Travel Days

What an impressive set of Travel Days I have had in the last two and a half weeks!

Here’s the run down on what it takes to be me (*tooting my horn):

May 17, Monday: 9:25am flight from Berlin to JFK. Arrive into Pittsburgh at 6:30pm.
Finally coming home from Europe! Can’t freaking wait! I’m basically coming home so I can rehearse for Camp Jitterbug and do some laundry.

May 20, Thursday: 7:00pm flight from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis. Arrive into Seattle at 11:30pm.
The idea was that I’d have time to spend with my family. Instead, I run errands for the next few days all over town.

May 24, Monday: 2:30pm flight to Orange County. Arrive 5:30pm.
Man, I love direct flights! They rarely seem to happen. It’s also fun to run into people I know, like Ben Morris. I want to rehearse with The Atomic Cherry Bombs before our performance on Friday night. Nikki was kind enough to let me work with the girls for about 2.5 hrs. We do a full dress rehearsal. I try to scare and motivate the girls 😀

May 25, Tuesday: 12:00pm flight to Seattle. Arrive 2:45pm.
Direct flights are fabulous! I rehearsed again before I left for Seattle. I continue to run errands until the day of the show.

May 28, Friday: JUMP SESSION SHOW 7:30pm
ROCKED IT. I was so very, very pleased with my ladies and myself. Sharon’s Bell Boy Routine went well and so did Stratosphere.

June 1, Tuesday: 5:00pm flight to Los Angeles. 10:30pm flight to Sydney, Australia.

June 3, Thursday: 6:30am arrival into Sydney. 9:15am flight to Perth. Arrive at 11:25am.
It’s glorious in Perth at the moment. Oh how I’ve missed the sun shining. I have class to teach from 8-10pm that night.

And there you have it. A rather crazy 2 weeks, wouldn’t you say?

What have I gleaned from my last two weeks?

  • It’s important to get your frequent flyer miles.
  • With those miles you don’t have to worry as much about over-weight luggage.
  • It’s important to pack layers.
  • Just because it’s “Spring” on the calendar doesn’t mean Mother Nature is going to play along.
  • Having gloves on you is never a bad thing.
  • “Days Off” are really just days to do all the chores I wasn’t able to do previously (translations: not really days off)
  • I must remember to schedule “Lazy Days” where I am just sitting around doing nothing. My scheduled “Days Off” aren’t working out the way I had hoped.
  • If you’re planning on performing something with a group of people, it’s worth the money, time, and effort for YOU to travel and go see them. It would have been a terrible idea to have not seen the Cherry Bombs before the show.
  • Never underestimate the power of a cupcake, especially when your best friend brings you one “just because.”
  • It’s important to run things full out. This means costume and body movement. Doing that the hour before the show does not mean you are well prepared. Remember, your building muscle memory when you’re rehearsing, so make it count AND you’d want to know if your who-ha was going to be showing before you got on stage.
  • (Ladies) Every performer should own false eyelashes and glue, bobby pins that match their hair color, hand mirror and fabulously bright lipstick.
  • Be gracious and understanding. It goes a long way.
  • Keep pushing. You’ll get to rest eventually.
  • Claire Pedroza might be a Vintage Hair Genius. She did my hair for CJ and it was in great shape until I left for Oz. Tons of compliments. She rocks.
  • Empty flights are a godsend.
  • Getting to sleep horizontally is awesome.
  • Too many bobby pins set off security alarms.
  • Nick Williams travels more than I do.

And there you have it! Two more things I think it’s important for you to know: how to pack for 10 Days in a Carry-On and What Happens to you crap after you’ve left if on a plane. Great reads, so check them out 😀

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Korea: CSI 2010

You might be noticing that I am posting pictures and videos from event that happened over a month ago. Well, you see, I’ve been slacking, so now I am trying to catch up. So here are some favorite moments that were captured! Ooh, and make sure you get to the bottom of this post…that’s where some fun facts are!!

And here are some of the performances from that weekend. Hot Club Stomp from Orange County and The Killer Dillers from all over put on a 30 minute show. Here you go!

The Killer Dillers – “Harlem”

OOOooooh, someone forgot to take off her leg warmers!!

Hot Club Stomp – ” Keep On Jumpin’ ”

Juan and Sharon

Laura and Jeremy

Mikey and Nikki

Juan and Kevin

Sharon and Jo

Hot Club Stomp – “Shake That Thing”

Tip and Tops Debut their new Hat Tricks Routine in Korea:

Bonus Footage:

Al & Leon Shim Sham in Fat suits:

B-boy Battle – The teachers vs. B.Boy

Some fun facts from my trip:

