Phoenix 2014 Update #9 – ROUTINES!
First time in its 32-year history Phoenix had routines!
1. Paul Stewart (aka Mr. Sabrina Paxman) and Lois Petersen
“Lights” (Madilyn Bailey, and an Ellie Goulding mix)
She’s a sexy, slender blonde, he’s a sexy, slender blonde – prettttttty darn good-lookin’ I’d say. They’re in Masters? No way. Unless they changed it so 30-year-olds can get in. What a beautiful couple! Perfectly matched bodies, styles of movement, emotional content – just lovely together.
Love how they start off slow, dramatic, and when the musics shifts to a dub mix their choreography speeds up with it, cool clubby vibe with chest pumps, hand games, dips, a slide, and a final Sarah-sweep and throw out. Very cool.
Perfect blend of “Masters-ish” class and elegance with contemporary movements.
Can’t believe I’m about to say this about my own age group – I’m a traitor! But to me Masters routines are like clothes. Some stuff just does not look right on a woman of a certain age. (My husband would disagree. He loves butts and curves, doesn’t care what they’re attached to. 104-yr-old sexpot in tight jeans? Fine by him.) I’m not saying I’d want a powder-blue nightgown and bed slippers routine. But a hot-pink mini-skirt – maybe not so good. I’m shocked at what’s coming out of my own mouth. I’m becoming ageist in my old age. I’m sitting here watching my opinions getting grosser and grosser. This is awful. I could turn into a Republican at this rate.
2. Mike Booth and Cheryl Grampp
“Tangerine Honey” (Frankie Moreno)
Her smile! Her dips, back-bends, splits!, head whips, lunges, lindy swing-outs, spins of all sizes, and a final through-the-legs ending. Sheesh – I want to be THAT flexible and quick when I get to Masters! (in negative 20 years.) Another couple that you wonder how’d they get into this division. Either Masters couples are getting younger or I’m … nevermind.
We saw this great routine at the Open, loved it then, and it’s even more polished and energetic now, eight months later.
1. Matthew Leszczenski and Shanna Porcari
We first saw this couple in March, at MadJam.
Man this girl is ferocious! What a spitfire! Drama, incredible energy and power. Love that strappy open back that shows the amazing flexibility of her back and hips.
2. Sammy Powers and Heather Fronszak
“Smooth Criminal” (violin remix)
Love love love this!
Here are a few comments on this routine, from Michigan.
3. Tony Schubert and Larisa Tingle
“Siren” (Kat Krazy Remix)
Such beautiful creatures! Both of these guys. And I don’t mean their personalities which are probably fine. I mean their appearance – they are lovely, simply beautiful to look at.
No videos have surfaced yet but here’s a picture – see what I mean? Gorgeous!
Those beautiful long limbs are a blessing or a curse. They could be gangly and crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Or they could float like waving willow branches in a summer wind. Theirs float like waving willow branches in a summer wind.
First routine for both, first time out on the floor, and WOW. So clean! You don’t realize they’re doing drops, lightning fast level changes, speed-demon spins, all kinds of complicated stuff you don’t realize is complicated because they have this lightness, a softness to their movement that makes everything look easier than it must be.
Starts off slow, loaded, then 2/3 in the music raaaamps up and so do they with a ridiculous series of finger spins – 16 counts of supersonic spins then thrashing and siren-red hair-whipping and velocious flat-backs and an 8-count illusion spin so fast the illusion is that they’re normal humans – all ending with a BANG!
This is a major classic couple waiting to happen.
4. Julien Cantineau and Barbara Oliva-Lanza
“Impossible” (James Arthur)
Another lovely piece we saw earlier this year. Love the emotional choreography! Love all those angles and slot changes, her reaches, lifts and spins, her hips, the way she comes at the audience.
5. Mike Booth and Leslie Bricker
“Long Train Runnin” (The Doobie Brothers)
Okay I admit, I’m a hippie and happen to love this song.
Heard some young girls sitting near me whispering “What is this? Never heard this song!”
Well no, dear, you wouldn’t have, because your great-great-grandparents weren’t even conceived yet in the late 60′s, when this song didn’t have a name yet but was being played on stages across the country and by every kid with a guitar, which was every kid.
