Guys and Girls Gone Wild 2011

This was my first all-jazz weekend. Ten Hours of Classes and nothing but jazz. Oh my goodness, it was a freaking FUN weekend. Here was the schedule and some highlights:

Friday, March 18th

What: Dance and Vintage Bathing Suit Badminton Contest
When: 9pm-late
Where: Baltimore Strut

The location of this venue is completely on the wrong side of the tracks, but it’s a cool venue. I believe it’s a modern dance studio when it’s not inundated by whom Michael Seguin dubbed his “Baltimore’s At-Risk Youths”. Buwahahah!

Vintage Bathing Suit Badminton Contest

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Kevin and I performing before the badminton contest

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Photos from the weekend:

Saturday, March 19th

Time Guys Girls
12pm-1:15pm Slow Strut ( VFW ) Girls’ Choreography( VVA )
1:30pm-2:45pm ** Big Apple part 1, guys and girls together ** ( VVA )
3:00pm-4:15pm Jazz Details ( VVA ) Jazz Details ( VFW )
4:30pm-5:45pm Guys’ Choreography ( VVA ) Blues ( VFW )
9pm-midnight Blue Vipers of Brooklyn and Solo Jazz Dance Contest ( VVA )

I taught Can-Can in my Girls Choreo class and had a blast! Getting all those girls to kick up their legs and “woo” together was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. In Jazz Details, we covered Boogie Forward, Squat Charleston, and one other move. Does anyone remember?

I taught a modified version of my fan dance choreography in the blues class so the girls could learn some moves and we could work on movement. Again, I focused in on the details of committing weight to one foot or the other, using the hips, and looking with intention.

Later that night there was a solo dance contest. I haven’t found video of it just yet, but I’ll share it once it’s up. The finalists danced live to The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, who were outstanding. There were a few late night parties after the dance, but Kevin and I needed to go home so we could get some sleep. We wanted to be in tip-top shape to abuse the students the following day 😀

Sunday, March 20th

Time Guys Girls
12pm-1:15pm Jazz Details ( VFW ) Jazz Details ( VVA )
1:30pm-2:45pm Hat Tricks ( VFW ) Secrets of the Killer Dillers ( VVA )
3:00pm-4:15pm ** Big Apple part 2, guys and girls together ** ( VVA )
4:30pm-5:45pm Secrets of the Killer Dillers ( VVA ) Burlesque ( VFW )
After Afterparty at VVA lounge

Another day of successful classes! I started Sunday off by breaking down the details of the Shim Sham. I completely mismanaged our time and took 1hr 40 to do so. I had such a great time though…..all those little detail. Ladies, you were amazing. 😀 I then explained who the Killer Dillers were and then talked about how to compete in Charleston, phrasing music, and gave some quick tips about what to do when you go blank. This class probably would have been more useful to a few people the day before, but c’est la vie.

The Big Apple pt 2 is always a tricky class; the attrition rate is higher than I’d like. I think it’s because it was day 2 of nothing buy jazz, the 2nd half have very little repeating choreo, people max out, and the choreo is a bit fiddly. Hehe (embarrassed), it could have also been that Kev and I had a few flubs in the choreo that we eventually fixed :p But we had a few troopers that made it to the end. Congratulations to you badasses!!

A new favorite of mine was the burlesque class. I had the girls bring heels and we spent time walking. We reviewed what we did in the blues class the day before, but this time wearing heels. We sat, we stood, we took off our jackets, and we walked away. 😀 I thought it was a super fun class! Girls, let me know if the stuff works (or not)!!

The 2011 Swing/Jazz Dance Music Video Contest

Seattle Vintage Jazz Dance is proud to present… the 3rd Annual Swing/Jazz Dance Music Video Contest! The first contest was a resounding success, and the second year was just as amazing! We hope that this year’s contest will be even better!

