US Open 2013 – Update #5

Tickets and Jack and Jill/Strictly registrations are now available at the door only.

I was one of the frantic last-minute online registrations, in my frenzy mistakenly signing up my husband as a Novice Follower, hitting

“Resend! Resend! Back-Button! Mayday! Mayday”

getting only a snobby:

“Cannot resend.  Request ID invalid. Document expired.”

in reply.

I was not the only one to go balmy last minute. Alexis Pero was so determined she registered and paid a second  time even though she’d already done it a month earlier.

Tyoni says they were flooded with eleventh-hour hysteria, up all night processing registrations.  Fortunately mine was the only report of the website misbehaving which is more than you can say for Obamacare.

The hotel room block (at the discounted rate) is now sold out. As of this writing there are a few rooms left at the hotel’s regular rate.

You can put yourself on the waiting list for a discounted room by sending an email to info@usopenswingdc.com.

Looking for a bed? Or roommates? Try the event page on Facebook: US Open 2013

Weather forecast for Wednesday through Sunday calling for mid 60′s (19° Celsius), overcast, and a chance of rain.  You’ll be walking outside to cross from the main hotel to the ballroom so pack normal-people shoes and jacket/umbrella/hoody in case it’s wet.

There’s a restaurant in the hotel (we eat there because it’s fastest) which is not cheap but not expensive, decent but not spectacular. Standard breakfast buffet. Restaurant closes at normal non-dancer hours (10 pm if I’m remembering correctly.)

Room service all day and all night – sandwiches and light stuff once the kitchen has closed – in case you find yourself famished at 4am with no munchies to be found.

Bar and lounge are right there in the same room as the restaurant.

Ah, the scene in the bar on nights of the Open!

Especially on Saturday night. And on Sunday night after Awards!

The bodies pressed in on top of each other! The noise! The excitement!  The stories! The High Drama!

It’s Thanksgiving On Steroids. It’s Thanksgiving where every member of your entire dysfunctional extended family from around the world is home for the holidays. And they’re all performing artists. In every sense.

Right across the street (in the Burbank Airport lot) there’s a Denny’s, Panda Express, McDonalds, pizza joint, sushi place, sub shop – all closing at normal-human hours.

Then of course, if you have the time, money, and a car, there’s all of Hollywood and Los Angeles with many of the best and most famous restaurants in the world.

For groceries:

Ten Whole Foods within a 10-mile radius of the hotel! Including an enormous one a five-minute drive away (331 N Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91206) and a smaller crowded one even closer, in Sherman Oaks.  Five Trader Joe’s within five miles of the hotel.

Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s!  My favorite stores!  Because I’m a Democrat.

For Republican grocery shopping: There’s a Ralphs one mile from the hotel, open every day 6am – 2am.

CVS drugstore right next to Ralphs.

[There's no apostrophe in Ralphs which is distracting me from writing about the US Open. Either a whole crowd of Ralphs own this supermarket together or Republicans don't believe in wasting punctuation marks.]

Oh, and in California beer, wine, and liquor are all sold in grocery stores! And in drug stores! Which seems wild to us, coming from a state which, despite having been the only state in the country to refuse to pass a law enforcing Prohibition, today has strict laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Which reminds me of one night in Milan, Italy, years ago, when after a night of roaming the city in search of swing dancing, Genieboy and I found ourselves at 4am emerging from a basement club to a street completely dark except for a yellow and red light flickering several blocks away. It was a McDonalds, the only food establishment in all of Italy open at that hour. Why I’m telling you this story is because the soda machine – where in America one gets Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite  – in Milan the soda machine dispensed wine. Decent red table wine. You bought your empty cup and then filled and refilled it with wine as you wanted.  I had never had wine with cheeseburger and fries.  It was … good.  I think.

There’s also a mall near the hotel: “The Empire Center” – Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Michael’s, Office Depot, Lowe’s, Sports Authority, chain restaurants.  Two miles from the hotel (North Victory Place & Empire Avenue, Burbank, CA 91503)

The hotel does not provide a shuttle to stores. They have a shuttle, but it goes only across the street to the airport. Which I guess is helpful if you brought your pet elephant, or if it’s raining.

Transportation from LAX:

Tyoni is recommending  “Prime Time Shuttle”  which has a Thanksgiving discount at the moment

There’s also the “Shuttle To Burbank” for $20

Or the “SuperShuttle”

Again, the US Open Facebook page might be helpful in coordinating rides from the airport.

