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Oh my gawd oh my gawd oh my gawd AUGHGHGHGH!!! Routine divisions this weekend are going to be OFF THE CHARTS! Just heard about Jordan and Tat’s new routine from folks who saw it last weekend at the French Open (there are LOTS of French and uk people here!) and they say it BLOWS YOUR MIND it’s just over-the-top mind-bogglingly edgy off-the-charts great CRAZY great. I CANNOT WAIT!
And Parker and Jen dancing for the first time together!! Spoke with people who’ve seen it (practice runs) and they say it is AMAAAAAAZIIIIIIING different unique brilliant – CAN’T WAIT!!!
Last night (Thursday night) was absolutely awesome social dancing – 250 on the floor, all superb – omgawd.
First year they actually have wsdc jack-and-jill divisions, too!
Crazy fun so far, just talking with people, and the level of excitement … Atlanta’s kind of like a smaller, mid-year USOpen.
Thunderstorms forecast for all weekend here but who cares!
More later tonight (after tonight’s stuff: Opening Ceremonies at 8:30 – Cooter and Grace are MC’s – Carolina Classic, Junior Shag, then SHOWCASE at 10:45!
Funny funny Cooter Douglas with a southern accent thickern’ grits. Says he’s on Facebook now, even friends with John Festa, who told him he can now finally understand what Cooter’s saying as long as he’s typing and not talking. Then Grace on the other mic, telling us she’s been dancing since 1989 (Cooter said “yeah by that time I’d already been arrested that many times”); followed by a video of Charlie and Jackie from 1981, the year they started dancing.
That brought Charlie and Jackie onto the floor to say some words about how this weekend is Grand Nationals 16th year, they’re thinking about how they started, how they got here, all that’s happened these past 16 years. (By the way, all this buildup is because there will probably be an announcement made on Sunday that this will be Charlie and Jackie’s final year doing this – at least this is what we’ve been hearing discussed for months now.) They told a story about the first year of the event (1995) and this kid from Texas for whom they’d done a favor (travelled down to his studio to teach) so they asked him to come dance at Grand Nationals. Then they showed us the video of this kid’s routine. And there were Mario and Carmen in their astounding “Shake Your Groove Thing” which of course went on to win at the Open that year.
And that brought Mario on as MC for the rest of the night. Mario said “This weekend is bittersweet. How many memories! The Savoys, Angel’s routine with Maria Torres, Vivian patting David on the head at the end of their cabaret routine, Dewey, Truman …”
So here was tonight’s program:
First Carolina Classic (eight shag couples doing strictly’s – Sam West! Sam West is, for me, simply an amazement – his grace!).
Then Juniors: Andrew and Jennifer Willis (same routine – What You Got) (Breaking News: Brenda Willis is PREGNANT WITH THEIR 12th CHILD!! AND THEY ARE ALL HAPPY, CALM, LOVING, WELL-BEHAVED, RESPECTFUL, CREATIVE, AND BEAUTIFUL! I’m not just making up adjectives, they really ARE these things. And so is Brenda! It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.); Randy and Tia (Pretty Young Thing); Jason and Chase (an adorable shag couple, to Beggin’ – and they are FAST!); Trey and Tori (same great routine (“Gone” and “Get Your Money”) but new costumes, black-and-silver, these two are ridiculously beautiful); Dean and Alexandra to Tina Turner’s Rolling Down The River, craaaazy riduculous crazy blazin stupid fast just frenetic jumping flying so many tricks and lifts and cartwheels and aughghghgh … this is adorable little Alexandra Grunwald who did that dirty-faced floppy rag-doll cabaret routine at the Open, the routine that made me finally give up trying to take pictures I was sobbing so hard in joy and amazement); Brennar and Torri – what can a person say about these two? And this incredible routine? It is SO fast, so clean, so lovely, so beautifully choreographed, perfectly danced, it’s just perfect that’s all there is to it; Cody and Jessica (adorable shag couple from South Carolina dancing to Duffy’s Mercy); and Justin and Tiara (Bleeding Love and Black and Gold).
And then! Showcase!!
Judges were Festa, Arjay, Sylvia, Jessica, Jack, and Annie (she’s chief judge for the weekend.)
