nyusabda logoMAC 2012 Less Than 6 Months Away
July 31, 2011 ed.

Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!

In this edition:
  1. MAC 2012 Returns in January
  2. Julia Ivleva Fundraiser at Rogers DanceSport
  3. Good-bye, Scott Robinson
  4. For USA Dance, Life Goes On
  5. Rooftop Party at Bohemian National Hall on August 17
  6. Reminders of Upcoming Events
  7. Looking to Improve Your Dancing?
  8. Looking to Social Dance?
  9. Looking for a Partner?

MAC 2012 Returns in January

Manhattan Amateur Classic 2011 day 2The first half of 2011 ended a month ago and we’re a third of the way into the third quarter of the year. How can tomorrow be August already? Summer has flown by, and we’re now less than six months away from MAC 2012. A few recent e-mails inquiring about MAC was a good reminder to us that it’s not too soon to think about the 22nd annual running our favorite dance competition (and we hope it’s yours too). We plan to open registration soon. We are again securing a block of rooms at the New Yorker, and the discount code for those wishing to book rooms there will be released soon. Yes, MAC will be taking place at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center from January 13-15, 2012, the weekend of the Martin Luther King’s Day holiday. Yes, MAC is an NQE, and this year you will have to finish among the top 75% in your event with the same partner to qualify for Nationals. If you have any questions about MAC, send them to mac@nyusadance.org. Save the dates; we hope to see you there.

Julia Ivleva Fundraiser at Rogers DanceSport

Evening for Julia Ivleva at Rogers DanceSport July 30, 2011Last night, July 30, Rogers DanceSport Center threw a benefit to raise funds for Julia Ivleva. Daniel Libatique was there and files this report:

On the evening of July 30th, Rogers DanceSport Center in Fairfield, NJ, held a benefit fundraiser for Julia Ivleva, a beautiful pro Standard dancer who was recently diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, despite being a non-smoker. The ballroom community is coming together in numerous ways to help her fund her treatment, with gatherings and benefits all across the east coast. "An Evening for Julia" included lots of social dancing, but the real draw was a two-act series of performances by amateur and professional couples across all four styles of competitive ballroom dance, including such high-profile couples as Gherman Mustuc and Iveta Lukosiute, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Liana Churilova, and Max Kozhevnikov and Anastasia Grigoreva. From hard-rocking shows like a Thriller-themed tango, a foxtrot/tango to "You Give Love a Bad Name," and a sexy policewoman dancing a samba and jive with a convict, to an adorable junior samba, to stunning waltzes, tangos, and Viennese waltzes and spicy rumbas, cha chas, and mambos, the performances were a sight to see. According to Gary McDonald, co-founder of the Rogers DanceSport Center, between donations and a silent auction, the evening raised over $25,000 for Julia's treatment. Julia herself, speaking at the end of the performances, expressed her gratitude and encouraged everyone to truly enjoy life, especially through the beautiful art of dance. The community wishes Julia a speedy and full recovery, and the support of so many people for one of our own goes to show how great a family we really are.

Thanks for the recap, Daniel. Donations to the Julia Ivleva Fund can be made payable to World Federation of Ballroom Dancers with "The Julia Ivleva Fund" in the memo line and mailed to:

The National Dance Council of America (N.D.C.A.)
Attn: Judi Hatton
PO Box 881298
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34988-1292

Good-bye, Scott Robinson

For the two decades that Stanley and Jennifer McCalla ran their Fred Astaire Studio down in the Village and then at Dance Chelsea, one of the constants that I could always count on was to be greeted at reception by the warm smile of Scott Robinson. His cheerful manner also came through over the phone on those occasions when I would call the studio. Scott also taught, first at Fred Astaire and later when Stanley and Jennifer opened Dance Chelsea. He had a regular following of students who, from the smiles on their faces, you could tell enjoyed learning to dance from Scott.

I knew that outside of the dance studio, Scott was an actor, director and producer. But I never got to know that side of him.

