US OPEN 2013 – Update #10

It’s morning here, cold and raining as promised, floor trials have been running since 7am.

Jordan and Tatiana, Damon and Lisa, Jessica, and Brent and Kellese all teaching workshops throughout the morning.

Competitors’ Meeting in a few hours.

And then!

The Open Strictly .. and the Champion Strictly

And then!


New stage this year!

Beautiful billowy new backdrop – delicate diaphanous shiny white gossamer drapes adorned with chains of glittering white beads hanging from the heavens, all illuminated by floor lights moving slowly through the color spectrum. Gone are those two big flower pots of recent years – so lovely, and so determined to upstage the dancers in every photo.

Yesterday: Jack and Jills Prelims all day, Pro-Am routines just before dinner, then Jack and Jill Finals all evening.

Bit of a confusion when at 5:30 the ballroom closed and it was unclear when, how, where, or even if finals would be posted. Or announced.  We couldn’t figure how to handle Thanksgiving plans/invitations/restaurant reservations not knowing if we had to be back for finals, and at what time.

With only an hour before the evening would start we decided to abandon dinner plans and instead just grab a fast meal in the hotel.

Everyone else in California decided that too. So it was rawther a bit of a mob scene there at the restaurant and with a 30-45 minute wait to be seated many people gave up deciding to have Thanksgiving after midnight at Denny’s or elsewhere.

One thing you can say for our community: News travels fast.

All it took was one person hearing that finals were to be posted at 6:30 in the Green Room and within seconds the entire international west coast swing community was talking about it.

The globaldancetv  live feed has been problematic for many people trying to watch around the world.  Skipping, constant interruptions, and most frequently going dark entirely with an error message that the program cannot load.

Tyoni says they’re running the feed on every device there in the ballroom and are not seeing the problems everyone else (including us, here in the hotel) is experiencing. She asks that you send an error report by email to Or use this page:

Maybe the best idea is to wait until after they’ve posted the division and watch it then? Yeah, I know, not a great solution.  I wouldn’t be happy either.

Hoping that before tonight they’ll find the problem and get it fixed. I know they’re struggling with it.

Pro-Am routines were fun!

Except for a few, black appears to be this year’s costume color for female Pro Ams this year.

Monica Bryan (with Gerald Cote), in black and sparkly turquoise, “Come When I Call” (John Mayer)

Heather Crowe (with John Kirkconnell), “Slave To The Music” (James Morrison)

Julianne D’Amico (with her Daddy! Damon!), in black, “Clarity

Olga Hermann (with Michael Kielbasa), in black, “Burn It Down” (RAC)

Trista Eazell (with Sean McKeever), in back, “Stomper” (Serena Ryder)

?? (sorry couldn’t hear her name and she didn’t appear in the program) with Doug Silton, in translucent white RAINCOATS hahahaha – Doug is always good with costumes, to “Every Storm” (Gary Allan)

Brynn Anderson (with Brandon Parker), in all black, “Titanium” (Boyce Avenue)

And another whose name I couldn’t hear – Elthia? Alfieya? I’llSeeYa? – and not in the program, (with Clint Glasgow), in a gorgeous navy blue midriff-showing outfit with a huge sparkly red flower on one hip, dancing to “All of Me”(John Legend)

Carla Catana (with Doug Silton), in black and rhinestoned blue, “Black Out” (Breathe Carolina)

Marie (?? sorry again, couldn’t make out her name, and not in program) (with Gerald Cote), all black, “Misery” (Maroon 5)

Then the guys …

Tommy Brodie (with Kellese)  … wearing … PLASTIC! hahahahaha That’s right you read that correctly. Kellese was wearing plastic. Over white short shorts, white knee-socks and Toms, and a white cropped top. And her body.

[KELLESE!! What would we DO without Kellese? We’d have to invent her!]

And Tommy in the hunkiest white shirt with loosened tie hanging in the collar, black slacks. What a stud! Dancing to … what else? “Blurred Lines.”

Nikhil Shahi (with Nicki Silton), in black with turquoise armbands, “Just Give Me A Reason”

Mark Slater (with daughter Chevy! How wonderful!), black and maroon, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and “Don’t Worry Child”

Robert McChesney (with Yvonne Wayne), in black and red, to three songs weaving a story: “Tubthumping” (Chumbawamamba), “Raise Your Glass,” and “Hangover”

Peter Strethabhakti and Mackenzie, in black, “If I Lose Myself” (Colin McLoughlin)


1ST PLACE  Elfthiiya (sp?) (with Clint)
2nd Olga (with Michael)
3rd Brynn (with Brandon)
4th Marie  (with Gerald)
5th Trista (with Sean)

1ST PLACE Tommy (with Kellese)
2nd Peter (with Mackenzie)
3rd Mark (with Chevy)
4th Nikil (with Nicki)

By the way, here’s the judging panel for the weekend, rotating, of course, depending on who’s assigned to which division …

2013 Judging Panel

Yvonne Antonacci – Head Judge
Andy Bouman
Erica Berg
Carmen Passi
Chuck Brown
Dani Canziani
Jessica Cox
Michael Cross
Jim Minty
Mary Ann Nunez
Martin Parker
Carmen Passi
Jim Tigges
Manny Viarial
Sonny Watson
John Wheaton
Bill Cameron
Stan Jaquish – Referee

More in a bit …


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