Our founding Fathers would be soooooo proud.
Sheila Purkey & Rob Baen, much loved local teachers and leaders fostering a lovely dance community, dreamed of creating an event in their area.
This 1st year event was done RIGHT in every way. http://johnlindo.com
We Had it All!
Perfect timing since we have nothing better to do between New Years’ Dance Extravaganza and MADjam.
Spectacular A+ list talent:
THE Roystons, Jessica Cox, John Lindo, Robert Cordoba & Deborah Szekely, John Festa, Jennifer Lyons, Arjay Centeno & Jennifer DeLuca.
The WSDC made a BIG BOO-BOO and granted points to ALL the new events. And the weather – 60 degrees in January! It was no surprise that 400+ dancers came from upstate New York, NYC, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Canada and even Texas!
They stunned us at Swingin’ New England last November. More importantly, they are nice people and very welcome on the east coast.
There was an almost perfect balance of workshops, social dancing, competition and performance.
If there is any complaint to be made – it’s that we didn’t get enough!
People were still dancing while the floor was being pulled up on Sunday!
There is no greater joy than watching ordinary people reach extraordinary goals.
Not everyone gets to dance all their lives. Some people have to go to WAR AND/OR get MARRIED first!
Many who struggle in the Jack n’ Jills get to show what they can do here.
My favorite part of the whole weekend was Friday Night FESTA DELIGHTat Midnight!
For a whole blissful hour, we got to dance to the tunes spun by this “Living Legend of Dance” and “West Coast Swing Hall of Fame(r).”
Robert Cordoba transitioned over beautifully. What a great night of dancing!
Anthony DeRosa was head DJ and it seemed like he was glued to the booth all weekend – Thanx!!! We appreciated intermittent periods of Arjay, Brian Kidd and Dave Muzii. As a matter of fact – its Dave’s fault we had to be thrown out on Sunday afternoon! http://www.wcsny.com
John Festa & Jennifer Lyons understood what this community is craaaaaving! They straightened out the whip and taught the spiral turn. http://twirlthegirl.com
Elisha Cohen Monzella said: “The team of Jennifer Lyons and John Festa taught a faster paced lesson – and not just for the beginning dancer – which was greatly appreciated. Several others said they felt this was worth getting out of bed and can’t wait to apply this to their own dance. I must agree and will definitely consider other workshops taught by them at this level.”
Robert Cordoba & Deborah Szekely were sincerely appreciated for their amazing musicality lessons.
Music can be a mystery! Sure, we hear the beat – but there is more – like accents and breaks and different types of music. Nobody knows what the heck to do with all those loooooong notes. And the verbal meaning of the song – how the heck do we get our hands in the air at the right time?
Several people mentioned to me how much Deborah has changed. She used to be so angry and we were all afraid of her!
She’s more mellow and funnier – but we still wouldn’t dare talk in HER class! http://robertdeborah.com
Robert and Nicola, likewise taught relevant material. We love their humor and realism.
Robert walked many miles in our shoes – he paid for all those private lessons too – and is able to target what we actually need.
Dr. Randolph Peters said: “Pedagogy, engaging wit, and emphasizing fundamentals over patterns are the Roystons’ hallmarks, and this workshop was wonderful for all three. They make learning technique even more fun than learning new patterns!
We were led through eye-opening drills that demonstrated how well a leader and follower can communicate, even when they can’t touch, or look directly at each other.
And if you can lead/follow effectively with those restrictions in place, then dancing without them becomes a much more powerful and nuanced experience.”
This is the very best thing that John Lindo does at Liberty, too.
Short and sweet – No delays – No problems – AND NO STUPID COMPETITOR MEETINGS!
Hopefully, this will be added next year.
Winners of Newcomer and Novice deserve a special pat on the back. Most people agree that this process is unnecessarily difficult and confusing. What the judges are thinking (if anything) is more closely guarded than KGB secrets!
