Top Moments from 2013

A quick review of how EPIC 2013 was for me. In chronological order, I present to you:

1. Attending my first Viennese Ball at the Philharmonic in Vienna, Austria.

Vienna

I wore a vintage 1930s gown, my Remix shoes, and a feather fascinator from Etsy. What a gorgeous facility! Kevin and I waltzed a few times and stayed awake until the wee hours of the morning. De.lightful!!

2. The best birthday party EVER!!

birthday 2013
The theme: Thrift Store. Instead of getting presents, I asked everyone to bring $29, come down to the thrift store with me and the gang, and buy clothes for someone else. After that, it was fashion show time. And beer. 😀

3. My younger brother got married

wedding

4. Dancing on the Great Wall of China

Great Wall

 china

5. Outrageously good time at The Mooche in Cork, Ireland. Thanks Daragh!!

The Mooche

Kevin and I stayed in a fabulous B&B, ate a proper “British Breakfast”, hung out with some fabulous misfits, taught some super fun classes, and hung out with One Horse Pony – some fabulous local musicians.

6. Choreographing for Swing X with Dax Hock & Sarah Breck.

Traveling in Style

Traveling in Style

Advice

“You see Dax, I want you to feeeeel like you’re in love. Take her like ‘dis…hold her like ‘dis…..”

Swing x

Talking through the next set of shots

Not only did Kevin and I get to choreograph and advise on our first full-length film, but we also got to visit Middle America. Whoa.

7. Attending the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island and getting into the Fashion section of the NY Times

Jazz party

 

I’ll see if I can find a bigger picture of it, but I’m on the far left, second row up from the bottom. Kevin and I also took 1st & 2nd place in the Charleston Contest.

8. Taking Second Place with Mikey Pedroza at ILHC in the Slow Division.

ilhc slow

 

9. Being inducted to the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame – as a Rising Star and as a Couple (thanks Kev!!)

Photo by Steve Hwan

Photo by Steve Hwan

Rising Star – The Rising Star is a Champion that has been around from ten to twenty years. It strives to make its place in the Swing Dance Heavens through its ongoing participation within the Milky Way of Competition.

Couples – Couples stands out with special brilliance among other swing partnerships.

10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – samba, Copacabana, Ipanema, and amazing people

F - brazil 2

brazil

11. Dancing my ass off at Lindy Shock in Budapest, Hungary.

lindy shock

Countless nights I was up until 5am dancing. Mostly I’d go home because I had work in the morning and my feet were on fire. Some of my most memorable dances from the weekend were with Dax Hock. Thanks man!

12. Performing the Jungle Book number with my new team at Lindy Focus: ‘Monkey’ Mikey, ‘Lioness’ Gaby, and ‘White Tiger’ Kevin.

ESDC 2011 – Showcase & Classic Division

Here are my favorites from each event!!

SHOWCASE

3) Gastón Fernández & Tina Rizza

Way to represent Argentina!!! I’m so glad they decided to compete with this routine because for a brief period of time, I was under the impression they were going to back out. I’d like to think I talked them into it, but I’m sure they just remembered how awesome they were and then decided to kick some booty. Congratulations you two!!

2) Oskar Markusson & Mikaela Hellsten

Did you see that aerial at 1:45? Holy cow that was ridiculously awesome!! I love the dynamics between the two of them. They both have great shapes and line and I think they work really well as a partnership. This is one of the couples that I really enjoy watching; they are creative, shapely, have great taste in music, and they know how to make their shit look gooood.

1) William Mauvais & Maeva Truntzer

She’s a total stud; just look at  her go! And did you see his face? Personally, I think William give the best “Face” in the lindy world. He’s such a character and I fucking adore it.

CLASSIC

4) Aurelien Lesdos & Audrey Da Sois

Keep your eye on this couple because I am sure they are going to be the next big thing. Their energy, choreography ideas, and body shapes freaking rock my world. Truth be told, I couldn’t take my eyes off her when they danced! Fast forward to 1:58 and watch from there. DANG!!!

