nyusabda logoThanks for Coming to the Luau!
June 16, 2011 ed.

Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!

In this edition:
  1. Wow, What a Luau!
  2. And the Winners of the Swarovski Elements On-line Contest Are …
  3. Yulia Zagoruychenko Workshop on June 18
  4. Dance Under the Stars at Bohemian National Hall on June 22
  5. Maks and Tony to Give Workshop at Dance with Me Soho on June 23
  6. Sunset Salsa at the Triangle Returns on June 30
  7. Second Annual USA Dance National Dance Cruise in December
  8. May-June Issue of American Dancer
  9. IDSF World Latin Championships on YouTube
  10. Looking to improve your dancing?
  11. Looking to social dance?
  12. Looking for a Partner?

Wow, What a Luau!

More than 100 dancers came out last Saturday, June 11, to ring in the summer with our annual luau. For the third year in a row, we held it at Manhattan Ballroom Dance studio, and because of the huge floor, many dancers comfortably fit and were able to dance without crashing into each other (well, at least most of the time).

Besides lots of general dancing, we had performances by some wonderful couples from the collegiate scene, Khan Hannan and Stevi Dumbrell, who dance with NYU, and Chris Chirdon and Carissa Chambers, who danced with University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill but now are affiliated with the Columbia team. Khan and Stevi danced a paso doble/rumba medley while Chris and Carissa graced us first with their samba and then with their rumba. The high level of dancing demonstrated by both couples readily showed why the collegiate dance scene is so vibrant and vigorous.

Thanks to everyone who joined us to make the luau a wonderful success. To see some of my photos from the party, go here. For video visit the NY USA Dance YouTube channel (or see the embedded video below).

Stay tuned for news of our next social.

And the Winners of the Swarovski Elements On-line Contest Are …

As mentioned here for the last few weeks, Swarovski has been holding a contest on Facebook to decide which of the costumes created by four designers for ten of the nation’s top couples were the people’s choice. Thousands of votes were cast on the Swarovski Elements Facebook page, and last Wednesday, June 8, I was privileged to be among the invited guests to a special gala event held at the Swarovski Crystallized store in Soho in downtown Manhattan at which the winners of the on-line contest held by Swarovski Elements were announced.

Swarovski ElementsAt the event, many of the DanceSport athletes selected to wear the beautiful costumes using the new Swarovski stones created especially for DanceSport were in attendance, including Senior I Standard Champions Xingmin and Katerina Lu, Adult Standard Champions Igor Mikushov and Margaretta Midura, and Junior II Standard Champion Anna Kaczmarski. Also in attendance were designers, including Dawn Smart of Doré Designs and Maria McGill of Designs to Shine.

Before announcing the contest winners, Heidi McCormack, Swarovski's Key Account Manager Textile East, announced that the costumes sponsored by Swarovski would be put up for sale and the proceeds would be split between the designers and Swarovski. Heidi declared that Swarovski would be donating back its share of the proceeds to USA Dance to support its scholarship fund for DanceSport athletes. Heidi then introduced Angela Prince, USA Dance National Director of Public Relations, to talk about the partnership between Swarovski and USA Dance. After describing the brand ambassador program that has been established between Swarovski and USA Dance, Angela introduced Ken Richards, USA Dance National VP for DanceSport. Ken expressed USA Dance’s deep appreciation for the support of Swarovski for the talented and dedicated DanceSport athletes that represent the United States in world competition.

Heidi then introduced Stephan Toljan, Swarovksi’s VP Sales and Market Management, to announce the winners. Third place with 994 votes went to USA Dance National Latin Champions Val Chmerkovskiy and Daria Chesnokova from New Jersey, with a costume designed by Maria McGill of Designs to Shine. Second place with 1083 votes went to USA Dance Natioanal Youth and 10-Dance Finalists Taras Savitskyy and Liya Podokshik from New Jersey with a costume designed by Dawn Smart of Doré Designs. First place went to USA Dance National Junior II Latin finalists Eric Rosenberg and Nicole Akhmerova from California, with a staggering 1811 votes, wearing a costume designed by Dawn Smart of Doré Designs.

Congratulations to all the couples who wore the fabulous costumes made with Swarovski Elements. And thanks to Swarovski for being such a great sponsor of USA Dance and DanceSport. You make our champions look like the winners they truly are.

All the stunning costumes are on display at the Swarovski Crystallized store in Soho at 499 Broadway from now until June 24. Why not stop in today to take a look? Too see some photos I shot, go to this link. For video from the gala, visit the NYUSADance You Tube channel (or see the embedded video below).

