Liza May

Summer Hummer 2014 Update #5 – CLASSIC! DIAMONDS! SONGS!

Saturday night was packed. Crazy great.

Allstar prelims, Rising Star, Junior exhibitions, Classic, and Champions JJ Final.

And …

This! … Just after Allstar prelims … before Rising Star …

Robert commented about his injury … dancers and dance injuries … and Summer Hummer “Floor Mom” - Dani Mullin’s – ankle injury …

He called Dani out to the floor, hobbling on her brace and foot boot, the two of them dancing an “injured dancers” dance for us, so sweet and gentle.

But! What is this?

Out from the backdrop comes Zach, Dani’s boyfriend.

Zach is terminally shy. Walking out in front of an audience, Dani says, is so beyond the realm of anything Zach would ever do. Dani was completely confused. “It was so far outside of his comfort zone. I thought he was lost.”

And then it happened. With the whole Saturday night ballroom watching, Zach kneeled on one knee, took Dani’s hand, pulled out a ring, and proposed.

Dani was blindsided. The look on her face? Priceless.

We were blindsided too. The ballroom went absolutely wild.

Perfect proposal choreography!

So! Now that the Subeys have had a wedding at Summer Hummer, and Zach and Dani have become engaged at Summer Hummer, it’s beginning to look like there might be another Summer Hummer tradition in the works.

Who’s next? Looking forward to next year’s surprise.


  • Richard and Susan DeFelice, “Love Letter” (Clairy Browne) - sexy, clever, and hilarious. This is such a crowd-pleaser! Every time we see it the audience leaps to their feet in applause.
  • Andrew Mastin and Kirsten Obermiller, “Daft Punk” (Pentatonix) – Kirsten appeared out of nowhere last year at Summer Hummer, astonishing everyone with her Hoola Hoop skills. And her beauty. Turns out Kirsten is a hoola hoop champion. Maybe a beauty pageant champion, too? I wouldn’t be surprised. But now, a year later, here’s this routine – we first saw it at Liberty and now at Summer Hummer for the third or fourth (or fifth or maybe eighth) time. They’re everywhere, and this routine is wow. Clearly Classic-worthy choreography and talent. Cool black costumes with wide turquoise-and-sequin ripples; and tricks, elasticity and stretch, pirouettes that stop and start and go backwards and forwards, it’s a routine that’s clean, swervy, sexy, polished in every way. And with an obvious understanding of swing. New couple to watch out for! Meow. (no, I’m not being catty – that was a grammar joke for Melissa Landrum.)
  • Mr. Newly-Married Tereasa Falletta and Joanna Swanson, “Butterfly” (Casa Nova) – smooth, witty, funny, full of joy and beauty.
  • Christopher Muise and Amanda Clark, “Spectrum” (Florence and The Machine) – dramatic, moody, beautiful lines and shapes.


[Royston: "Louis, what was Ben Morris' intro music? Did you just play Romper Room?" (for those not old enough, Romper Room was a 1950-80's TV show for young children.) ]


Classic! Classic! Classic!

The Open! It is looming.

Suddenly! Without warning!

The end of summer came, and now …

The Open.

Looming, rumbling, like weather. Maybe a cold front. A tornado. A wildfire.

Or a shiny yellow day with periwinkle skies, pink breezes, fairy dust.

Hard to see it yet – but you can feel it. Something big is looming. Juuuuust beyond the horizon.

Summer Hummer is a NASDE event. Which means that Classic routines, at this point in our year, are either:

  • Last year’s (flawless by now) routines, or
  • Interim playthings while the actual routine is worked out, or
  • Early runs of a routine slated to make a formal debut on the Open floor.

Here’s what we saw at Summer Hummer:

  • Jerome and Bonnie Subey, “If I Had A Heart” (Fever Ray),

Barefoot! And bare legs! In brown coarse-linen tunics – Jerome in shorts, Bonnie in a dress – very Middle-earth.