Started off with Sebastien and Elsa, here from France to compete in showcase only to discover that Elsa is too young! So instead of competing they opened up the division with a demo (I’m No Superman) – so GOOD!
Then the six Showcase couples: Benji and Kellese, Barry and Patty (Barry Jones! I haven’t seen Barry do a routine since – wow, I don’t even know, the 90′s I think? what a TRIP!); TJ and Wendy Zito; Robert and Nicola; Greg and Lemery; and Cody and Tracey.
Festa was the early DJ (just as we were leaving the ballroom) – I think Victor (who DJ’d last night – fantastic music) is scheduled for later on tonight.
MUCH more to tell. I’ll try to write more tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is JJ’s, lots of other stuff, and then …. CLASSIC AUGHGHGHGHGH!!!
(Judges were Debbie Ramsey, Melina, Nicola, Ben, Barry, and Jack)
Pamela Benet with James (sorry, too fast for me to catch leaders’ last names)
Deanne Nyland with Benjamin
Alex Grunwald with oops
Kristin Curry with Xavier Dumont
Alisa Vidal with uh oh
Amber Hicks with Hugo
Estelle Bonnaire with Chris
Alya Fluger with Mario Not Robau
Melissa Eelman with Jeremy
Lisa Turner with oy vay
Jesse Decker with Analina Rochfeuille
Kathleen Armstrong with Dean
Anya with Cody Dunavan
Whitney Bartlett with sheesh I can’t get ‘em too fast
Vino with Krystal Bravo
(Judges Mark Traynor, Debbie Ramsey, Barry, Teddy Kern, Nicola, and Jack)
Nick Jones with Wendy Cart
Reggie Beason with Melodie Chardonner
Gerry Morris with Blandine
Sebastien with Verane (ha! yay! my friend!)
Michael with Melody Carr
Stefan with Lina Grukowski
Francois with ME! Ha! (Don’t remember the three couples named after me, in fact I don’t remember anything after hearing my name called. I made finals!)
(Judges Deonna, Kellese, Barry, Debbie Ramsey, Benji (standing in for Nicola who had to run off to change Summer’s diaper), and Jack)
Victor and Debbie Noble
Jimmy and Khy Cuismano
Scott Stuart and Kelly Hull
Earl and Taylor
James H and the terribly unattractive Melissa Rollins
Greg and Lemery (ha! got each other!)
Trey and Brianne
Carpio and Heidi Batdorf
Brennar and Yenni (which do you like better: Yennar? or Brenni? They dance like magic and are doing a strictly together tomorrow)
Stephen White and Samantha Buckwalter
Steve Hunt and Tori Ellington
Josh Clark and Kat Ostrenski
JB and Melissa Greene, and
PJ and Courtney
Ohhhhhh Boy. Tonight is almost here! Oh boy oh boy oh boyoboyoboyoboyoboyoboy. I am so excited!
8:00 Masters Routines
9:00 Hand-Dance Strictly
and then 10:00 AUGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!
SO much to tell. LATER!
Awards! Ran late last night, almost 11 by the time final good-bye’s and thank-you’s were said! I could listen to Jackie all day, though, she is SO DAGGONE FUNNY – and real, and heart-felt, she’s a natural on a mic. Almost worth the price of admission to hear Jackie talk.
So by now I’m sure you’ve heard results but if not – HERE THEY ARE!
(Judges: Festa, Barry Jones, Grace, Michael Norris, and Sylvia)
1st Place Jordan and Tatiana
2nd Ben and Melina
3rd Kyle and Sarah
4th Parker and Jen
5th Gary and Susan
6th Sebastien and Blandine
7th Scott and Katrina
8th Aurum and Nera
9th Jason and Ann Marie
10th Josh and Katherine
11th Benjamin and Melodie
(Judges: Festa, Arjay, Sylvia, Jessica, Jack, and Chief Judge Annie)
1st Benji and Kellese
2nd Barry and Patty
3rd Robert and Nicola
4th Cody and Tracey
5th Greg and Lemery
6th TJ and Wendy
(Judges: Jack, Festa, Barry, Grace, Sylvia)
- 1st Jesse Benedeti and Kimalee Piedad (I sat on the floor for this, next to Debbie Ramsey-Boz, and let’s just say Debbie enjoyed this routine. Particularly the part about Jesse Benedeti having his shirt off. I know this because I had the camera pressed to my face trying to take pictures and when Jesse Benedeti walked on the floor I nearly got knocked over by Debbie whirling around in all directions announcing to everyone within earshot He Has No Shirt On. He Has No Shirt On.) Stunning couple, stunning dancing, stunning lack of a shirt on an extremely stunning buff, tan, helluva good-looking guy. Mario’s only comment when they were done, after an awkward silence: “Either one of them I’d go out with. I’m just saying.” (Funny from Mario. Famously heterosexual Mario).