Three weeks ago would have been Scott’s 68th birthday. In December 2010, he was diagnosed with cancer. About four months later, on April 24, Scott passed away. Yesterday, July 30, his friends, including Stanley and Jennifer, their former business partner Kelly Gilmore, teachers from Fred Astaire and Dance Chelsea (Michele, Jami, Abbey, Mirela) and Scott’s students, came together at Ripley Grier Studios on West 36th Street to remember him, his life and his work.

The room was packed with many members of New York’s theater community. Scott founded a company called Out of the Box Theater, which was created in 2006 to afford acting opportunities to all actors regardless of age, race, sex or disability.

Scott RobinsonThe heartfelt and touching testimonials and memories shared by Scott’s friends showed how much he had touched the lives of those around him. I didn’t know that Scott’s first name was actually James. It made me realize how little I knew him and how much I took for granted that the gentle smile and friendly voice would always be there. Even among those who knew him well, there were expressions of regret at the call from Scott that wasn’t returned because we just all thought … he’d still be around.

Scott, I hardly knew you, but now I wish I’d known you better. You did a lot of great things for a lot of different people, all of whom were happy to know you and now miss you.

Let’s all remember to appreciate all the wonderful people in our lives and let them know how special they are, while they are still here to hear us say it.

James “Scott” Robinson, July 9, 1943 - April 24, 2011.

For USA Dance, Life Goes On

In the last edition of this newsletter, I wrote about the suspension of USA Dance from NDCA. On the same day, USA Dance issued an announcement that despite the suspension, USA Dance is carrying on with business as usual:

At this time, USA Dance would like to assure all of its members – individual dancers, leaders for our 180 chapters and our DanceSport athletes –– that in spite of the NDCA’s decision to suspend our organization, USA Dance and all of its programs and activities will continue as they have in the past, without interruption and with the continuing support from our National organization.

For the full statement, visit the USA Dance website.

Rooftop Party at Bohemian National Hall on August 17

What better way to enjoy a warm summer night than to gather with friends over drinks on the rooftop of a historic building on the Upper East Side to dance under the stars? You can do it on August 17 at the Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue. DJ Raphael Pungin will spin tunes suitable for dancing, including music for us ballroom types. Note though that the surface on the roof is not wood so keep your good dance shoes at home but be sure to wear shoes that will work on stone pavers. And it’s not strictly a ballroom party so keep those fancy ballroom steps in check. For just $20 in advance, though, you get to enjoy open bar and refreshments, and your hostess Blanka Stichova will be sure to introduce you to the many wonderful people who will be there. To learn more about the event, click here for the flyer.

Reminders of Upcoming Events

  • Karina Smirnoff and Jonathan Roberts of DWTS will be coming to Temple B’Nai Torah in Wantagh, Long Island on August 27. To reserve your spot, act now, before the August 20 deadline. This event has sold out in the past; don’t delay if you don’t want to miss out. More details here.
  • 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.
  • Dance Legends” is coming to the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center next April. It will be a two-day event set to take place on April 13 and 14, 2012, and it will feature past and present champions in ballroom and latin, performing in multiple showcases. Tickets are due to go on sale in a month, on September 1. To learn more, visit the website or follow Dance Legends on Facebook or Twitter.

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. Blackpool Professional Rising Star Ballroom Champions Marat Gimaev and Alina Basyuk have now joined the studio as Directors of the Ballroom Department and they will be teaching the Open Standard Seminar on Wednesdays at 7 PM, starting July 6th. They will also run regular Standard Run-through Practices on Wednesdays at 8:30 PM and on Fridays at 7 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.
  • Blackpool Bronze Finalists and USA National DanceSport Latin Champions Val Chmerkovksiy and Dasha Chesnokova are teaching group classes at Dance with Me studios in New Jersey, Soho and Long Island in July and August. For schedule and rate, click here.
  • Jami Josephson will be teaching a DVIDA professional dance instructor certification course at Basic Ballroom starting on Wednesday, July 20. The dance is hustle and the course will run for six weeks. For more details about the program, click here.

Looking to Social Dance?

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

Looking for a Partner?

To see some posts of dancers seeking partners, 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 August, everyone!
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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