City of Angels 2015 Update #3 - Pants and Shoes and Screamers
Late-Nite dancing here is fabulous.
This is Southern California, so there is a distinctly SoCal wcs vibe.
Meaning: vibrant, competitive, loud, intense, passionate in all regards, passionate friendships and passionate animosities, young but with a backbone of west coast swing icons and luminaries, self-impressed but friendly, and happy to dance with out of town visitors.
Here the level of even Novice dancers is so damn good it makes old-timers like myself stare in delight. And a great sense of peace that our dance is fine, more than fine, and it will survive.
Social dancing here this weekend has been nothing short of fantastic. Starting with Thursday night's packed floor and continuing through last night's farewell dance outside, beside the pool, by the light of the moon and strings of lights in the trees above, and the golden glow through the glass walls to the lobby bar inside. The dance moved inside in the wee hours and Louis continued to deejay a full floor past 5am (many people went directly to the airport to fly home.) Insanely great.
I've heard that France is wildly wonderful in this same way. That Lyon is Southern California on steroids - EVERYONE comes out for local dances and they are ferociously good. That local dances in Lyon last till daylight - like our comp late-nites here in the US - and dancers go hard, all night long, till they're limping.
I absolutely must go to Europe to see and write about the scene there; and to Brasil; and Korea, Singapore and Japan; and Australia.
It's been an upbeat, raucous, lively weekend here at City of Angels. These SoCal folks are screamers.
Whole tablesful of coordinated cheering - Ben Morris' table (20 people crammed under/on/around one table meant for 8) brought neon-orange cones as bullhorns, cheering throughout in a neon orange spectacle of synchronized performance-art.
On Sunday Victor said, "I have an important announcement. About my favorite TV soap opera, 'As The Swing World Turns.' This just in, just getting this Breaking News. There is NO videotaping today. Of anything."
Over at Ben's table Tip West jumped up yelling "BOOOOOOOOO!" into his neon-orange bullhorn, then hurling it at Victor.
So Victor picked up the cone and used it, instead of the mic, to emcee.
Victor was on all weekend. Really funny, extemporaneous, witty, kind, interactive, taking care of audience and competitors, and probably doing all those other things an emcee does that we are largely unaware of -- coordinating heats, bibs, write-ins and scratches, rotations -- all the behind-the-scenes wild logistics that fall at the last moment to the guy out there on the mic. He was great. And he has cool shoes.
Saturday night was Glam Dress-To-Impress night, professionally shot photos in front of the City of Angels backdrop. So many gorgeous women! And men in black tie! We dancers do clean up well.
By the way - photos for Saturday night, and the rest of the weekend were done by Premier Photography where you can find complete sets of all divisions and events, for purchase. (My own photos can be found here and, as always, if you see one or more that you'd like to have I'm happy to send you the high-res originals by email or dropbox, free of charge.)
So you saw the pictures of Sean behind the lectern, with his pants off.
Here's what happened.
Sean got up to dance Friday night, spotlight, and several girls behind him started screaming in horror, "OH NO! SEAN! NO!"Unbeknownst to Sean, his pants had ripped from the crotch all the way to the back of his knee, a huge gaping hole.
Ben offered to donate his pants to Sean. So did several other men. So did Benji, who, being Benji, immediately followed up on the offer by dropping his pants to his ankles, right there in front of the circle of Champions in their chairs and a howling audience.
Deciding it might be better to perform the exchange in privacy they ran behind the lectern. Not much privacy since Ronnie was immediately there with his phone.
Sean says he figured "Okay, that was a little embarrassing, but now I have pants. I'm good to go. Let's dance."But Sean is tall. The pants were hilarious, way too short. In a flash of inspiration Benji realized they're stirrup pants! So to remedy the bare-ankles-high-waders thing, he runs onto the floor to stretch the stirrups under Sean's socks.
And THEN Sean was good to go. With all the Champion competitors totally losing it laughing, the audience losing it, and Jen, his partner, losing it too, even more loose and funny than she already is to begin with.
Great dance, the whole pants thing adding a degree of hilarity on top of what was already a pretty hilarious couple.
But. It was just not Sean's day.
Because then he lost a shoe.
So Benji slid him one of his shoes, which Sean put on his foot in time to the music.
You can imagine the audience. And Sean, and Jen, and the dancers waiting their turn to compete.
It was one of those moments.