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Posts Tagged ‘Juan Villafane’

  1. The Vital Moustache Issue

    September 10, 2011 by Jo

    Buwahaahha! This just tickles me silly! “Always tackling the BIG topics, Lindybeige brings you the latest on swing dance camp moustache-related musings. In 2010 many of the top male swing dancers suddenly sprouted thin moustaches. The trend continues and seems still to be waxing.”

    Photograph of Juan by Ana Luz Crespi.
    Photograph of Peter by Luka Dolenc.

    Oh yeah, and here’s a picture of Bobby with a pencil mustache :D


  2. ESDC 2011 – Cabaret

    August 13, 2011 by Jo

    Yes, ESDC happened long enough ago that this might seem like odd timing for this post, but I don’t care. *smile Here are my favorites from Cabaret Division at the European Swing Dance Championships back in June 2011.

    Pure, and utter ridiculousness. I so badly want to be in this routine. Oh, the energy!

    Seriously, I think I’d be the tallest one in this routine. I don’t think I can say that I’ve ever been the tallest in anything I’ve done before.

    The boys doing their Jazz thing:

    I think I prefer the three boy version to the duo. Firstly, there are more boys to adore, but mainly I like the balance of the movement and shapes. Uh….all of them are so classy *grin

    Kevin doing an awesome job with his hat trick routine:

    Dax & Sarah being fabulous as always:


    Dang it, they’re snazzy!

    What were your favorites?


  3. Performing in Greece

    June 7, 2011 by Jo


    This was a ton of fun for me to do. It’s been 5 weeks since I’ve performed a jazz routine, and before that, man, I couldn’t tell you when the last time was I performed jazz.


    Really, and truly, the last time we are performing “Communication.” We wanted to have a new routine by this date, but Kevin’s been injured the last 8 weeks and haven’t been able to train, so unfortunately, we didn’t have anything else together. That being said, it sounded like the Greeks were super happy to get to see it live. Thank you guys, SO much, for being so enthusiastic about the routine!


    The floor was a little…iffy in some place. :D


    Even though Kev missed some of the elbow catches in the beginning, he nails them at the end! Love when he catches the hat on his face and puts one arm/finger in the air telling the crowd that he nailed it!


    Two couple version of Sharon’s awesome routine :D I’m going to do a post dedicated just to this routine shortly.

    Hope you enjoyed the show!!


  4. CSI 2011 – Saturday Performances

    March 28, 2011 by Jo

    What an amazing show this turned out to be! Even though this was thrown together, it couldn’t have worked out any better. The best part: the audience.

    You might not know this, but those fans are significantly heavier than they look and Shaz makes them look effortless. I’ve seen this number a few times and it just gets better and better. Not only does she worked the crowd, but she did a great job of keeping her straps from falling off!


    How amazing was that?! It was even better live, if you can believe it. I love Alice’s knee socks, I love the swing outs, I love the rhythms and syncopation, I love their dynamic together, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the audience watch this dance.


    I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to perform after seeing Tommy & Alice do their thing; how could we top that? As Kevin and I stood in our “ready position”, I could feel the energy of the crowd. When the music began, the audience got louder, and every time I swished my skirt, the audience cheered! This has made the list of Favorite Performance Moments for myself, and it was all because of the crowd. I’ve danced the routine better before, but the roar of the crowd was sensational!


    Nailed it!


    G-dang it! They are bloody fantastic. I find their movement to be super-inspiring and their shapes and lines make me want to wiggle (that’s a good thing)! Well done you two; you totally earned your stripes! It was a pleasure to perform along along side of you.


    Sharon choreographed this piece for Rock That Swing (which I’m dying to see but hasn’t been posted yet) and I think it’s a fab little piece. We all were super-sucking in rehearsal, but managed to pull it together for the show. Yeah us!!


  5. CSI 2011

    January 8, 2011 by Jo

    Yeah, look who’s on the CSI 2011 Poster??!!

    Hey, btw, if you’re free March 25-27, you should come meet up with Kevin and me in Korea! In case you need a few more reasons to come, how about Juan Villafane & Sharon Davis and Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei?!l

    Korea Lindy Hop Championship

    Korean Lindy Hop Championships (KLHC) will take place on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Come out and kick butt!!