Wonderfully moody music and choreography, evoking misty mountains, shires, fogs on moors. Not dark exactly, but sombre (they never smile once in the routine) and spooky, with cool synchronized oozing, sudden pops and hits, mirror-image rolls and back-drops.

They suffered a violation because of a breakaway which doesn’t feel long but is – almost a full 20 beats. Too bad because the breakaway makes sense in the choreography.

If ever a routine pushed the very edge of what is swing, this one might be it. Not to mention no shoes and showing your legs. Oh, and matching shaved-head mohawks. Of course it would be a Frenchman who’d dare put something this artsy on the floor.

I love it. I love innovation, new ideas. I love failures that are “ahead” or even just “outside,” or “different,” or risky. I love when creativity is as free and outside the lines as children’s crayon drawings.

  • Sean and Courtney, “Partition” (Beyonce)

All in black, casual hip-hop style, Sean in T-shirt, skinny jeans and Vans, Courtney skimpy midriff-baring top, skinny jeans and dance sandals, very very hot. Okay, so they’re hot standing still. But moving, sheesh! They’re so hot they singe the floor. Here’s this new routine from several months ago – already good then, and now even better.

  • Hugo and Stacy, Gary and Susan, Jordan and Tatiana – What more can be said about any of these three routines! All ridiculously marvelous and, at this late point, beyond perfect.
  • PJ and Tashina, NEW! “Counting Stars” (Max Schneider and Danny Padilla)

in sleek black and lime green, PJ elegant and dancerly having lost a ton of weight this year, Tashina looking even thinner herself if that’s possible – the result two gorgeous well-matched bodies forming complementary shapes.

Like their last year’s routine this new one is fast, breathless, full of lightning-quick tricks and small, clean isolations perfectly choreographed in size, speed, and musicality.

Tashina is ridiculous, her technique is so strong you find yourself worrying if PJ will be upstaged. He’s not. His dancing is superb, powerful, clean, full of life.

No videos yet – this is deliberate. They’d like to keep the routine low-profile as they work to perfect choreography and everything else.

You’ll see it soon! And you will love it, I promise. It’s fantastic.

  • Kyle and Sarah! NEW! “Tramp” (Otis Redding and Carla Thomas,) “Otis” (Lil Shawn) and a final “Guess I Got My Swagga Back”

Oh my gosh, their music! And man oh man, yes they did get their swagga back!

Best routine ever, so funky – no one does funk like Sarah – so fast, and their footwork is an astonishment, always.

Each one of them alone – Kyle alone, Sarah alone – is larger than life. There is no other Kyle, no other Sarah. Their styles are so uniquely their own, so thoroughly west coast swing, and so rich with attitude, soul, and music. The two of them together is an explosive powerhouse. They are national treasures, these two. I could watch them forever and continue to be awestruck.


Everyone matching in gray Summer Hummer T-shirts! That is cool. Easy on the eyes, too, makes for a really pleasing show.

But omg their dancing! Man oh man.

You watch these guys and you go Yep, that right there – that is why I do this dance. Because Jack and Jills – social dancing – making stuff up on the fly – Playing! The joy of it! The sheer free-spirited joy on these guys’ faces. That is why they do this dance, too. Because of the laughing, true kid-style belly laughing.

You cannot watch Champion Jack and Jills and not laugh!

You laugh at the extreme skill; at choreography that springs out of nowhere – some crazy flash of inspiration that flies from someone’s brain. You laugh at the partnerships! The wonder that two people can communicate that fast, that profoundly. Or not. You laugh at the plain and simple FUN.

Arjay and Tessa, “All About That Bass” (Meghan Trainor)

BenMo and Courtney, “Ignition Remix” (R. Kelly) (omg so fun and funny – at one point, hepped up on the fun of it, they and every other competitor leaped up from their chairs, jumping up and down together to the music, like a choreographed team. Are they a bunch of happy kindergarteners or what?)