- 2nd DB’s MVP’s (Deonna’s team doing their Michael Jackson tribute)
- 3rd Barry and Dari Anne Amato (their beyond hilarious Barbie and Ken routine – pictures of this routine from Liberty last year: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=87784&id=603988188&l=c5de5f8320 )
- 4th Benji (all in white, an angel who’s lost his wings (which he tears from his shoulders as he enters the floor, leaving a pile of white fluff)
- 5th Torri (in a red and black crinoline tutu flamenco 80′s Moulin Rouge stockings-and-garters gloves fire-engine-red lipstick multiple necklaces Madonna costume – I was watching her warm up on the floor right in front of me and didn’t even recognize her at first – this is the baaaad-girl side of Torri, ha!! In a cool jazz routine choreographed by Benji)
- 6th Robert and Nicola (HA!!! hahahahahahahahahaha! Lord have mercy this was pretty daggone hilarious. “Bubba and Betty Sue Part II The Family Years” – a replay of their cabaret routine of a few years ago but this time a little different. It’s been a few years and this time they come on stage looking not very happy at all, Robert towing Bobby in one hand and a toy truck or a beer in the other; Nicola looking mildly homicidal, Summer slung across her hip. Then who should come walking onto the floor but Parker holding a beer, with “Babe Magnet” scrawled across his t-shirt, sniffing around Nicola who suddenly is smiling real sexy but instead of walking off with him like you expect she has a different idea – she hands Summer over to him and struts off with a huge grin plastered across her face. And that’s just the opening of the routine. Like the original newly-married version it’s again a 2-step, waltz, swing routine complete with playing drums on Nicola’s butt while she’s somehow hanging upside down, dragging her around the floor cave-man style, and other witty shenanigans.)
- 7th TJ and Wendy Zito (Dancing to the same gorgeous song as the first couple – Sarah Bareilles exquisite “Gravity” – a song which must have have been written with a theater-arts or showcase routine in mind, it is heart-breakingly beautiful.)
- 8th Willis Clan (same routine as last year – oh, and by the way, thought I’d just mention again for the third or twentieth time: Brenda is pregnant with their 12th child)
- 9th Ryan Boz (free-style poppin-n-lockin to Boom Boom Pow – pretty cute 10-yr-old and I’m glad I got to sit next to Debbie for this cause her enjoyment was even cuter than her son’s dancing)
1st National Shag Dance Team
2nd Team Joe (two guys who look identical – I don’t know them and was confused all weekend trying to tell them apart – dancing with two women who also look identical, I was confused all weekend about them, too. No sisters or brothers here, just four very funny dancers from Nashville who put together a clever, well-danced routine)
3rd Shag Shack Kickers
4th Mad Swingers (Sebastien’s team from France!)
1st Gene and Nancy Pope
2nd Frank Brandley and Ellen Taylor
3rd Rick and Maureen Little
4th Archer and Pat Joyce
5th Les and Marsha Rose
6th Butch and Kathy Dukes
Strictly (this is not your regular Strictly, it’s an open NASDE Strictly, one division only)
1st Benji and Deborah
2nd Ben Morris and Jessica
3rd Jordan and Melina
4th Michael Norris and Tatiana
5th Sam West and Ellen Turner
6th Maxence and Stacy Chiang (or Yenni Setiwawan, not sure which I can’t tell them apart. Oh no wait on second though it was Stacey, yeah pretty sure it was Stacy cause it was the tall one not the short one. Oh yeah and also by the way while I’m at it I had said that Yenni (the short one) was going to do a Strictly with Brennar well that was completely wrong Yenni did not do a strictly with Brennar she had never planned to do a Strictly with Brennar it was Deonna who had told me she was gonna do a Strictly with Brennar but I always get Deonna mixed up with Yenni cause they look exactly alike too and they both look exactly like Stacy so thank god Yenni is shorter cause then I always know who’s who there’s the short one the tall one but anyway it was Stacy who danced with Maxence definitely Stacy and they looked great and they placed 6th and she looked SO happy and thrilled and ecstatic when this was announce it was adorable).