  6. Lindy Hop in Genova, Italy

    November 9, 2010 by Jo

    This event was a tribute to how amazing Silvia Palazzolo truly is. The Friday a week before the event was to start, the Sheraton Hotel reneged on their contract and yet Silvia was still able to pull strings to make her event happen. Amazing!

    Some more of the details: The Sheraton Hotel in Genova should have been the perfect for this event. Everyone would fly into Genova, cross the street to get to the hotel, stay in the gorgeous rooms (they were really, really nice), and then wander downstairs to take class and go to the dances at night. What made it not ideal was that the Sheraton didn’t have a dance floor, so Silvia bought one. The Sheraton also didn’t have a proper sound system, so Silvia got one lined up. Now, I know what you’re say, “That’s an organizer’s job; they need to make sure there is a dance floor, sound system, transportation, a place to stay, rah rah rah.” Silvia accounted for that, like a great organizer should, but what makes Silvia one of the great organizers is that a week before the event, almost everything she had planned fell apart.

    I have no idea how she did it, but she was able to pull some strings and got 4 couples (Juan & Sharon, Nathan & Evita, Kevin & myself, and Mindaugas & Gierdre) a new place to teach classes and found a new night venue on 4 days notice. That’s freaking impressive!! Unfortunately, I don’t know how many of the students who attended knew that this happened, so I am assuming parts of the event just seemed poorly run when actually, it incredibly well run.

    Long of the short of it, classes went really well, the students were great, the facilities were wonderful, the dances were fun, The Killer Diller performances went well, and the hotel rooms were lovely.

    PUTTING ON THE SHOW

    Putting on a show to a live band is fun and slightly stressful. We’ve worked with Roberto, the leader of the Nine Pennies Big Band, before and he’s an absolute pleasure. He’s put together some beautiful arrangements for us and his band has gotten stronger and tighter over the past 3 years.

    That being said, regardless of what band you’re working with, you’re adding another layer of uncertainty. For example, our rehearsal time with the band ran later than expected and people were stressing about that (I was one of them). Even though I dig the version we performed to, it’s inevitably different than the one we as a group have been rehearsing to (more of something to take note of…no judgment, just another layer to account for). There are “sound” issue to have to deal with – the sound guy, the sound system, the microphones, etc – and that’s something else that needs to be addressed. Finally, something every performer deals with (unless at the same venue every night), is the floor. Slippery or sticky? Is there anything sticking out that we can trip on? Where’s the lighting set on the floor? Where will the audience be on the floor? And so on…

    Regardless of the challenges, having the band is awesome. The most important thing the band does for us is pump out sound and energy that is energizing to both performers and audience members. The music was spot on for us, the tempos were great, the sound was full, and the energy was up. The Nine Pennies Big Band nailed it and I think (*toot toot) so did the Killer Dillers!

    Here’s Our Set List:

    1. LIVE MUSIC (2:35) Serenade to a Savage – Kevin, Jo, Juan, Sharon, Nathan & Evita
    2. LIVE MUSIC Band Segway (with a singer 3 choruses)
    3. LIVE MUSIC (2:45) Lucky Numbers – Nathan & Evita
    4. RECORDED or LIVE MUSIC (3:22) I ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of my Jellyroll – Juan and Sharon
    5. LIVE MUSIC (4:15) Taking a Chance on Love – Nathan, Evita and Juan
    6. RECORDED MUSIC (2:30) Communication – Kevin and Jo
    7. RECORDED MUSIC (2:41) Shimmy Like my Sister Kate – Bellboy Routine – Sharon, Jo & Evita
    8. LIVE MUSIC (4:20) Living in a Great Big Way into Fascinating Rhythm – Kevin
    9. LIVE MUSIC (2:43) Eight, Nine, Ten – Nathan & Kevin – dueling ukes

    Here are some photos taken at the night dances: Enjoy!!!

    To see some of my (crappy cell phone) pictures from the weekend, click here!

    Again, Silvia, you are wonderful, marvelous, amazing, and inspiring. Thank you for hanging in there and pushing to make sure the event went off and for making our jobs as easy as they were. XOXOX


  7. ULHS 2010

    October 19, 2010 by Jo

    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!!


  8. Jazz Jam 2010 – solo contest

    August 14, 2010 by Jo

    Congratulations to the Killer Diller’s very own Sharon Davis for winning the Solo Jazz division at Jazz Jam 2010!!!