Yulia Zagoruychenko Workshop on June 18

We have word from Farrington Ballroom Dance School in Flushing, Queens, that World Professional Latin Champion Yulia Zagoruychenko will be giving a latin workshop on Saturday, June 18, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Everyone is welcome, all skill levels, no partner necessary. The cost for the workshop is $90 per person if you pre-register by contacting rudanceny@gmail.com. At the door, the price goes up to $100. Special for USA Dance members: If you plan to come as a group, the studio is offering a group rate for five or more people at $75 per person, if you pre-register as a group and present your USA Dance cards at the door. There will also be a social at the studio after the workshop, which includes general dancing and hot buffet for just $15 per person. For more information, check the Farrington Ballroom Dance School website. When you visit the website, be sure to check out the video on the homepage which includes some footage of Yulia and Riccardo performing at the Farrington Ballroom Dance School's New Year Party back in February.

Dance Under the Stars at Bohemian National Hall on June 22

Bohemian National Hall Dancing Under the StarsFor dancers in New York City, the arrival of warmer weather means greater opportunities to dance outdoors, both at ground level (such as at Midsummer Night Swing, starting at the end of the month) and at higher elevations, such as on the rooftop of the historic Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side. Most recently held last month in May, Dancing Under the Stars returns next Wednesday, June 22. It will be hosted by the lovely Blanka Stichova. Our resident videographer, Raphael Pungin (see his latest work from Saturday night’s luau), will exhibit his skills as DJ, spinning a mix of latin, swing, ballroom and disco for your dancing pleasure.

Fair warning to hard core ballroom dancers: This is not strictly a ballroom event. It is more of a social event with dancing. Because it will be outdoors, the surface will not be hardwood and the available dance space may not be as large as what you may be used to. Even then, Dancing Under the Stars should provide a good opportunity to enjoy a beautiful night in the middle of the week, meeting some friends, making some new ones, sipping on a drink or two outside and getting in a dance here and there.

The cost is just $20 per person which gets you open bar and refreshments. Tickets must be purchased in advance by June 19 here at this link. Check the event webpage for further details.

Maks and Tony to Give Workshop at Dance with Me Soho on June 23

Our friends at Dance with Me Soho have told us about a workshop coming up being taught by Dancing with the Stars pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani next Thursday, June 23, at their studio on Broome Street in New York’s fashionable Soho neighborhood. The seminar will be for ninety minutes starting at 7:45 pm. The cost is $125 per person. Space is limited so reserve now by contacting the studio at soho@dancewithmeusa.com. Please refer all questions to Dance with Me Soho at that e-mail address.

Sunset Salsa at the Triangle Returns on June 30

Sunset Salsa Chelsea Triangle 2011For the last few years, Talia Castro-Pozo (whom you may know from the Salsa Mondays at Taj) has been organizing a weekly outdoor salsa dance in the Meatpacking District down by 14th Street and Ninth Avenue, steps away from the Apple Store in a public plaza that has been dubbed the Chelsea Triangle. Popularly called Sunset Salsa, this annual event returns on Thursday June 30 and will continue every Wednesday thereafter until September 29.

You don’t know how to salsa or need a refresher course? You have friends who have always wanted to learn? Starting in two weeks, you can bring them down to the Chelsea Triangle at 6:30 pm to take the one-hour lesson given by some of New York’s top salsa instructors. Then stay from 7:30 to 9:00 to dance salsa with friends, both the ones you bring with you and the ones you may meet at Sunset Salsa. Then after the sun sets, find some local eatery or bar to continue the party on Thursday night and get a jump start on your weekend.

To learn more and see the schedule, visit the Sunset Salsa site.

Second Annual USA Dance National Dance Cruise in December

If you missed the first USA Dance National Dance Cruise last year, now’s your chance to take part in the second annual USA Dance National Dance Cruise, taking place from December 4 through 11, 2011. Here’s more from the National Ballroom Dance Cruise website:

Join USA Dance members, families and friends for the Second Annual USA Dance National Dance Cruise, December 4-11, 2011, aboard Holland America's elegant ms Westerdam for seven days of fun, food and nearly non-stop dance activities.

Departing from Ft. Lauderdale, the cruise-sponsored by USA Dance and Holland America—brings social dancers together from around the country and supports the organization's national programs. With exciting visits to Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Philipsburg (St. Maarten) and Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), the cruise includes a full program of ballroom, latin and club-style dance classes taught by the country's top professional instructors (to be announced shortly).

The cruise sold out last year so if you don’t want to miss this one, you may want to make your reservations now. Visit the National Ballroom Dance Cruise today.

May-June Issue of American Dancer

American Dance May June 2011The latest issue of the national USA Dance publication American Dancer is now out and available for your perusal on-line. Inside the latest edition is full coverage of USA Dance National DanceSport Champions held in April in Baltimore, with tons of great photos. Also, there is an article featuring the ten couples sponsored by Swarovski Elements to wear costumes designed by top designers using the new Swarovski stones created for DanceSport. You can see pictures of those beautiful costumes as worn by our championship dancers. Also, find out which chapter was named the USA Dance Chapter of the Year. USA Dance members receive hard copies of American Dancer as part of their membership but if yours has not yet arrived in your mailbox, read it on-line now by clicking the image of the cover (right).