1st Jesse Decker & Emeline Rochefeuille (one of about 75 crazy-good-dancer hot French beauties at the comp – Cody stumbled over to me in a daze at one point this weekend – I said Cody, you okay dude? he said “Oh uh buh uh yeah yeah I’m-ok-lotta-really-bootiful-French-women-here-uh-buh-wuhwuhblurb). Oh and cool thing Jackie did: all non-USers got free Atlanta T-shirts. Robert Royston said he asked Jackie how they were supposed to know, when somebody came up asking for their free t-shirt, if they were from France or not and Jackie said “Way-yul Robert silly boy! Thy hay-uv tew speak weee-uth an ac-cyent.”
2nd Dean Fields & Kathleen Armstrong
3rd Chris Crisp & Estelle Bonnaire
1st Reginald Beason & Melodie Chardonnet
2nd Cadet Sebastion & Verane Auburge
3rd Francois Raynaud & Liza May
4th Gerry Morris and Blandine Iche
5th Neil Crosbie and Anna Lumsden
6th Andy Vanosdale and Tracey Melin
7th Vance Harbuck and Carrie Stevens
8th Stephane Domingez and Lina Kulikowski
9th Kyle Merrit and Natasha Smith
10th Nick Jones and Wendy Cart
11th Michael Monaco and Melody Carr
1st Brenner Goree & Yenni Setiawan
2nd PJ Turner & Courtney Adair
3rd Gregory Scott & Lemery Rollins
4th Scott Stuart (his last JJ in the United States) and Kelly Hull
5th Trey and Brianne
6th Stephen White and Samantha Buckwalter
7th JB and Melissa Greene
8th Victor and Debbie Noble
9th Josh Clark and Kat Ostrenski (and her last JJ here. Farewell Ozzies! See you in October for Boogie By The Bay!)
10th James H and the terribly unattractive Melissa Rollins
11th James Formelio and Khyrystyna Cuismano
12th Steven Hunt and Tori Ellington
13th Earl Pingel and Taylor Harrell
14th Carpio Robles and Heidi Batdorf
That’s results – more soon …
Social dancing all weekend was SOOO DANG GREAT!! Friday night I drug mahself outta the ballroom at 3am, MAN I didn’t wanna leave but I had already danced one night, JJ’s were the next morning, and we still had two more all-nighters to go so I did the responsible thing and left. But it was REAL fun dancing.
Oh, except for one serious problem. The floor all weekend was horrible sticky. Some people wouldn’t dance on it at all either cause they had to perform and didn’t want to get hurt, or because after the first night every body part was hurting so bad they were afraid of going home in traction. And I will say – I have returned home from this comp feeling more beat-up than any time in recent memory. My joints are a mess. I’m lucky I don’t have chronic ankle, knee, or hip problems or, God forbid, back problems. But the sticky floor was rough even on me. But even with the slow floor social dancing was fun. Seemed like what people did to deal with the floor problem was come dance for an hour or so, leave for a few hours break, then back again for an hour. That’s what the smart people did, anyway. The dumb people, myself for instance, danced continuously for four days and are now paying the price.
But the music was so daggone good! Victor, Beth, and Festa. I’m not a big fan of shag music (or “Beach Music” as it’s called – I found out this weekend that shaggers invented the genre and the term) which was played in between shag divisions (and for late-night in the small ballroom, which I never went into even once) but Beach Music is certainly better than Lindy music. With Beach Music I can at least bear to stay in the room without covering my ears yelling La-La-La. It’s mostly west-coast-able, too. Some even verges on pleasant. But our music, the west-coast music, was great. Great great great.