1. Lucas Nguyen & Nicole Cox
2. Cory Flowers & Christina Leuci
3. Peter Khoo & Dawn Puchalski (on right)
4. Bruce Haslam & Kristina Chadwick
1. Louis Sheridan & Jacqueline Joyner
2. Curt Kothera & Nadezhda Serova
3. Marlon Mills & Lauren Silvestri
4. Randolph Peters & Barbara Jackson
5. Brian King & Amber Hicks
Since competitions and performances were kept to a minimum, the pros had time to step out on the floor with us!
What a thrill it is to dance with Robert Cordoba!
Or watch the exciting spectacle of
Jennifer DeLuca and Robert Royston.
Sunday, all the pros came together for a class called: “Swing Your Heart Out.” Each taught a small piece and rotated in with the class.
We don’t need any more patterns or jokes. If we can get all these pros together like this – wouldn’t it be better to have a panel discussion about judging criteria?
Really, aren’t these judges sick and tired of seeing the same ole’ mistakes and problems? Don’t they see the PAIN on peoples’ faces when they are let down during the competitions? We need CPR for dancing!
He put on a great performance without torturing us.
Local favorites Jason (an Iraq veteran) & Mary Beth Lane performed their Rising Star routine to “Bad Things” by Jace Everett.
We wish them luck at MADjam!
This is the couple to watch as they become a major influence in the region.
A juggling act with Nicola flying around during their performance to “The Edge of Glory.” (The woman has 2 children!) http://www.roroproductions.com
Nicola can be sarcastic and straightforward in an interestingly humerous and lighthearted way. She has a style all her own.
So many of these BIG personalities absorb the atmosphere with their humor, revelations and volume.
Nicola is a study in less is more.
They are in another class. Most of us can never hope to achieve their skill. They should really be developing Advanced Track workshops that bring the whole east coast to a higher level.
The A+ list of tomorrow NEEDS THEM!
Seriously – they cannot do more in this genre – its time for the world stage - Broadway.
The only thing better than watching John Festa and Jessica Cox dancing (“Oh What a Beautiful Morning”) is seeing that AMAZING jacket on John!
For a real treat, check out this John’s day job:
Wouldn’t Jess be a wonderful movie star? Can’t you just see her on the Red Carpet? Hollywood doesn’t have anyone like her – yet! http://jessicacoxswing.com
There was also a very successful hustle party in another ballroom with some excellent hustle dancers – and was DJ’d by Brian Gallagher.
Really hope to see more hustle next year – lessons and competition!
There will be changes next year but I couldn’t wheedle any advance info out of Sheila!
They wanted to know what we thought.
It’s the way to welcome guests!
Check out some of Rob & Sheila’s other big doings: http://robandsheiladance.com
Next year I really think there should be an All American Jack n’ Jill in true patriotic spirit.
Hey – let’s get someone to put a BEAT on the Star Spangled Banner!
Also, I think it would be very useful to have ProAms.
There are soooooo many newer dancers in the Philly area! They could really benefit with the experience of getting out on the competition floor with their teachers.
Special thanx to sharp dressed man -
Dave Muzii as maître d’ extraordinaire!
No screw-ups, No delays, No confusion, and No running out of water!
Thanx to Allison Chase who did such a great job with registration and all that pesky administrative stuff that makes things run smoothly.
The hotel is okaaaaayyy – but the bar and restaurant needs retraining to handle us! There was a diner and a Denny’s within walking distance – as well as a Comfort Inn.
Both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit (cheaper) go there from both New York Penn and Newark Penn Station – taking about the same amount of time.
The SEPTA train to the airport is $7.00 and you pay on board.
Not too small – not too big. Warm & Fuzzy & Cozy & Friendly!
Everyone loved that they could dance with absolutely everyone else. We were all friends when we were forced to leave on Sunday (seriously, they had to pull the plug on the music).
These people will be at MADjam, Boston Tea Party and Swingin’ Into Spring.
When we see each other again, it won’t be “haven’t I met you somewhere before?”
We’re gonna have an amazing time!”