IDSF World Latin Championships on YouTube

More than two decades ago when I first started dancing, tv coverage of ballroom competitions was few and far between. Now, in this digital age of social media and user-created content, footage of ballroom dancers is ubiquitous, and we have swung to the other extreme of having so much video that one can easily spend hours on YouTube or Facebook watching ballroom dance videos, from performances to competitions to social dancing.

Most of the videos uploaded today tend to be amateur video, shot and edited by ballroom dance enthusiasts (myself included), but that is not always the case. IDSF, the international governing body of DanceSport, just released a professionally shot and edited show from the IDSF World Latin Championships held back in November in New York City at the Brooklyn Marriott. It has been made available on YouTube and you can watch the nearly hour-long program, featuring some of the world’s finest latin couples in the semi-final and final rounds, including USA Dance National Champions Val Chmerkovskiy and Daria Chesnokova. Click here to watch all the fun, excitement and glamor of the IDSF World Latin Championships 2010.

Looking to Improve Your Dancing?

Here are some ideas for classes and practice spaces:
  • At Brooklyn DanceSport Club, Maria and Eugene will be teaching Open Junior/Youth Seminars on Mondays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, and Open Adult Seminars on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. They will also hold regular run-through Latin rounds on Tuesdays from 8:30 to 10:00 pm and Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:30 pm. There will also be Standard run-throughs on Fridays from 8:30 to 10:00 pm. The studio is easily accessible by subway, via the N train, 18 Avenue stop. From there, it’s a short walk to the studio.
  • Stepping Out holds an International Standard and American Smooth Practice session on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10:30 pm, and the cost is just $3 per person or $5 per couple. On Saturdays, they hold a Standard pratice session from 5 pm to 6 pm, at the same cost. Just show the front desk your USA Dance membership card to take advantage of these great rates, and ask them what other USA Dance discounts are available for their other programs and events.
  • Become the best ballroom dancer you can be for your partner by working on yourself first. ISTD Fellow Michael Choi shows you how with his Ballroom Barre, at Chelsea Studios, every Wednesday, starting at 8:30 pm. Just $25 per person for USA Dance members. The classes are non-sequential so drop in any time; no partner required, all levels welcome. For more information, contact Michael at michael@dancemchoi.com.
  • Manhattan Ballroom Dance studio runs Standard rounds on Thursday , from 9:30 to 10:30 pm and Latin Rounds on Friday nights from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.
  • Basic Ballroom holds a Competition Run-through Class supervised by former World Professional Latin finalists Paul and Olga Richardson on Friday nights from 8 pm to 9:30 pm. Just $20 for USA Dance members.
  • Check out the special rates for USA Dance members at Basic Ballroom: just $79 for a 10 session card and $90 for their unlimited monthly card.
  • DanceSport offers a $100 monthly floor fee card for amateur dancers: Unlimited practice space Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm, and Sundays 11 am to 7 pm for 30 days.
  • Dance with Me Soho can no longer host practice sessions on weekdays due to space constraints. Dancers are welcome to practice on weekends for $15 per hour per couple. Also, you may want to try their practice parties on Wednesdays at 9:20 to 10:10 pm (salsa theme) and Thursdays same time that covers all styles.
  • WayGee Ho teaches a weekly beginner salsa lesson on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30 pm at the New York Chinese Cultural Center, 390 Broadway, just one block from the N/R Canal Street Station. The 4-week cycle began on June 1. For just $45 you get four weeks of salsa lessons and a party. What a deal! Not sure if you can still get in on the June classes, but if you’re interested to find out more, visit chinatownsalsa.com.

Looking to Social Dance?

Here are some suggestions: For more ideas, check Wayne's Dance Commentary or bailamosdance.com.

Looking for a Partner?

We have five followers, mostly junior dancers, seeking leaders. To see these posts or to post your own, take a look here. If your post has expired and you're still looking for a partner, feel free to re-post. It’s free, it’s easy. Do it today!
That does it for this week. Happy Father's Day! And for everyone going to the Gumbo of Ballroom in Baton Rouge this weekend, see y'all there!
Yang Chen
Greater NY
USA Dance
(NY USA Dance)

General disclaimer: Please note that, other than events organized by NY USA Dance, the listing of events in this newsletter is purely for informational purposes and does not carry with it any endorsement, sanction or seal of approval, express or implied. If you have any questions about an event other than one organized by NY USA Dance, you should direct them to the organizer of that event. NY USA Dance has no control over any of the events listed herein, other than those events which NY USA Dance itself organizes. NY USA Dance bears no responsibility for the content, conduct, quality, management or operation of any of the events listed in this newsletter, other than those events organized directly by NY USA Dance.

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