MadJam 2014 Update #1 UP IN THE AIR! IT’S SHOWCASE!!!

1875MadJam is almost here!

Routines Galore!

In addition to many of the routines debuted at the Open and performed all around the world these last months we’ll also be treated with some BRAND NEW routines launched since November! And a few first time out on the floor!

Awesome collection of top routine dancers of the world at MadJam!

Check it out:

Jordan and Tatiana
Hugo and Stacy
Benji and Torri
Doug and Melissa
Kyle and Sarah
Dean and Raquel
Myles and Tessa
Matt and Kara
Gary and Susan
PJ and Tashina
Robert and Nicola
Jason and Annemarie (new!)
Ben and Jen
Rob and Connie
Greg and Lemery (new!)
Markus and Tren
Maxence and Virginie
Grigory and Ekaterina
Sean and Courtney
Luis and Jennifer
Luis and Taletha
Tybaldt and Hazel
Scott and Dallas
… and more coming in last minute …

Dave says they’re expecting ten Showcase routines, FIFTEEN Classic!, ten Rising Star and ten ProAms. And Teams.

That’s a lot of routines!

If you haven’t seen this year’s routines live yet you can find many of them on YouTube by now. Nothing short of spectacular!

Showcase this year?!?

Mind-blowinggg!

Benji and Torri’s “Through It All” (Shawn McDonald)


AUGHGHGHGH!!!

How adorable is this girl? There’s a cuteness to Torri – each costume even more darling than the last –  you want to scoop her up and squeeze her to pieces.

Torri and Benji together! Simply astonishing! That’s all there is to it.

The mood they create from that first instant. How you’re swept into the story the minute the music starts.

The emotion! On their faces and in the carefully calibrated speed, force, and size of their movements.  How every tiny inflection in the music is danced with their full selves, not a note, not a beat missed.

How calm they are! How can they be that calm and dance that fast? And that clean?

With Benji and Torri no detail is overlooked. I cannot, with my camera, catch them at any moment with a misplaced toe, a finger out-of-place, eyes looking the wrong direction. There is no instant in which every body part – including their hearts – is not placed without full intention. The work that must be behind this level of precision! Boggles the mind.

Not to mention the crazy lifts choreographed so thoughtfully and executed so effortlessly that you don’t experience them as “tricks” at all.  You don’t notice them as separate from the flow of the dance but rather as the perfect physical expression of a moment in the story.

But seriously – leg lifts over each others’ heads? As if legs easily float straight up and around in the air, like bubbles. My legs don’t float like bubbles. And come on, splits and cartwheels in mid-air? Across, above, around each other? While spinning?

A backbend while catching her on his neck? Then catapulting her forward? With his neck?!?

Spinning her upside down while he’s stepping – and then jumping!? –  over her? While she’s going through his legs? While they’re both spinning down the floor?

And those spins of hers! Can anyone spin that fast, that many times around, in so many positions … all the time smiling a happyfacegiggly smile like she’s enjoying herself?

Or that insane thing where she goes through his legs in a neck drop and gets picked up BEHIND him? Upside down? Then flipped backwards, twice, over his back? Into a cartwheel?!?!? Are you serious? What the-? WHAT IS THAT HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?

It’s crazy! They are the crazy people!

And so joyous! They dance with pure joy, pure love of the dance, love of each other.

Torri standing on Benji’s feet? It doesn’t get any better than that!

Myles and Tessa’s Lindy-inspired “A Little Party Never Killed” (Fergie)

Killlllller costume! Who would have thought to pair black leather leggings and short, short skirt with that gorgeous, complex, strappy, buxom gold top? And cool headpiece?

And heels?

Not only can the girl West Coast, Lindy, Balboa, Charleston, and Funk … but she can do it in heels.

Bad. Ass.

Did you see them do their trick? Yep, that trick. They NAILED it! Not once, like last year – but twice! As if to say, “See what we did there? TRIUMPH!”

And that slo-mo walk she does, through the air, above his head – HA! How great is that!

This routine is a delight of witty jokes and clever quips. My favorite: Tessa crawling up Myles’ back one step at a time. So funny, so creative!

Greg and Lemery’s beloved “Your Eyes” (Peter Gabriel)

For a full year this beautiful routine has brought entire ballrooms to silence, often to tears, sweeping audiences away in the operatic quality of the music and story as they swept across the stage. What a lovely piece of work this was.

And how gorgeous is Lemery! In ethereal pink lace, with that red hair, those red lips. She’s a vision.

So funny, the parts of a routine you remember most. It’s often the simplest and sweetest moment that stays in your mind’s eye – not the most spectacular or difficult.

My secret favorite moment of this routine – which I’m told is shared by others – is not the lift by her head only, or the drop from ceiling to floor; but the soft, simple jump, on two feet, a few inches up then down. It’s as if she levitates for a  moment. It’s perfect.

Lionel et Amandine, “Video Games” (Louis Delort)

Stunning couple! Perfectly matched body types, style, perfect chemistry, gorgeous lines and shapes.

They’re so QUICK!

Fast, yes; but “quick” in the way that tiny birds are quick. They whisk in and out of movements, dart in and out of tricks with such precision and liveliness, their lifts executed with such lightness, their transitions almost invisible.

Isn’t her balance astounding? Those reverse pirouettes, slow controlled pirouettes, bent pirouettes! Every kind of balanced spin she whips through as if there’s nothing to it.

There’s a certain calm you feel watching these two, like you know you’re in capable hands. You can feel the experience, the hard work, the professionalism, their confidence with the material, with each other.

Ronnie and Laureen’s beautiful “Another Brick In The Wall” (ortoPilot)

What a cool song! Soulful, funky, so atmospheric.

Ronnie — or maybe Laureen — or maybe Brandi — one of these guys, anyway — or maybe all of them — somebody has a fantastic ear for music, especially for the special combination of subtlety and drama. This song one more great choice in a long list of great routine music.

And what terrific slinky, snappy, jazzy choreography to match! Hits and accents, sudden stops and stillness contrasted with slow sweeping movements.  And those famous Laureen spins.

How beautiful is Laureen? Striking in that hot pink with sheer pale pink netting and lace on one arm. I love the details – the cut-out shoulder, the appliqued flowers. So prettttty! Like candy, pink sugar candy.

Aren’t these routines marvelous?  This is only the top five couples we saw at the Open – there were 14 more!

We can look forward to seeing at least ten of these – maybe more if we’re lucky! – at MadJam in two weeks.

Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait.

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