Annie Hirsch is so elegant, just gotta say that. Her hair is now all white – not gray, but shiny white, which she says she inherited from her father. She says she turned 80 and felt that maybe her multi-colored hair might now be too young looking (she had had these very chic brown chunks around her ears and at the bottom in the back). She’s just something else, Annie is. A real treasure.
Oh, here’s another complaint: WHY THE HECK DO WE HAVE TO SIGN UP FOR JJ’S AT 9AM SATURDAY MORNING?!? Thanks gawd I have Genieboy to send on errands cause if I didn’t I wouldn’t have danced in the JJ at all cause if you have to be up and presentable, as in one’s hair not looking like Bozo, Ronald McDonald or Buckwheat, cause if you have to be up at that hour to sign up for JJ’s then you sure ain’t gwanna be staying out dancin’ till 6am the night before, are you? The only other comp that does this to us is Dallas, who, when I asked them about it, said “Tha’s jest th’way we dew things ’round here. ‘S th’way we allus done it here at Dallas and we lak it and it works jest faaaan.” But come on. When GB got down there at 9 there was already a long line of pale raggedy unsmiling people slumped over in line on the floor. In pajamas. This is cause they scare the stuffin outta you “If yew’re not thar ‘tween nan and ‘leven yew not gonna dance in th’jack and jill, no ‘ceptions made” and they won’t even put out the sign-up forms until 9 o’clock sharp, and when they do all the wide-eyed raggedy people have to jump up out of their positions in line on the carpet to lurch and grab at the forms in case they only xerox a certain number and without a form you might not be able to dance in the jack and jill no exceptions made for that either. Good way to turn mild-mannered wcs dancers into frothing spitting barking psychotic lunatics filling in their jack and jill forms with blood.
Let’s see. Random conversations outside the ballroom Friday night (well, Saturday morning I guess you’d call it):
Courtney says what every American who’s gone over to France to teach has said: that the French are EXCEEDINGLY humble; deeply respectful and appreciative of anyone who’s been dancing for years, and that they are all hungry to learn every possible thing; that they consider themselves life-long students and recognize that learning is accomplished with constant repetitive practice, that improvement is made in tiny steps only and requires long-term lifetime commitment. What really seems to strike our allstars and champions who travel to teach in France is that top-level dancers in France (allstar level) are right there next to the beginners in every workshop, concentrating at least as hard, asking questions in the most humble way, not feeling the least bit as if it’s odd that they would want to learn from someone else at their level. Different. We don’t do that here. Here, if an allstar or pro teaches a workshop only beginners sign up. You don’t see top-level dancers taking each others’ workshops. Not sure why this is.
So let’s see, who else did I talk to. Beverly Salazzo, who is a shagger in addition to wcs (and who, with Michael Norris as her partner, just won the All-American in Milwaukee), and who said that she was feeling like she musta died and gone to Heaven – an entire event of both wcs and shag! She was smiling so hard I thought her teeth might fall out. She thinks Atlanta is too good to be true.
And of course I talked with wonderful beautiful more-perfect-than-perfect Yenni who said she’s gonna be doing a strictly with Brennar on Sunday. Oh oops wait. That was Deonna?
And I talked with Tori (not Torri) who says she’s going to start competing in country! How cool is that! With Ben Hooten! And because they both teach they’ll be dancing Division 1. Eight dances! In our day it was only seven, now it’s eight? Jiminy Christmas! Putting together eight separate routines. Holy Moly.
Guess I told y’all already about Friday comps, so that ’bout sums up Friday.
More soon …
Heard on the mic:
Cooter, introducing DJ Butch Metcalf (a very large man): “That thar ee-yuz the original Round Man of Rock. When Butch was a whole lotta years yenger he were a Ladies Man, in’ that right Butch? Had ta beat ‘em off wiffa stick, dincha’ Butch? Things have changed a lil bit now, tho, han’t they Butch? Now I betcha cay-yunt even bay-yund down and pick UP a stick, can yew Butch? Yessirre, that thar Butch is a hunka hunka HUNK a burnin’ love.”
