Liberty 2015 Update #2 - Flashdance! Armpits! Grease Trucks!
WHAT was that CRAZY lift in Rising Star?! Gasps in the ballroom! Couple we didn't recognize and don't remember names at the moment - she's teeny tiny and lovely. But - what?!? A ONE-HANDED full over-the-head lift, in her ARMPIT it looked like?, while SPINNING her up in the sky? So fast! Everyone was like WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
The SHOW! Flash Dance! Largest Liberty show yet - 12 couples in 80's getups and John The Diva emerging at the end, posing, showing some skin, and strutting through his adoring worshippers, as every year, confetti dumped from buckets for the final pose. So funny! Jessica's choreography, memorized and practiced for a total of 90 minutes. HOW DO THEY DO THIS?!? Just to memorize it, let alone dance it.
Ben Morris on the mic last night, elegant and professional in a handsome tan suit. He's great!
Rising Star and Showcase - new routines both divisions! Roystons, Greg and Lemery, Erica and Matt (theirs not first time out but new to us - SO good to see Erica dance again! And Matt, always good.)
And a junior shag couple in Rising Star!
My highlight of the night: Caroline Reilhac, next to me on the floor, watching the shag couple and simply losing it in astonishment, seeing shag for the first time. SQUEALING in her French accent - "What is DEES? Dees is sweeng det dey are doeeeng? Oh my gat! I LERV DEES! I LERV DEES BOY!" What a trip to watch Caroline - SO enthusiastic about dance and life in general anyway - to be there as she discovers shag!
Missed these routines last night? You'll be able to see them all right here at thumbsup video.
Last on the schedule last night: Pro Strictly - fun!
I got a few emails from Livestream watchers about the snafu with the lights which apparently seemed more serious on TV than it was. No big deal. Someone leaned on the light switch - (several times because once was not enough, maybe they were getting a back scratch on the light plate?) - with the result that Benji and Sarah's dance was a bit strobe-light-epileptic-seizure-inducing. So John, on the mic, gave them an anti-climactic extra 30 seconds to dance, then thought better of it and gave them an entire second chance to dance without interference.
So to anyone wondering - it was a non-incident, barely noticed here in the ballroom.
Ballroom TV in our rooms! Gorgeous quality. SO helpful for keeping on schedule! And for not missing the action when you run to your room to change, check on your kids, check on roommates to make sure they not stealing your lipstick. Great to have TV! When it works. Which it sometimes does here.
Wifi and cell reception at the hotel has been difficult so far. Maybe the stormy weather? Don't remember this previous years but maybe I chose to forget.
Pizza last night! FREE! Stacks and stacks of boxes of hot pizza. Courtesy of the local club, Gotham Swing.
Breakfast every morning. FREE! In the atrium outside the ballroom. Courtesy of John Lindo.
And tonight - a food truck! "Mr. Rutger's Grease Truck" Ben told us, adding that he's in favor of grease because something about hangovers, or grease mixing well with booze? some liquor-related benefit of greasy food. Speaking for myself I don't need any extra encouragement, it already sounds fun - love the whole food truck experience at City of Angels, standing in a throng of dancers out on the sidewalk under the streetlights, eating, laughing, telling stories ...
Dawn Garrish is Chief Judge again this year. She's superb. Many time US Open Champion, superb choreographer, too many teams and couples to begin to mention, knows our dance as well as anyone could know it, and is a worker, ethical, and takes no prisoners.
I wanted to mention a scoring system Dawn used last year for prelims and semis (don't know if this year as well,) in which a judge gave a score of A, A+, A-, B, B+, B- and so on, a change which allowed judges to provide contestants with more "feedback" in prelim scores than would have been possible with a "yes/no/maybe" system. Will be interesting to hear how this turns out (if she is in fact using it again this year, that is.)
We have JUST THIS MINUTE begun the day's Jack and Jill prelims!
Newcomer now, and then we begin to see who's dancing where.
Will be interesting to see which Newcomer dancers have decided to place themselves into Novice, either as leader or follower.
And then! Who will place themselves in in Intermediate? And Advanced?
And ... Allstar?
This will be fun!
Watch the Livestream here.
And you can watch with friends! Talk with each other as you're watching! "Livestream-Watching Virtual Party" here