Michigan 2013 – Update #2

Thursday night kickoff dance was FUN!

Left at 1:30 and it was a partay in there – Brennar, Crystal (Matt was upstairs with Lily,) Jason Miklic! yay! Haven’t seen Jason and Sophy (upstairs with their girls) for forever since they became parents, Stephen White and Sabrina, Hugo, Nelson! Yay Nelson!, Markers!, Marker babies everywhere (wow their dancing is getting good fast!), Marilyn Hall, Shoshi, Missy, Patrick Plagens from Cali (here last year and now hooked on Doug events – he’ll be at New Years too!), Brad and Kendra, Agckniezskckzchchacchooblessyouszka Mazsxzlynkcka, lots more out-of-towners … FUN FUN FUN great fun funny spirited creative dancing last night! Hear they were up into the morning …

When I left Victor had just played two solid hours of every single current personal favorite song thought I’d died and gone to wcs music heaven. I’m serious 100% of the songs were GREAT – exact playlist I have playing right now here in the room as I write. Music tastes are SO personal – I’m sure somebody must have disliked that set but wow you sure couldn’t tell from the level of energy on the floor.

How many people? About 60,000 plus or minus, another 6,000 sitting around at the tables.

Okay not really, maybe 30 couples on the floor when I left, another 50 milling around.

Only five elevators, not ten like I said before. I counted them carefully this morning in the light of day.

Funny how things like the number of elevators or the sizes or speeds of things make impressions on you that are often inaccurate. That’s what makes seeing routines and Champion Jack and Jills and Strictlys live so much more exciting than watching later on video. At Boston Tea Party we watched John Lindo dance Lindy during the Crossover (most hilarious contest of the event,) standing still to take his own pulse while making his partner (Annie) run circles around him. Seeing it right in front of us, live, we thought that moment took most of the dance. When I watched the video later I was surprised to see that Lindo had his finger on his pulse for barely half a second – a quick joke – then resumed dancing.

It’s like it happens in slo-mo when it’s live, like the time I fell out of a car and watched the door swing open – so slowly – every pebble on the road in crystal clear detail, passing slowly under me like a lazy river.

Yesterday was quiet at the hotel but hordes of dancers must have arrived during the night because this morning there are dancers everywhere working on moves. So funny! You look up from the lobby and see balconies upon balconies spotted with shoulders and heads sliding back and forth, snippets of songs floating down through the atrium all mixed together like a hymn to west coast swing.

Every one of the fourteen floors has its own rotunda with five elevators (not ten,) the secret button pedestal thing, and! – a large open white marble floor space in the middle. No dancer has ever seen that space and not thought “Yes!” So there are fourteen privates being conducted as I write, one in each rotunda. The other hotel guests here (a big medical convention) must be jealous. We should make converts, bring them into the fold Project Swing style.

Loving this hotel. It’s BIG! Elegant, all kinds of cool alcoves and windy halls opening into secret corridors and spaces you didn’t know were there.

There’s a restaurant on the second floor – BEAUTIFUL! – all mustard-colored rococo with a gorgeous salad buffet you pass on the way to your table, dessert buffet on the other side. These come with any entree or you can order the salad buffet alone (includes soup, chicken dishes, all kinds of beautiful vegetable dishes.) I had dinner there last night, best waiters ever, anywhere. Feels European – they ask if you’d prefer water or mineral water (l’eau avec ou sans gaz) and give you a chilled bottle of Pelligrino returning every so often to refresh your glass.

Some friendly guy sat at the table next to me and every waiter, the chef, various hotel staff, stopped by one after another to shoot the breeze with this guy, laughing and telling funny stories and gossiping. I figured he must be off-duty staff, one of those people everybody loves. The waiter told me later he’s the owner of this hotel, a GREAT guy, down-to-earth, kind, generous, everybody knows his family and loves him. Nice to know about people like this, isn’t it!

Saw Doug last night, told him I’d just sent out my first update. He said “What’d you say, anything good?”

I said no I complained about the soap.

“THE SOAP?!?” he said, “Who notices the soap? I’m a guy! I don’t care about SOAP. I don’t even use soap. I’m in and out of the shower, couple rubs on my belly and I’m done. If I even take a shower which I usually don’t. I just run outside in the rain for a couple seconds, more ecological. I haven’t used soap in years.”

He says he’s hoping the weekend won’t be a disaster. But if it is well you know the saying, “Any PR is good PR.”  He figures if it’s a Massive Epic Failure there’ll be so much buzz people will come in droves next year to see just how awful a dance event can be.


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