Cooter, bringing Jackie to the stage: “Every year Grand Nationals comes round and ah comes and hangs around Jackie a lil bit. And ah realize not only why ah am not married, but why ah quit datin’ alltogether. I swear, ain’t *nuthin* good enough for alla that. Poor Charlie.” Royston’s response: “That was *not* funny Jackie. I am *not* laughing. I will not *be* laughing. Until I get my check.”
Jackie, introducing and thanking sponsor Jim Hern: “This person kept callin and callin me, Ah don’t generally talk to strangers on the telephone so ah traaad to head ‘im off. But he was ver persee-yus-tant ‘n jest kept callin and callin and callin and wouldn’ leave me alone. Now ah have a bay-yud habit of orderin’ things. All kindsa things. And then fergettin I ordered ‘em. Charlie asks me wha’d yew order this time and I say well Charlie ah jest don’t know. We spay-yund a lotta money mailin’ things back. One tom ah ordered a ironin’ board with no corners cause ah thought ah needed to hay-yuv an ironin board with no corners. Way-yul, anyway, one day I get a package, and Charlie asks me Jackie what did you order and ah said Charlie ah don’t know and it was a large package, quite large, and ah opened it and it was water. A whole lotta water. Way-ul this man that had been callin me sent me water. Most people don’t send you a big package of water. And then the man called agay-yun and said Can Ah Come To Your House and Talk To Yew? Ah said no you caynt. But since he sent me that big box of water ah thought maybe ahd meet him – but in a safe place like a restaurant cause ah din know if he was crazy or not. Well ah told him about Grand Nationals and he said Way-yul! Anything I can do to hay-yelp? And ah said way-yul, yew can offer some water. For the people compet- DONE! he said. Anything else? Way-yul yew could sponsor the Junior Sha- DONE! he said, anything else? Yew could sponsor the T-Shir- DONE! Anything else? Yew could sponsor Grand Natio- DONE! Mr. Hern ah said Mr. Hern do yew know how much it is? The Grand Nationals ah mean? DONE! he said. Mr. Hern Ah said Mr. Hern ahm likin’ yew more and more.
“Mr. Hern gives us all our water, all our T-shirts, he sent trucks of water for Hurricane Katrina, last year he gave a merit scholarship to Brennar, he sponsors young adults at the USOpen”
Mario’s response to this story “I guess you see why I say there’s never been an event director like Jackie. Jackie and what’s-his-name.”
Charlie, at Awards: “Well, we’ve come to the part of the weekend where we start giving away money, which is not my favorite part of the weekend.”
Jackie “I want to say thank you to Craig Hutchinson, the man who made me and Charlie do what we do. By forcing us. He wanted us to spread shag, so he forced us, kickin and screamin, to go to the USOpen. In 1989 he forced us to go teach a workshop in Oklahoma. Ah had never been out of Georgia. Oklahoma? Ah thought we were gonna be teachin a bunch of Indians or something. We went to Oklahoma and the first person ah met was Annie. The second person ah met was Jack. The third person ah met was Mario. The fourth person was Ramiro. The fifth person was Sylvia. The sixth person was Lance. And they are all here in this room tonight. It was scary. Ah was the only girl in pants. And flats.” Jackie went on to tell the story, right from her heart, about their early years teaching shag, and the start of Grand Nationals – lotta old-timers in the audience looking teary-eyed. She said “People always wonder about the volunteers, why all these folks would want to work so hard in the background. Well, it’s because we buy them a lot of liquor.”
Jackie, later in the story: “Nobody can convince me that I didn’t do the right thing with Grand Nationals, cause I know I did. Without it Brent wouldn’t have met Kellese. Sam wouldn’t have met Lisa. We wouldn’t have these children.” And then, in tears, unable to talk, she called Annie up, who walked up the steps, grabbed the mic and said “I didn’t hear a thing you said all night until you said ‘Annie.’ I’m old. I can’t hear.” Jackie said “Yeah she may be old, but she will Wear. You. Out. I have had more security calls on Annie than on anybody else, in these sixteen years. Annie won’t leave. You turn off the music, she goes and finds a boom box. The biggest reward for me in all of this is Annie. Without it I never would have found Annie.”