Have you ever watched one of those old-time soundies and thought that you’d like to be in one yourself? Too shy to dance in front of a live audience but still want to show off your stuff?

You now have a chance to let your imagination go wild and and create what might become the best swing (or jazz) dance music video of 2011! This year’s contest includes permission to use music by Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio, Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Band, and the Solomon Douglas Swingtet!*

The first place prize is a $700 cash prize and 40 free admission passes to the HepCat Productions weekly swing dance. Second prize is a $150 cash prize.

If you wish to submit an entry to the contest, please read through this web site, especially the FAQ section. The contest deadline is June 02, 2011. You may enter, or participate in, as many videos as you’d like. See contest rules for details.

Entries are to be submitted no later than 11:30PM PDT on Thursday, June 02, 2011.

Please note: you do not have to be from Seattle in order to enter!

FAQs

Contest Details

Music

Also, check out the previous two years’ video contest entries to see all the cool and crazy things that people did!

Vote for Dax & Sarah

Two of my loveliest, gorgeous, talented friends are currently competing on CBS Live To Dance. Dax Hock and Sarah Breck are doing a fantastic job representing Lindy Hop to the mainstream media and is bring such much needed recognition to a dance form that is under appreciated.

Please take a minute to VOTE FOR THEM. There are 3 ways to vote for your favorite acts on Live To Dance:

1) Call  1-855-live-to-5  10 times
2) text the number 5 to 97979 10 times
3) Voting online: go here to the website to become a registered user of cbs.com in order to vote. Do this 25 times!

Voting via toll-free and text message will remain open for 2 hours after the show broadcast in each region. Online voting will remain open until 9:00 am PT/ 12 noon ET each Thursday.

Here’s a snippet from the show before they made it to semi-finals.

Now go vote 45 times! xoxo

Dearest Dax, I hope you back gets better. I know this darn injury has been chasing you for a while. Darling Sarah, keep doing what you’re doing. I wish you both the best of luck. Thank you for representing lindy hop. We all love you. xoxo

UPDATED: Here’s there performance from tonight

Lone Star Championship 2011 – Invitational Competition

Invitational Strictly – Spotlight 1

Invitational Strictly – Spotlight 2

You might notice that I dressed differently than I typically do. Lisa Casper (New Orleans) outfitted me from head to toe. That is her yellow bandanna, yellow top, and skirt. The fun thing about that skirt is that she made that herself! I think this might be the making of a new clothing designer in our scene!! (And and and, in a very short while I’ll be selling hair accessories handmade by her!!)

RESULTS

1) Nick Williams and Laura Keat
2) Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama
3) Todd Yannacone and Jo Hoffberg

Jack and Jill!!!!!!

What set this competition apart from all the others was the music. We danced to a lindy hop song and then something that fell into the karaoke/soul category. Nick Williams and I were brave enough to choose Karaoke Grab Bag, and to be honest, I think it was a great choice. 🙂

FAVORITE MOMENTS:
1) Sucking on the lindy hop portion and then finding total redemption with a Star Lift. To top that off, Nick’s “fork in the garbage disposal” moment. And I have to give Chia-Wen Lin a shout out for being such an awesome team player as well as Carla for continuing to play along.
2) Andrew Thigpen and Carla Heiney dancing to “Summer Nights” from Greece (14:41). She made such a great Sandra Dee and they both acted the crap out the song!! Hahha, and getting to be backup singers….man… I’ll never forget that.
3) Peter Strom and Mia Goldsmith’s dance was……so many things (21:39)!! One way to describe it is “not work appropriate”. Another: daaaaaaaaannng! Just watch everyone’s reaction in the background. Funny stuff. 🙂
4) Nikki Marvin swivel moment (28:30) shortly followed up by Jeremy Otth’s circle slide (28:35) and finger point (just to make sure you saw it dancing to Footloose (28:56). When he undid his suspenders….we all nearly lost it! He made such a great Kevin Bacon….it was ridiculous!