1. I am under the impression that Seoul has the biggest swing dance scene in the world.
2. There are 15 swing bars in Seoul – that’s 15 dance venues, devoted ENTIRELY to swing dancing, 7 days a week!
3. Food in Korea is awesome!! They have some awesome red paste that goes on everything and is spicy-goodness. Unfortunately I don’t remember what it’s called, but it starts with a “g”.
4. Heated floors are fabulous!!!! Except when you have mochi in your bag. Be careful not to let your goodies get cooked because then you’ll have to throw them out. Boo.
5. Kimchi is yummy. Rumor has it that Kimchi is the reason why the Koreans never got SARS or bird flu. If you fly to Korea on Korean Air, there is a special on Kimchi….watch it!
6. The Jack & Jill at Camp Swing It involved taking a shot of Soju (which is a Korean distilled rice wine, vaguely similar to Japanese Sake) before and after each partner rotation. To prove you had finished the shot, you had to turn the glass upside down on your head (NOTE: that’s why Kevin is doing that in the pictures above). When dancers were refusing to drop out, the challenge increased to half a bottle per partner rotation! DANG!
7. Korean dancers are freaking awesome. They can copy almost anything, so if you’re planning on teaching there, don’t demo something “wrong” too often otherwise someone might think that’s what you want them to do. Set good examples.
8. I loved our translators. Some of them translated word for word, some listened and nodded (but forgot to translate), and some told the class their interpretation of what we meant. Haha, there’s nothing like saying 5 words and having the translator speak for 2 minutes.
9. So many people were dressed well. OMG, if I can find pictures I’ll post them. Cute tap short, amazing shiny suits (seriously pimp and not tacky), blue shirts with ruffles and bow ties….these kids can make everything look good!
10. There was a costume room full of kimonos and sumo suits, wigs and giant fans in the place we filmed the Camp DVD. Interviews were thus conducted in costume, with props. Kevin, Shesha and I performed the Al & Leon Shim Sham for the camera while wearing sumo suits. SEE ABOVE.
11. Camp Swing It was the first official collaboration of The Killer Dillers with fab Los Angeles’ group, Hot Club Stomp. That’s Laura Keat, Jeremy Otth, Mikey Pedroza, Nikki Marvin & Shesha Marvin. Awesome dancers, brilliant performers, real professionals. They were so lovely to work with. Here’s to many more…
12. All the instructors were challenged to a battle by a single Korean B-boy. We were beaten. Badly. SEE ABOVE.
13. We stayed in some awesome places while we were there. I wish I had taken pictures of them for you all to see. Oh yeah, make sure you watch some TV while you’re in your room because there is some funny fucking stuff on cable!
14. There was a very, very charming marriage proposal. Thank goodness she said yes, otherwise that would have been very embarrassing! The guy sang to her in front of everyone while reading the lyrics off his iPhone!

Thanks Kang Seok for making this all possible!!! xoxo

Hotels in Stockholm

It’s 6:30 in the morning and I have spent the last couple of hours trying to find housing for 2 people in downtown Stockholm. I found a place to stay, but I wasted soooooooo much time doing so! Here is what I wish I knew a few hours ago about finding a hotel room super last minute in Stockholm.

First, what issues are you solving for?

> be realistic about your price point – what are you willing to spend and what is that number in US Dollars, Euros, and Swedish Kronor
> what general area would you like to stay in? To figure this out, look at a map of the city and find a district that you’d like to be in to help narrow your search
> is it close to public transportation? What line are you on? In general, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the public transit in a foreign country…..unless you’re in America (sans New York) then look at the freeway system…
> how long will it take me to get to T-Centralen to catch the train to the Arlanda Airport?
> will there be internet?

Figure out what matters to you the most and put them in order.

Let’s go back just a bit so you have a better idea of where I am coming from. After I dicked around for about 3 hours, I finally figured that I was willing paying around U$130, give or take U$30. I then typed “Stockholm hotels” into google (uh!!! Why didn’t I do this hours before????? Why (groaning)??) and saw that I had more options than I really wanted. From there, I located the tube stops, crossed referenced these with a map of subway system and realized that some of the hotels I had originally planned to stay at were no where near a tube stop. Cross them off the list.

I picked a bunch of hotels that were located near a tube stop and then slowly went through the process of entering in the dates of my stay, number of rooms, and number of people. Lots of places were booked solid, a number were enormously out of my price range, and a few hit the mark. In general I was rather impressed with The Scandic Hotels. There were multiple locations and most were rather affordable – I am talking between 750-990 SEK a night for two people! Sweet.

Other places that I thought about staying:

Anno 1647 – Mariagränd 3, SE-116 46 Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Story Hotel – a very artsy-looking place that stole my heart, was about 2000 sek, but a tiny bit too far from the Arlanda Express (in comparison to the hotel I ended up booking)
Nordic Sea Hotel – holy shit this place is cool! And it has an Absolut Ice Bar in the hotel (visited that last year….it’s really cold in there 😀 )
Nordic Lights Hotel – same kinda thing as above. Right by the Arlanda Express. Freakin’ cool.

So that’s why I know. After hours of pointless work, that I clearly could have done in 20 minutes, I learned that I am not very efficient at 6am but I can relish the thought that I just learned something that will surely help me in the future.

Happy Birthday Sharon!

What a fun Birthday Day Ms. Sharon Davis just had. Well (smirk), at least according to my standards.

Last night around 3am we celebrated Shaz by indulging in brownies and ice cream. Kev bought a round of treats for us all and then we sang Happy Birthday. As we continued to eat, in good ol’ Herrang fashion, foreigners continued to walk by the Blue Moon Cafe and then it dawned on the group of us to get them to sing. Slowly but surely, Sharon was serenaded multiple times, by multiple people, in multiple languages. Here’s the list of what came by:

Catalan
Castillian
PortugueseParabéns a você,
Italian – buon compleanno
French – Joyeux anniversaire !
German – Alles gute zum Geburtstag!
Finnish – Hyvää syntymäpäivää
Norwegian – Gratulerer med dagen!
DanishTillykke med fødselsdagen
Swedish – Grattis på födelsdagen !
Hebrew – ום הולדת שמח “Yom Huledet Sameakh”
Ukrainian – Многая Літа Олек! (Mno-haja Leeta Oh-lek)
Russian – С днём рождения! S dnyem rojdeniya!
Lithuanian – su gimtadieniu Su gimimo diena
Hungarian -boldog születésnapot
Irish – Breithlá shona duit
Pig Lain
Mime – this was acted out silently, but with much enthusiasm

Hopefully I’ve have found the correct translations and have linked to to appropriate songs. If you know of a better video clip of someone singing “happy birthday” in whatever language, please send it to me.

Happy Birthday Shaz!! Enjoy your mustache, your jewels, the cake and banana bread!!! xoxoxo