And then at last Charlie came and stood beside her, said a few words, and Jackie and Charlie, both in tears, announced that they had always hoped that they’d know when it was time for them to leave. And they do know, now is the time to give Grand Nationals over to new, young blood. So after 16 years they pass the helm to the new event directors Michael and LeAnn Norris. And they bid a final goodbye with the beautiful verse from Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
More DC folks arriving: Gina Pennington, Paul W, Efraim, Lorraine Rohlik. Lots more on their way!
Tonite was Showcase – Robert and Nicola have a routine we haven’t seen before, might be brand new? – slow, oozy romantic.
Parker and Jess same amazing routine as at the Open but by now WAY ratcheted up several giant notches — nowhere else to go now, couldn’t possibly get better than it is. Her costume! Her top is the cups of a bra only. No straps. No nothing holding it on. Nothing you can see at least – the back and shoulder straps are there, but invisible. Man oh man, crazy sexy. I’m surprised that when Jessica walked out on the floor every man in the ballroom didn’t say “That’s it for me! See ya!” — and keel over passed out on the rug. Jessica Cox is ridiculous gorgeous.
Benji and Kellese did Showcase! AUGHGHGH!! Astonishing! It happened so fast you wanted to yell Wait! Wait! I wasn’t ready! Replay! AMAZING routine. Not a lot of tricks – maybe no tricks? No lifts that I can remember! On the other hand there is not much I actually *can* remember it happened so suddenly. What I do remember: wild mambo\cha\samba tropical folk-classical instrumental which started like a bat out of hell and never let up, so many rhythm syncopations, tempo changes, movements and shapes up down sideways backwards inside out upside down – you sat dumbfounded, jaw hanging, forgetting to breathe for two minutes. Then wondered what the heck just hit you. Did a parade of fire-engines and police cars just slam through the ballroom sirens screaming and lights whirling? Holy shamoly.
Buddy says they choreographed it a week ago! ONE WEEK AGO! Incredible.
Floor trials are tomorrow morning at 6am! Early! Registering for the JJ is tomorrow at 9:30 am. Ugh! That is SO dang early we’re thinking we might as well just not go to sleep tonight at all. Of all the comps Atlanta and Dallas are the worst as far as these early-morning sign-ups for JJ’s and Strictlys. And it’s weird here when it comes to the wsdc. Jackie explained to me that Atlanta is a NASDE comp, always has been NASDE, and they just don’t know much about wsdc divisions. Nobody, including Jackie, can tell us if tomorrow’s JJ might actually be an Open (meaning all non-champion divisions are combined) or whether there might be more than one division. Or which divisions or how they might be defined. Says “Inter\Advanced” on the program but it’s a mystery what this actually means.
Charlie and Jackie don’t seem to age. She is beautiful, he’s handsome … they look great.
Okay, so it’s Friday morning and lots of us DC folks here already: Michael B, Lara Deni and Keith Stremmel to do Classic routine (Keith’s first out-of-town comp is here, Atlanta! Little sister of the USOpen!), Greg and Hannah, James, Melissa G, Kevin and Tammy, Marcus and Deonna, Whitney And Her Two Husbands, Ed Francell, more arriving today.
Tonite Showcase, tomorrow JJ’s during the day, Classic all night.
People are friendly down here. Loud, toothy in-your-face friendly.
“How y’all DOIN today!” (Holy sh—! Whoa! Jeez you scared the cr— out of me. Fine. I’m doing fine. Now that I’ve re-composed myself after getting the holy bejeezus scared out of me when you yelled that.)
“WHAT A BEE-U-TEE-FUL!! DAY! IN’T IT?!?”
“Y’ALL HAVIN’ FUN?!?”
(No.This is the elevator. I haven’t had my coffee yet. We’re from DC we don’t talk to strangers.)
No, just joking. They are friendly here. REALLY friendly. Infomercial friendly.
The ballroom looked strangely small last nite. Small floor, sparse tables, lots of space between, no risers. Might mean attendance is down this year? Gas prices? Sure do hope they’re not taking a hit on this. Maybe they couldn’t afford to give us chairs and plan to seat us directly on the carpet? We don’t have a DC table so maybe we’ll have us a DC rug area.
Joking joking just joking again. I’m sure they can afford chairs.
Okay I’m not sure.