Oh, and don’t forget that in California one gets very French when referring to highways, putting the article “the” before the name, as in

“Take the 405 to the 101 to the 134.”

If you can’t make it to the Open this year you can watch the whole thing online at Global Dance TV.  It’s $35 for the weekend and if I’m not mistaken you get to watch it over and over for a year which if you’re me you like to do.

Some of the events I’ve purchased on globaldancetv say “You get to watch this forever” which I love.  I love saying it, “Forever. I get to watch this forever.”  The US Open doesn’t say that, I guess because the Open is special.

CORRECTION! I omitted two names from the list of US Open emcees: Gary Long and Barry Jones, both hosting between Kenny’s 18-year and Robert Royston’s 10-year reign. My apologies for the mistake -  it’s like trying to remember who hosted the Academy Awards.

How much money and points are up for grabs at the Open?

Here’s NASDE Policy as of January 1, 2013:

For Classic and Showcase:

  • 1st Place      10 points
  • 2nd Place      9 points
  • 3rd Place       8 points
  • 4th Place        7 points
  • 5th Place        6 points
  • 6th Place        5 points
  • 7th Place        4 points
  • 8the Place      3 points
  • 9th Place        2 points
  • 10th Place      1 point

For NASDE Strictly: (no points awarded after 3rd place)

  • 1st Place 3 points
  • 2nd Place 2 points
  • 3rd Place 1 point

Classic and Showcase Prize Money

  • 1st place          $10,000
  • 2nd place        $4,800
  • 3rd place         $3,200
  • 4th place         $2,400
  • 5th place         $1,600
  • 6th place         $600
  • 7th place         $500
  • 8th place         $400
  • 9th place         $300
  • 10th place       $200

And here are NASDE rankings as of this writing:

58 Male Competitors

  • Gregory Scott            98.0
  • Kyle Redd            94.0
  • Benji Schwimmer            83.0
  • Jordan Frisbee            70.0
  • Myles Munroe            70.0
  • Robert Royston            56.0
  • Ronnie Debenedetta        46.0
  • Kristopher Swearingen        42.0
  • Ben Morris            38.0
  • Stephen White            38.0
  • Matt Auclair            35.0
  • Luis Crespo            32.0
  • Joshua Sturgeon            29.0
  • Gary Mcintyre            28.0
  • Sebasten Cadet            27.0
  • Sean Mckeever            25.0
  • Brennar Goree            24.0
  • Ben Mchenry            22.0
  • Robert Jackson            22.0
  • Clint Glasgow            21.0
  • Pj Turner                19.0
  • Bret Navarre            19.0
  • Hareesh Kapoor            17.0
  • Jason Marker            15.0
  • Michael Kielbasa            14.0
  • Hugo Miguez            13.0
  • Maxence Martin            13.0
  • Arthur Uspensky            11.0
  • Jason Miklic            11.0
  • Braden O’Dell            10.0
  • Rome Slater            10.0
  • John Kirkconnell            9.0
  • Kevin Kane            7.0
  • Ben Hooten            7.0
  • Tj Zito                6.0
  • Maxime Zzaoui            6.0
  • Augustin Guitierrez            6.0
  • Scott Stuart            6.0
  • Damien Favier            5.0
  • Arjay Centeno            5.0
  • Brooks Macbeth            5.0
  • Gerald Cote            5.0
  • Byron Calix            4.0
  • Jimmy Formelio            4.0
  • Aleksey Grigoriev            4.0
  • John Lindo            4.0
  • Mike Konkel            4.0
  • Diego Borges            3.0
  • Nick Hughes            3.0
  • Ralph Marion            3.0
  • Kurt Senser            3.0
  • Lee Easton            3.0
  • Douglas Rousar            2.0
  • Arnaud Perga            2.0
  • Brent Key                1.0
  • Eddie Valdez            1.0
  • Christopher Dumond        1.0
  • Tony Schubert            1.0