    Contestants: Josette Wiggan (USA), Juan Villafane (AR), Sharon Davis (AUS).

    Videos from Lindytysk


  9. Swing, Brother Swing 2010

    May 12, 2010 by Jo

    I must applaud Silvia for putting on such a wonderful event this year. Swing, Brother Swing was originally a boogie woogie event, yet billed as a lindy event, and has finally turned the corner and has become a proper lindy event (thank goodness). I’d say the biggest change has come from the clientele; three years ago there were very few, if any, Italian lindy hoppers, and now they number in the low hundreds. The ex-boogie dancers can’t escape their roots, but the new slue of beginning and intermediate dancers are truly lindy hoppers (in the sense they have no other dance background).

    Silvia and Bruno are the organizers of Swing, Brother Swing and put countless hours into turning their boogie event into a proper lindy hop extravaganza. This year had a lindy-only line-up of instructors: Steven & Virginie, Dax & Alice, Mike & Nina, Joseph & Trisha, Joel & Valerie, and all the Killer Dillers: Kevin & Jo, Sharon & Juan, and Nathan & Evita. What a great group! From my perspective, it was fantastic to have my entire team there as well as some great friends. One of the highlights of the weekend was on Sunday night after our late dinner. Mike, Nathan, and Kevin had their instruments out and Nathan and Evita sang along (yup, Nathan does both). Sharon kept rhythm with some brushes; Dax and Sarah social danced; Mindaugas, Alice, and I worked on moves; Juan went back and forth between dancing and watching videos; and some Italians watched the spectacle in awe. The group just clicked and we had a blast! Definitely one of the best late nights I’ve had this year.

    So the teaching line-up was solid, and so were the DJs. Silvia brought in Swingin’ Swannee (from Berlin) and Mindaugas (from Lithuania) to DJ when we didn’t have live music. They played some great stuff….stuff I think most of the Italian scene hadn’t heard before. To top that off, we had The Nine Pennies and The Nine Pennies Big Band, with whom the Killer Dillers performed live. They’ve come a long way since Kevin and I first danced to them in 2008. Roberto, the director and composer for the NPBB, did an outstanding job of writing out 9 songs for the show we did on Saturday. Given, he’d written out the score for The Big Apple the year prior, but still….that’s a ton of work!

    So here’s the run down of the show. On Saturday, each Killer Diller taught 2 classes, did a double rehearsal, and put on a live 30 minute show to the Nine Pennies Big Band. For us as performers, this was a huge opportunity. This was our first show to a live band in Italy! EEEEKKK!

    Some challenges that made the show all the more exciting:
    1) We all live in various places and subsequently have very different travel schedules
    2) Because of that, our rehearsal time as a group of 6 is extremely limited (6 hours total this weekend. Last group rehearsal was in December for Lindy Focus)
    3) To top it off, we have to do choreo via video (eek….what if we weren’t perfect on video? What if we weren’t specific enough? etc.)
    4) We were not able to get the music before the show, so we had to assume what we’d be performing to was going to be similar to our recordings
    5) When we did our run throughs with the band, not all the members were there, so we weren’t quite sure what the final sound would be like
    6) Due to an Icelandic volcano erupting, I couldn’t get back home and get our costumes together. Evita and Nathan had to scramble around NY and find something suitable. Needless to say, they found better costumes that I originally did.
    7) During a live show, anything can happen: the band might play at a different tempo than in rehearsal, the solos sound different, costume pieces don’t do what they’re supposed to, lighting might be in the wrong spot, etc.

    Knowing that, here’s the show:

    Killer Diller Show at Swing Brother Swing, Bologna Italy, May 2010 from Killer Dillers

    Yeah yeah yeah!!!

    In regards to the rest of the weekend, the food was great, the company was fantastic, the rooms were nice, we had water, the sounds systems worked, the students were great and our translators were awesome. As an organizer, Silvia and Bruno took great care of us, threw a great event, and were all around awesome. Oh yeah, and the Showcase and Team competition were tons of fun! This year we saw significantly more lindy hop!!

    xoxo


  10. Show in Dublin (part 2)

    April 15, 2010 by Jo

    Pictures of the show The Killer Dillers did in Dublin last Friday. Kevin and Juan performed their strut, Sharon sang Nickelodeon while Kevin played his banjolele “Pots”, and finally Sharon and I performed our red fan dance. Click on pictures to enlarge.