thought to every detail. Twenty – yes, 20! – speakers mounted all around the room so that instead of booming sound over here and muffled noise over there you get perfectly balanced surround-sound no matter where you are in any corner of the large ballroom. Superb acoustics and superb dj’s – the best! – Louis, Victor, and Ruby. Music for comps and social dancing has been over-the-top terrific, every single song (and I’m hard to please as anyone in DC will tell you.) The choices of standards have been great, the blues songs are the great blues songs, the contemporary songs are all my favorite contemporary songs. The mix has been inspiring. These three deejays are good at what they do and boy what a difference it makes in the general enthusiasm for dancing.

Talk about enthusiasm! The excitement in the ballroom all day long has been nuts, all day and all the way up till now without calming down one iota. Non-stop cheering! I’m not exaggerating. No matter who walks onto the floor people all around the room are hooping and hollering, clapping and heckling the dances, yelling last-minute instructions, jibes and jokes. As each strictly finalist couple is announced all the other strictly couples – the ones who didn’t make it and the ones already out there – go berserk with happiness, giving their fellow competitors chest-bumps and high-fives, literally jumping up and down with joy, like kids.

So much energy! Tonight’s Strictlys were the best I’ve ever seen – all divisions. Advanced was mind-blowing, better than many Invitational divisions I’ve seen. And the Champions prelim and finals? No words. Not everyone’s young here – the strictlys included a terrific Masters division – but they dance like they are. With exuberance! What’s valued here – and I think the event is what’s bringing this out of people – is play. Being silly, being creative, trying whatever, laughing and laughing, being goofy, inventing dance jokes, making your partner laugh. Playing! Being the opposite of grown-up.

There’s a photo-booth in the ballroom! It’s free! You get in and take funny pictures of yourself and your friends.

So many fun things here! It’s like an amusement park.

Fun things that cost money – food trucks, a midnight buffet included in the cost of the ticket, a photo booth, monster screens on either side of the stage, incredible lighting – to name only a few of the many extras. I asked Ronnie how they do it and he says they’re not doing this to make money, Making money is not what this event is for. And therefore what comes in goes back into the event. It’s about making the event great.

It makes you want to thank Ronnie and Brandi, thank them for caring, for giving us this gift.

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