Liza May

Desert City 2013 – Update #1

What a fun event!

Great new hotel! Ten minutes from airport! Thrilling skyscraper-high waterslide; “lazy river” with tubes to float along in the sun around the perimeter of the property; giant golf course; fountains and waterfalls, small pools, rows of hibachis and comfy chairs; waterpark; rooms with bathroom in the bedroom at the foot of your bed – a little weird but maybe they have special needs in Phoenix; gigantic ballroom of which we are using only half – next year the sliding room-separator doors will be opened to accomodate the 1300-1500 who will probably show up (this year 1,000+ dancers – two years ago this event won “best under 500″ award at VIP WAG awards – it’s growing fast!).

All day at the pool – or – crazy great workshops (Brent and Kellese, Kielbasa, Rutz, Benji and Tori, Parker, Ben and Jen, Lindo and Jess, Kyle and Sarah, Tony and Larisa, Diego and Jessica, Bob and Anastasia, Chuck, Fred and Leslie, Michael Kiehm – HOLY MACKEREL! (Tomorrow Maxence, Myles and Tessa, Laurie Schwimmer, Jordan and Tat – crazy. Like I said last year, this is where to get your PhD in west coast.)

Jack and Jills all night – ballroom PACKED with enthusiastic friends and fellow competitors. Love the rowdy support out here. Social dancing started immediately and as I write at 5am floor is PACKED PACKED PACKED. Great music!

If you didn’t feel like watching Jack and Jills there’s a second ballroom, open 24/7, up on the second floor, where you can social dance till your feet fall off your legs.

LOT of little kid dancers here. Who dance way better than most adult dancers I know. And I mean little, as in short. 8-, 9-, 10-year old dancers in all levels of Jack and Jills. Whole double row of them sitting along the floor. Wish we had this in DC!

Ronnie’s emcee this weekend – what a treat! Wow does he have energy! So funny! Ronnie doesn’t walk – he bounces around the room.

Thursday night’s Kickoff dance was decent – 50 couples on the floor when we left at 2am, another 60 people milling about. We heard it got more busy and more fun as soon as we left. Trying not to take this personally.

Not everything is perfect about this new venue – at least according to me and I’m 347% accurate. More on this later.

But we’re having a blast so far.

Victor’s Comp Music


  • Black Coffee and Cigarettes” (Mo Rodgers)
  • “The Way I R” (Timbaland)
  • Sweet Home Chicago” (Eric Clapton)
  • Good Times Roll” (Shaggy)
  • Let The Good Times Roll” (Wayman Tisdale)
  • Feedback” (Janet Jackson)
  • Natural Man” (Lou Rawls)
  • Yeah” (Usher)
  • “Down In The Valley”


  • “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
  • “Reign” (Bad News Bears)
  • “Do It Cause I Said So”
  • “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (Craig David)
  • “Come Together” (Michael Jackson)
  • “What’s Your Name” (Usher)
  • “Pride and Joy”
  • “Mad” (Anthony Hamilton)
  • “Motown Philly” (Boyz II Men)
  • “Billy Jean” (Civil Wars)


  • “Baby Work Out” (George Benson)
  • “That’s The Way Love Goes” (Janet Jackson)
  • “Treasure” (Bruno Mars)
  • “Fine Brown Frame”
  • “Whatever Happens”
  • “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk)


  • “Spankin’ Leroy”
  • “Ode To Billy Joe”

Louis’ Comp Music


  • “Funky Mama” (Danny Gatton)
  • “Adorn” (Miguel)
  • “Can’t Touch This” (Oziriz and Dura)
  • “Danny’s Allstar Joint” (Rickie Lee Jones)
  • “Royals” (Lorde) (I love Lorde! My personal music tastes are 347% accurate.)
  • “Now That We Found Love” (Heavy D and The Boys)


  • “Release” (Timbaland)
  • “Love Club” (Lorde) (her again. I love her.)
  • “Turn The Night Up” (Enrique Iglesias)
  • “Promiscuous Girl” (Nelly Furtado)
  • “On The Rocks” (Grieves) (so good!)

Oh, and by the way, in last week’s Summer Hummer Recap I put up all those videos of Louis great music for Champions JJ and Strictly. Because Louis is great. (you can see the awesome music list, and videos, here.)

Except Louis wasn’t the deejay for Champions JJ or Strictly. Victor was. Because Victor is great too.

Louis and Victor together? The Dream Team.

The Dream Team is what we have here at Desert City this weekend!

So Ronnie’s on the mic, starts laughing his head off, saying “Are you hearing the songs Louis is playing during rotations? The GAYEST songs ever! Omg!” because Louis’ buffer music had just been a string of “Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,”Boom Boom Let’s Go Back To My Room,” “So Many Men, So Little Time,” “Dancing Queen,” and “We Are Family” all in a row.

