Lindy Hop in Genova, Italy

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

Lindy 500

Hey Gang,

Here is a link to the video break down of the cupcake (I know it’s not on the DVD that we had for sale).

Ok, what else?

Here’s a link to a quick write-up about the weekend.

BIG, HUGE thanks to Sommer & Dorry and their crew. They take such amazing care of Kevin and me and they are a pleasure to work for. Nina & Michael, thanks for being our “local instructors”. And to the DC Crowd: Thanks for coming out to Baltimore to dance to The Cangelosi Cards and hang out!

Oh, ahahah, let’s see if I can remember some of the skits Kevin and I referenced while teaching. If you haven’t seen these clips, please watch them now. Very quotable.

MAD tv – Bon Qui Qui at King Burger “…but don’t get crazy.”  “I will cut you!!”
Blades of Glory

Spaceballs

Eep, it’s been so long that I don’t remember what other movies Kevin and I pulled quotes from. If you remember one, please let me know and I’ll update the post!

xo

Southern Belle Swing Bash

This was definitely one of the best weekends of 2010 for me!

Firstly, Gina Helfrich and Michael & Jaya Gamble were the organizers of this glorious event and did a bang up job. Frankly, they are some of the best organizers in the US and if you haven’t been to one of their events, you should go! I know…. you should go to Lindy Focus!!

Teaching Classes

I really felt like I came into my own this weekend. I felt really confident in the material I was teaching and that allowed me to think about how I’d like to deliver the message instead of focusing on what I was going to say. All in all, I felt like I knocked it out of the park. I thought I was funny, witty, silly, sassy, and a bit of an asshole. In fact, I think you could say I was a sass-hole!! Hahah, I think one of my favorite things I told the class was that I aimed to be offensive, but not so much that anyone would leave. 😀 I must admit, this weekend of teaching changed who I am as an instructor. I’ll never be the same again….so THANKS M&J and Gina!!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Kevin, my awesome dance partner, for teaching the Jumps! class with me and being my knight in shinning …. er…. jeans. Kevin feels like home base so when I teach with him, it just feels easy! And let’s not forget about Andrew Munoz for being a fantastic leader and teaching partner in my other two partnered classes. Andrew was very brave to agree to teach with me. I only gave him 3 minutes of prep time for each class and he killed it. A great teacher in the making, me thinks!

Performances

I had a really fun time putting together a piece with Carla and Laura and they were such champs! The choreo wasn’t finished until Sunday the week before and I wasn’t able to put it on film to send to them until Tuesday. That just goes to show what professional ladies those two are!!

And speaking of professional ladies, the ever so love Miss Sharon Davis threw down a performance at SBSB. Check it out!

Yes, yes, yes, she wasn’t on the bill because she wasn’t teaching, but the event was THAT good that even Sharon came all the way from Australia for it……heheh, ok, so that’s not entirely true. She was in the general area and she came down from Pittsburgh to have some weekend fun. 😀

Here’s a video from the Solo Charleston Contest:

1st place: Ms. Breanna Perry
2nd place: Jesse Hanus
3rd place: Morgan Lee Kestner
4th place: Lindsay Longstreth

For whatever it’s worth, here is video of the Instructor Jam we had at the beginning of the weekend.

If you had thought about coming but decided last minute you weren’t going to come, I am sorry that you missed such a stellar weekend. It was a rocking good time.

Camp Hollywood – Showcase

It’s 4:17am on Sunday morning (but it still feels like Saturday) and I am in the lobby of the LAX Marriott using the free wifi (WTF, why isn’t it in the rooms?) to post mine and Kev’s latest performance. Sorry I have been SUCH a slacker on posting things, I’ve just been really, really, busy.

Without further adieu, here is “Communication”.

Camp Hollywood 2010 – Showcase Division – Kevin and Jo from Jo Hoffberg on Vimeo.

I also have to post Marty and Delilah’s “Posin'” because it just tickled me!

Fuck, I just love that girl. She’s a whole lot of awesome if you ask me. Enjoy!!

Week 3 Cabaret – Vogue

Last night in the Week 3 Herrang Cabaret, we performed Vogue:

Who is “we”?

Evita Arce and Gio starring as Madonna and the backup dancers were Sharon Davis, Juan Villafane, Michael Jagger, Ilan Dromi, Bobby Bonsey and myself.