Naomi Uyama also did a fantastic job picking out the music!! People we so well suited to the music they chose. Love it!

RESULTS:

1) Chance Bushman and Karen Turman (6:00)
2) Nick Williams and Jo Hoffberg (9:47)
3) Peter Strom and Mia Goldsmith (19:56)

ULHS 2010

I didn’t know what to expect since I haven’t been to ULHS since 2007, but I’ll tell you, it’s magical, and then some.

I’ve had a hard time finding video from the weekend for some reason. If you find a better quality video than the one I have up, please let me know and I’ll repost. If you find more video from the weekend that should be up here, please let me know and I’ll throw it up into the mix.

The music was ridiculous all weekend long and the weather was perfect. The food was good, transportation was easy, drinks were cheap, and the company was as fabulous as expected. I missed seeing the members of Hot Club Stomp, but they were off at various gigs (which is the same reason I haven’t been at ULHS for the past few years). Sosh & Lisa, thanks for taking care of me. Andrew, thanks for throwing down with me. Lindsay, thanks for being all-around awesome.

Let me throw out a HUGE congratulations to Juan & Sharon for winning Showcase and Showdown!

Congratulations to Sharon and Kevin for winning the Slow Blues!

Congratulations and thank you from the bottom of my dancing heart to Evita Arce for killin’ it in the Solo Blues competition!

Congratulations to Bobby Bonsey for his Solo Jazz win. That back flip was ridiculous!

Final Battle

Congratulations to Rainer Rhythm for their Team victory!

Click here to check it out. Yeah Seattle!!

ILHC Results 2010

Showcase:
1 – Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau
2 – Davis Thurber & Claudia Joyal-Laplante
3 – Patrick Szmidt & Natasha Ouimet

Classic:
1 – Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei
2 – Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg
3 – Nick Williams & Laura Keat

Champion Strictly
1 – Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau
2 – Nick Williams & Laura Keat
3 – Kevin St. Laurent & Carla Heiney

Invitational Jack & Jill:
1 – Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau
2 – Jeremy Otth & Carla Heiney
3 – Skye Humphries & Laura Keat

Solo Charleston:
1 – Kevin St. Laurent
2 – Max Pitruzzella
3 – Bobby Bonsey

Pro-Am:
1 – Oscar Hampton & Annie Trudeau
2 – Alisha Ruiss & Max Pitruzella
3 – Eric Lim & Laura Glaess

Cabaret:
1 – Jerry, the Hip Hop Specialist
2 – Naomi Uyama
3 – Top Drawer

Advanced J&J:
1 – Thomas Blacharz & Mikaela Hellsten
2 – Mike Roberts & Natasha Ouimet
3 – Andreas Olsson & Kate Hedin

All Around Awesome and Has Given something to the scene that will forever change it for the better:

Andrew Thigpen and Karen Turman

Open Strictly Lindy:
1 – Jamie Cameron & Gina Helfrich
2 – Daryl Begin & Jennifer Stout
3 – Anthony Chen & Rachel Green

Strictly Balboa:
1 – Mickey Fortanasce & Kelly Arsenault
2 – Bobby White & Kate Hedin
3 – Todd Yannacone & Mia Goldsmith

Balboa J&J:
1 – Adam Speen & Mia Goldsmith
2 – Bobby White & Heather Ballew
3 – Patrick Szmidt & Nelle Cherry

Open J&J:
1 – Mitchel & Lauren
2 – Elliot Susel & Hanna Sigurdh
3 – Paul Echevarria & Andrea Gordon

Team:
1 – Swinging Airforce
2 – Top Notch
3 – The Woodside Jumpers

If you’d like to see the actual score sheets, please click here! Thanks for taking pictures Patrick & Natasha!