Kyle and Tashina, “Am I Wrong” (Nico & Vinz)

Kielbasa and Susan, “Belief” (John Mayer)

Sean and Lisa D’Amico, “Up Down” (T-Pain)

Jordan and Tatiana, “Suit and Tie” (some cool Louis cover – who knows where he finds these gems?)

Oh my gosh. They are one mind in two bodies, these two.

I almost prefer watching them just social dance even more than seeing their routines, it’s so beautiful.

They fly – like birds skimming back and forth over a lake – so silent you don’t hear the beating of wings.]

They are west coast swing at its most beautiful.

Here’s the original – not Louis’ cover …

Gary and Sarah, “Ain’t Nobody” (Jasmine Thompson)

PJ and Lemery, “You And I” (Chance)


Jerome and Bonnie, (yes, they drew each other!) “Low” (Lil’ John)

Hieu and Shannon, “Closer” (Ne Yo)

Marcus Schwartz and Jes Ann Nail, “Turn All The Lights On” (T-Pain)

Cameron and Victoria, “Do Your Thing” (Basement Jaxx) (yes, they drew each other, too! This was GORRRRRRRRGEOUS!)

Matthew Smith and Larisa, “25 Miles 2001″ (Three Amigos)

David Ward and Sonya “Dip Out Of The Club” (Francisco)

Oh – i don’t want to forget! Last update I posted an incorrect Allstar Scoresheet. Here’s the corrected one, courtesy of Henk, the amazing dancer, singer, note-taker, and scoresheet photographer …

And finally … for you deejays and music collectors, here is some of the competition music from the weekend.

Music for Advanced Strictly Prelims (DJ Anthony DeRosa)

“Restart” (Sam Smith)

“Don’t Wait” (Mapei)

“Love Never Felt So Good” (Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake)

Champion Strictly Prelims (DJ Victor)

“Tell Mama” (Etta James)

“We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” (Ella Eyre)

“Gotta Get Through This” (Daniel Bedingfield)

Intermediate JJ Prelims (DJ Anthony)

“Go With Me” (Deitrick Haddon)

“Team” (Lorde)

“Stutter” (Maroon 5)

“Nobody” (Ne Yo)

Advanced JJ Prelims (DJ Anthony)

“Get My Name” (Mark Ballas)

“Bartender” (T-Pain and Akon)

“Cocaine” (Robin Thicke)

“Imma Go” (Taio Cruz)

Champion JJ Prelims (DJ Louis)

“Bust A Move” (Young MC)

“Just Hold On” (some awesome acoustic cover Louis find)

“In The Basement” (Etta James)

“Fireball” (Pitbull)

Allstar JJ Prelims (DJ Victor)

“Nasty Girl” (Vanity)

slow blues – cool song, don’t know the name

“Get My Name” (Mark Ballas)

“Funky Cold Medina” (Tone Loc)

“The Sky Is Crying” (Stevie Ray Vaughan)

Finals Music (DJ Victor for all finals but Champions)

Newcomer JJ

“They Don’t Want Music” (Black Eyed Peas)

“Nobody’s Business” (Rihanna)

“I Want It All” (Karmin)

Novice JJ

“Liar Liar” (Chris Cab)

“A Natural Man” (Lou Rawls)

“R&B Junkie” (Janet Jackson)

“Yeah” (Usher)

Intermediate JJ

“Kiss” (Prince)

“The Way You Love Me” (Michael Jackson)

“Me You and The Music” (Lemar)

“Canteloop” (Us3)

Advanced JJ

“Diggin On James Brown” (Tower of Power)

“Novacane” (Frank Ocean)

“American Boy” (Estelle)

Advanced/Allstar SS

“Danny’s Allstar Joint” (Rickie Lee Jones)

“Do It” (Pitbull)

Open SS

“Good Times Roll” (Shaggy)

“One, Two, Step” (Ciara)

“What’s Your Name” (Usher)

It was a great Summer Hummer this year!

Filed Under: Summer Hummer

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