Seriously funny.

Watch the live stream of Desert City all weekend long at thumbsup video! Click here to watch. It’s free!

So tomorrow (Saturday’s) schedule: scaring the lunch out of yourself on that fearsome water-slide, lying with your butt in the water, head laid back in the sun, trailing feet and hands along the ripples as you float down the lazy river for an hour or two, workshops, sleeping in, hanging with friends, practicing, or – if you are on staff – working your butt off from early in the morning till late at night when you fall down dead for two hours with your swollen feet propped up on the headboard.

Here are yesterday’s Jack and Jill dancers:

CHAMPION PRELIMS (no Semis – straight to Finals on Sunday)


Nathan Miller, Martin Parker, Angel, Katie Boyle, Barry Jones, Carrie Lucas, Michael Kielbasa, Buddy, and Chief Judge Phil Adams

  • Ryan Crutcher
  • Miguel
  • Rome
  • John Kirkconnell
  • Chris Dumond
  • Nick King
  • Kyle
  • Parker
  • Arjay
  • Brent
  • Kris Swearingen
  • Chuck
  • Donnie Carl
  • Jordan
  • Maxence
  • Benji
  • John Lindo
  • Ben Morris
  • Myles
  • Michael Kielbasa
  • Malia
  • Rebecca Ludwick
  • Alyssa Glanville
  • Laureen
  • Tatiana
  • Brandi
  • Torri
  • Jessica
  • Melissa Rutz
  • Tara
  • Sarah
  • Deborah
  • Kellese
  • Tessa
  • Patty Vo
  • Yenni
  • Jen Deluca

ALLSTAR PRELIMS (straight to Finals)


Laurie, Martin, Angel, Michael Kiehm, Katie, Buddy, Barry, Carrie, Ch J Phil

  • Keith Stremmel
  • Alfred Lee
  • Andrew Slac
  • Gary Thompson
  • Matt Nichols
  • Reginald Beason
  • Steve Hunt (UK)
  • Bob Tucker
  • John Piper
  • Michael Krause
  • Scott Mason
  • Josh Sturgeon
  • Edwin Li
  • Jason Taylor
  • Brad Whelan
  • Patrick Toepel
  • Julien Vallier (France)
  • Josh Williamson
  • Tony Schubert
  • Michael Miller
  • Mark Bume
  • JB Brodie
  • Jerome Louis (France)
  • Diego Borges (Brasil)
  • Steve Hall (UK)
  • Kevin Kane
  • Warren Pino
  • Kevin Bretney
  • Brandon Gautreux
  • Connor Goodmanson
  • Kyle Patel
  • Cody Antelope
  • Michael Smith
  • Kara Frenzel
  • Tiffany Lubran
  • Tashina
  • Estelle (France)
  • Anastasia Tsimbodis
  • Kendra Zara
  • Jessica Pacheco Caeta (Brasil)
  • Ellyn Brady
  • Willow
  • Dawne Kiehm
  • Lindsay Nastos
  • Hannah
  • Nicole
  • Sharon Her
  • Mackenzie
  • Amber Ripley
  • Keri Amedeo
  • Lara Deni
  • Shannon Tobin
  • Anyssa
  • Beverly Brunerie (France)
  • Irina Puzanova (Russia)
  • Angie Jones
  • Bella
  • Peggy Allen
  • Chevy
  • Heather Mcpherson

ADVANCED PRELIMS (straight to Finals)


Nathan Miller, Buddy, Dawn, Laurie Schwimmer, Laureen, Deborah, Carrie, Chuck, Ch J Phil

  • Patrick Plagens
  • Andrew Sunada
  • Kofi Anan (France)
  • CJ Caraway
  • Steven Van Nguyen
  • Bret Navarre
  • Nick De Vre
  • Koichi Tsunada
  • Joseph Ivy
  • Carson Brand
  • Travis Wright
  • J. Erik Thompson
  • Thomas Carter
  • Matt Richey
  • Martin Brown
  • Alex Waller
  • Genieboy
  • Mark Pablo
  • Paul Fritzler
  • Robert Campos
  • Alexander Vlahos
  • Hareesh Kapoor
  • Mike Anderson
  • Matt Richey
  • David Hemmerich
  • Mike Davis
  • Christopher Matsuno
  • Daria Mikloukhina
  • Maria Ford
  • Larissa Tingle
  • Jessica Rosenbloom
  • Susan Bron
  • Olga Hermann
  • Nakedria Higgins
  • Michelle Dittfach
  • Kristen Humphrey
  • Rehana Loncar
  • Sarah De Sousa
  • Samia Amrani
  • Victoria Henk
  • Mikaila Finley
  • Danielle White
  • Amanda Mckamey
  • Lisa Scott
  • Leslie Bricker
  • Rochelle Hoffler
  • Giselle Jagai
  • Liana Claxton
  • Christina Ponce
  • Kate Lovegrove
  • Joelle Noire (France)
  • Maggie Sakadelis
  • Laurie Shaffer
  • Maddie Finley
  • Dani Canziani
  • Gail Jacobson
  • Ashley Yorek
  • Deanna Kirchen