3) Ali Taghavi & Katja Uckermann

What a stunning dress! Honestly, I was studying her dress while she was dancing because I was so taken by it. Thank goodness for video; now I can see her and Ali’s great routine.

3) Nick Williams & Laura Keat

I ADORE Laura’s shapes. Seriously, all her shapes and poses and picturesque and sharp. Heheh, Laura told me she has a “Jo Moment” in the routine. Can you spot it?

2) Nicolas Deniau & Mikaela Hellsten

I saw this routine at Crazy Rhythm Challenge in France back in February. I loved it then and I love it even more now. Holy cow! Check out those splits! I’ve also decided that Mikaela is the real deal; she’s got the whole package. She can balance a regular dance partner and a boyfriend/dance partnership, she looks fantastic in red lipstick, her hair is always twisted in fabulous ways, and she really knows how to use her shapes and lines. Bad ass!

1) Dax hock & Sarah Breck

They are just freaking fantastic! Buwaaahahahhah, Dax in a fat suit! Can you image what the people at security must have thought when his bags were x-rayed at the airport? Hilarious. Oh yeah, and the dancing is tight 😀

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

Lindy Shock 2010

This was definitely one of my favorite events of the year, if not favorite. Marcell, the organizer, did a wicked-good job of covering all the logistics and knows how to run a tight shift. All of his past research clearly paid off.

First things first, the line up. There were great teachers AND the DJs were fantastic. When you have the combination of great teachers and great music, more often than not, great dancers show up to dance with the instructors to the awesome music. It almost felt like the Who’s Who of Europe came to the event. Don’t believe me? There were 800 people at the event and it’s only in it’s 4th year. The numbers were up 40% since last year. “Dang!!!” is right (*head nod). So here’s the list: the main teachers are Andrew Sutton, Dax & Sarah, Hasse & Marie, Juan & Sharon, Kevin & Jo, Skye & Frida, Vincenzo & Isa, Zack & Maryse. Our taster teachers are Alf & Eli, Ali & Katja, Fedor & Inga, Nejc & Katja. Jamie Cameron, Deeb from Lithuania, Luc Prunet from Toulouse, Paulo BrotherSwing from Paris, Laurent Meirieu aka DJ Lolo from Toulouse were just some of the incredible DJ’s that held down the musical front.

SOME DETAILS ABOUT THE EVENT
From a teacher’s stand point, things were fantastic, other than auditions. That being said, auditions are never “super fun!” so it’s not like this was a special case. (I’ll write another post just on audition, but in short, we don’t want students to feel bad about where they were placed and have it affect their ability to learn. The process itself is also slightly stressful. Other than that, it’s necessary to put people into appropriate levels so that the learning environment is consistent and the teachers are the best people to do that.)
What was so fantastic, you say? The rooms on the boat were teeny, but cute. The shower actually had hot water and good water pressure. The sound systems worked in all the classrooms. The floors were nice in all the classrooms. The students arrived on time and were ready to learn (you might think that is obvious, but it is not always the case). Food was easily accessible, and so was dessert after we asked Marcell. We were given money for drinks. The music was fantastic (there were 5 different rooms playing music so everyone was bound to find something that suited their mood). Terrific people were there. Competitions were super. And finally, we were given a great place to party with our friends. A men!


Photos by Eric Esquivel, Tatiana Satsenya, and Eran Tobi

CONTESTS

Short and quick: The contests were fantastic! I saw so much solid and inspired dancing…..it really jazzed me up. Congratulations to everyone who competed!!

Showcase

William & Maeve – 1st place

Mindaugas & Gierdre – 2nd place

Strictly Lindy Prelims:

Performances

Kevin St. Laurent doing Hungarian

Joysse being amazing

Teachers being impressive

[videos go here….but where are they??]

More video to come!!!

Marcell, thank you for putting on such a fantastic event. To the students, thank you for coming ready to learn and for asking some really great questions! To everyone that attended, thanks for being there and helping make my year. To the competitors, thanks for kicking ass in that tiny space!! To the DJs, thank you for playing the stuff that makes me want to dance! To the boys, thanks for buying drinks! To my friends, I love you and I’ll see you somewhere around the world. 😀