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Favorite Moments at ILHC 2010

If you didn’t make it to ILHC 2010, I am very sorry, because it was one of the greatest competition weekends I feel the scene has had in a few years. Not everyone was able to make it this year – Frida, Zacke, Sharon Davis, Juan, Dax, and Sarah to name a few – but there was still an amazing showing of people. There were so many inspiring moments that I’d have a hard time thinking that anyone could walk away without the feeling of “WOW.”

People brought their A-Game and that’s all there is too it. In many ways, I didn’t feel like the placement matter….everybody rocked.

Here are some favorite moments:

Solo Charleston Contest

My dance partner kicked ass and won! Not only that, but he had someone do a front flip over his head, and he still won. That’s gotta say something!

Invitational Jack and Jill Lindy – Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau

There are many reasons to include this – like the fact they won – but the reason I do is because of what Todd said before he went out. During Skye’s and Laura’s dance, Skye brought Laura and himself over to the Baltimore Section of the floor. Todd smiled and said that was a cheap shot. Then, when it was Todd’s turn, he not only took the SAME “cheap shot”, but then blew that shot out of the water! He went to the Baltimore corner, showed Annie off to the judges, then to the far corner, and then ran by all the the instructors sitting on stage. Hahaha….very, very amusing.

Invitational Jack and Jill Lindy – Stefan Durham & Jo Hoffberg

The dances I have with Stefan are like none other. He is super creative and I dig his lines. Fun Fact: he drew me in the J&J at ILHC in 2008 as well!

ILHC 2010 – Showcase – Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau

There are sooooooo many things that can be said about this gorgeous routine. The energy, their creativity, their musicality, their aerials, their….. everything. Congratulations to both Max & Annie on their win.

ILHC 2010 – Showcase – Andrew Thigpen & Karen Turman

They killed it!!!!!!!!! Andrew and Karen ARE the spirit of Lindy Hop, according to me. They bring so much energy, heart, and love to the dance, it’s inspiring. I am so honored to have made it into Lindy Hop History this way. For me, this dance will be one to stand the test of time. If only two clips of lindy hop were to survive an apocalypse, I hope it’d be Hellzapoppin’ and this one.

ILHC 2010 – Classic Lindy – Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei

After they came off the floor, I told them I thought they were the couple to beat. What an amazing job they did!!! The choreography is musical and intricate, they performance is stunning, and frankly, the just danced the shit out of that routine!

ILHC 2010 – Classic Lindy – Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg

I am adding myself to the list because I am super proud of what Kevin and I did. This is our first Classic piece and the reviews we’ve been given were pretty spectacular. What was most noteworthy to me about this performance was that I felt like we had SO MUCH TIME while performing. Normally I have to think about the choreography and focus on the details while performing, but here, I had time to look at the audience, the judges, and Kevin. I just felt like…..it was effortless. That was a first for me. 🙂

ILHC 2010 – Pro Champions Strictly Lindy – Finals

I thought this was a great showing for the pros AND it was a return to the old school. Kevin & Carla reunited to kick some ass (they took 3rd), Skye and Naomi danced together, and Todd and I competed (we were partners many years ago). It was an old school battle.

And Finally, the Yes Dance!

Yeah, this isn’t the one that was done, but I can’t find a link to it. If you find it, please let me know!!!

ILHC 2010 – Charleston and Classic

ILHC 2010 – Charleston Solo – Finals – Spotlights

ILHC 2010 – Charleston Solo – Finals – All Skate

COMPETITION RESULTS

1. Kevin St. Laurent
2. Max Pitruzzella
2. Bobby Bonsey

CLASSIC DIVISION

Tommy Blacharz & Alice Mei

Mikey Pedroza and Nikki Marvin

Mike Roberts and Laura Glaess

Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg

Oskar Markusson & Mikaela Hellsten

Nick Williams & Laura Keat

Joshua Welter & Mélanie Huot-Lavoie

RESULTS FROM CLASSIC:

1. Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei
2. Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg
3. Nick Williams & Laura Keat