INTERMEDIATE PRELIMS – Three heats of 21 couples


Nathan, Angel, Buddy, Dawne, Laurie, Laureen, Deborah, Chuck, Ch J Phil

And here’s who made INTERMEDIATE SEMIS:

  • Gabe Toepel
  • Sammy Powers
  • Andrew Shellard
  • Jeremy Govert
  • Mike Carringer
  • Christopher Chung (Hawaii)
  • Matthew Lietzke
  • Nick Moor
  • David Dobyns
  • Vivian Arnaud
  • Derek Koh
  • Jay Groh
  • Zo Carroll
  • Jeff Smith
  • Michael Heath (Lubbock)
  • Devin Guillano
  • Austin Kios
  • Sean Carney
  • Julian Lange
  • Grant Simpson
  • Peter Elliott
  • Tracy Preston
  • ERica Piper
  • Shani Harpak
  • Hailey Toro
  • Jessica Green
  • Jaclyn
  • Hellmann
  • Phallon Tillis
  • Christy Parker
  • Ashley Mccoach
  • Sharell Weeams
  • Rebecca Savoca
  • Kristen Arieti
  • Allison Strong
  • Sammi Sekhon
  • Delphine Grivel
  • Rachel Kumar
  • Jessica Mrray
  • Britny Delp
  • Rachel Martin (UK)
  • Darlene Graziano
  • Hannah Meyer

NOVICE PRELIMS – Three heats of 19 couples


Angel, Buddy, Dawne, Laurie, Laureen, Deborah, Carrie, Chuck, Ch J Phil

And here’s who made NOVICE SEMIS!

  • Paul Bishop
  • Kevin Menkal
  • Gordian Gossen (Germany)
  • Guy Livneh (Israel)
  • Allen Vlbicht
  • Michael Caro
  • Rick Barfield
  • Ed Halladay
  • Daniel Zinkan
  • Scott Larson
  • Aaron Selfridge
  • Joseph Gleason
  • Jim Davis
  • Andrew Tai
  • Raymond Byun
  • Ulric Dihle
  • Brent Walker
  • Marquis Campbell
  • Alex Diekmann
  • Bradley Hyde
  • Sean Sommer
  • Monty Norris
  • Benjamin Meyer
  • Josh Entz
  • Jason Abner
  • Danny Vazquez
  • Charity Gore
  • Galia Ilanov (Israel)
  • Louise Weinland
  • Alison Davis
  • Chinny Hoan
  • Mindy Halladay
  • Julie Meliot
  • Trista Eazell
  • Teveya Dobish
  • Katie Clemons
  • Sophie Roseau (France)
  • Mary Caroll
  • Cassandra Stathas
  • Leslie Kanda
  • Kelly Baer
  • Crrnne schwartz
  • Megan Maguire
  • Ali Ankeny
  • Leslie Kittredge
  • Shelbie Nelson
  • Marylou Starr
  • Caitlin McCarthy
  • Christie Oldham
  • Karissa Bondeson
  • Terri Bilyeu
  • Morgan Karns

MASTERS PRELIMS (straight to finals)


Nathan, Buddy, Dawn, Laurie, Deborah, Carrie, Chuck, Chief Judge Phil:

  • Gregory Moravan
  • Dan Rowland
  • Martin Brown
  • Bob Pendleton
  • Zo Carroll
  • Lou Szed
  • Don Bennett
  • Warren D’Aquin
  • Michael Booth
  • Gary Thompson
  • Ed Halladay
  • Alexander Vlahos
  • Warren Pino
  • Wayne Brodd
  • Robert Robinson
  • Tip West
  • Jim Davis
  • Jay Groh
  • Genieboy
  • Michael Krause
  • David Walkup
  • Robin Paiken
  • Kelly Wentling
  • Beverly Solazzo
  • Mindy Halladay
  • Laura Thompson
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Glenda Smith
  • Mary Carroll
  • Laurie Shafer
  • Dawn Deeks
  • Trudy Thatcher
  • Gail Jacobson
  • Darlene Graziano
  • Seng Merrill
  • Shauna Connelly
  • Brigid Kruger
  • Brenda Wood
  • Denise Jeong
  • Joann Podleski
  • Louise Weinland
  • Kathy Mccorkle
  • Michelle Dittfach
  • Sylvia Berman
  • Chen Burk
  • Betty Whyte

And … We are waiting for Finals to be posted!

Filed Under: Desert City

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