I love this song, love the snappy, dancey, upbeat choreography! Leslie is neat, tidy, a cute and perky little thing, with that cute little pixie haircut of hers, and her sparkly red choker.
Their choreography was so Leslie! Sweet, tidy, smiley, upbeat, and fun.
You can’t not smile watching this, you want to run right out there and dance with them. It’s one of those fun happy routines. Love it!
6. Benjamin and Hannah Meyer
“Hey Brother” (Avicii)
First of all:
OMGAWD CUTENESS OVERLOAD!
Second of all:
OMGAWD WHAT A GREAT SONG! BRILLIANT CHOICE, SO FUNNY!
Third of all:
OMGAWD THEIR FACES! THOSE SMILES! THEY ARE HAVING SO! MUCH! FUN! HAHAHAHAHA
Fourth of all:
DID HE CLICK JUST HIS HEELS?!? DID YOU SEE HIS FACE?!? SHAG KNEE DROPS? HER LEG OVER HIS HEAD?!? A BENJI/HEIDI CARTWHEEL?!? ATTITUDE PIVOTS? COME ON!!!
Fifth of all:
OMG THE AUDIENCE WENT WILD! CLAPPED THE WHOLE SONG AND WENT COMPLETELY NUTS AT THE END!
Sixth of all:
OMG SHE IS THE DANCER-GYMNAST IT GIRL!
AND HE IS – - – MATT AUCLAIR!
LOOK OUT WORLD!
HUGE TALENT ABOUT TO EXPLODE!
7. Geoffrey Nighswonger and Shannon Tobin
“Above The Radio” (Jon McLaughlin)
I think this is the third time we’re seeing this – so, so beautiful! – and this time they didn’t mess up one that one lift that they struggled with previously (but as Benji says, about Showcase,”It’s a success if nobody died.”)
Honestly, to me it didn’t matter then, and wouldn’t have mattered now, either, if they nailed or didn’t nail that lift (I’m sure it matters to them however, hahaha) because what’s so gorgeous about this routine is the feeling you get that you’re in good hands, that these are competent, experienced, solid west coast swing dancers. Their pushes alone are a thing of beauty, their anchors, their stretch, their triples. You just feel, with them, the grounding in our dance.They move beautifully, like west coast dancers.
She is so graceful! Oh my goodness! My favorite lift is this one-leg-after-the-other leg-flinging thing she does as she travels over his head near the beginning of the routine (I’m sure this has a better name than “the leg-flinging-thing” - maybe something in French – “Les Poussée Jambes” or “Zee Leg Fleeenging”)
Love these guys’ gorgeous arms – all four arms and hands dancing at every moment.
Just love the routine, period.
This is a solid Showcase couple (think they actually danced in Showcase wherever it was we saw them last), and with their lifts down I’m guessing we’ll see them in Showcase again soon.
Great first year of routines at Phoenix!
On another note …
Did I mention that Phoenix started off the weekend with a Royston Intensive on Thursday? I peeked in on this just as Nicola was demonstrating how not to move your partner by showing how Robert jerks her in the other direction when they’re strolling down the street and he spots a jewelry store ahead. (Robert sat there making scowling faces at her from his wheel chair.)
(Which, by the way, he is now out of the wheel chair and hobbling around on his own two legs – the Liberty Injury is healing well.)
And on another note … here’s some of the comp music from the weekend – Victor was the deejay for these divisions:
“Me and My Broken Heart” (Rixton)
“Show Me” (Usher)
“My Baby” (Charlie Wilson)
“I’m Going Back” (Eugene Bridges)
“Really Don’t Care” (Demi Lovato)
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Inger Marie Gundarsen)
“Fearless” (Ana Popovic)
“Red Lights” (Tiesto)
“Wild Turkey 101 Proof” (Kenny Boss Wayne)
“Heart Attack & Vine” (Tom Waits)
“Blurred Lines” (Robin Thicke)
“Start It Up” (Robben Ford and The Blue Line)
“Ain’t Nobody” (Jasmine Thompson)
“Forever” (Chris Brown)
“Doing It To Death” (Fred Wesley and the JB’s)
“Down In The Valley”
“Tell Mama” (Etta James)