65 Female Competitors

  • Lemery Rollins            98.0
  • Sarah Vann Drake            87.0
  • Torri Smith            79.0
  • Tatiana Mollmann-Bennett        79.0
  • Tessa Cunningham-Munroe        69.0
  • Brandi Tobias            51.0
  • Nicola Royston            49.0
  • Laureen Baldovi-Mason        39.0
  • Crystal Auclair            39.0
  • Sabrina Paxmann-Stewart        38.0
  • Rebecca Ludwick            36.0
  • Jennifer Deluca            33.0
  • Lindsey Nastos            29.0
  • Susan Kirklin            28.0
  • Blandine Iche            28.0
  • Taletha Jouzdani            25.0
  • Courtney Adair            23.0
  • Connie Gauthier            22.0
  • Mackenzie Goodmanson        21.0
  • Tara Trafzer            20.0
  • Tashina Beckmann            19.0
  • Cameo Cross            18.0
  • Angela Baker            17.0
  • Annmarie Marker            15.0
  • Stacy Kay            13.0
  • Colleen Uspensky            11.0
  • Sophy Kdep            11.0
  • Virginie Grondin            11.0
  • Lila Ferguson            10.0
  • Chevy Slater            10.0
  • Deborah Szekely            10.0
  • Katie Schneider            9.0
  • Melissa Rutz            9.0
  • Alyssa Glanville            9.0
  • Jen Pasetes            9.0
  • Shantala Davis            7.0
  • Kellese Key            6.0
  • Jessann Nail            6.0
  • Joanna Meinl            6.0
  • Melina Ramirez-Stuart        6.0
  • Wendy Zito            6.0
  • Libby Collins            6.0
  • Virginie Perga            5.0
  • Robin Cote            5.0
  • Amandine Biess            5.0
  • Alexa Macbeth            5.0
  • Cindy Meyer Formelio        4.0
  • Jessica Cox            4.0
  • Agnieszka Maslanka        4.0
  • Mindee Hayde            l4.0
  • Ekaterina Avlasevich        4.0
  • Sheli Schroeder            4.0
  • Gabrielle Jemison            3.0
  • Jessica Pacheco            3.0
  • Heather Powers            3.0
  • Bella Virramontes            3.0
  • Fabienne Henshall            3.0
  • Yenni Setiawan            2.0
  • Jill Demarco            2.0
  • Maelle Jacoulet            2.0
  • Melissa Rollins            2.0
  • Patty Vo                1.0
  • Trendlyon Veal            1.0
  • Elise Valdez            1.0
  • Kristen Humphrey            1.0

CLASSIC DIVISION

“Swing dancing that allows choreography with an “on the ground” approach to the dance. Drops, leans, circular movements and other partner weight support moves are allowed as long as both partners keep, at least, one foot on the floor.”

  • Contestants must be 18 years or older by the end of the event to participate.
  • Competitors will be one Male Leader and one Female Follower.
  • Guidelines for expected swing content are 80% in Classic. It is at the judges’ discretion to determine that the swing content requirement has been met.
  • An individual is not permitted to dance twice within the same division.
  • Performance time is a minimum of 2 minutes and maximum of 3 minutes. The clock begins when the performance starts as determined by the chief judge.
  • Competitors select their own music.
  • Costumes are allowed and encouraged.
  • Time and judging starts at first movement of performance with or without music.
  • Separate entrances are permitted but the couple must physically join together within 32 beats of music.
  • Couples must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, short break-a-ways, and recoveries.
  • Break-away in Classic Division to be no more than 8 beats effective January 1, 2009.
  • Dancers must maintain their own physical contact with the floor during partner weight support moves.
  • At most five partner weight support moves are permitted.

SHOWCASE DIVISION

“Swing dancing that allows choreography with flair toward lifts and other partner weight support moves.”

  • Contestants must be 18 years or older by the end of the event to participate.
  • Competitors will be one Male Leader and one Female Follower.
  • Guidelines for expected swing content are 60% in Showcase. It is at the judges’ discretion to determine that the swing content requirement has been met.
  • An individual is not permitted to dance twice within the same division.
  • Performance time is a minimum of 2 minutes and maximum of 3 minutes. The clock begins when the performance starts as determined by the Chief Judge.
  • Competitors select their own music.
  • Costumes are allowed and encouraged.
  • Time and judging starts at first movement of performance with or without music.
  • Separate entrances are permitted.
  • Break-a-ways and side-by-side patterns are permitted.
  • At least three partner weight support moves are required with the partner at knee level or above.
  • At least one partner weight support move is required with the partner above the waist.
  • There are no lift maximums.

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