Aug. 30, 2011 ed.
Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!
In this edition:
- Mama Mia, What a Week
- Who's on DWTS13?
- Where to Watch DWTS13?
- NY International Salsa Congress: Aug. 31-Sept. 5
- New York Hustle Congress: Sept. 1-4
- Reminders of Upcoming Events
- Looking to Improve Your Dancing?
- Looking to Social Dance?
- Looking for a Partner?
Last week was one for the history books: An earthquake hit near Richmond, Virginia, and it was felt up and down the Eastern seaboard, including New York, sending many office workers evacuating to the streets; the Yankees had three grand slams in a single game; Hurricane Irene tore through the East Coast, causing the entire New York City transit system to be shut down. For the first time in recent memory, the lights were off on Broadway, and even though the show must go on, it did not this past weekend. And for us in the dance world, that also meant that our usual favorite dance haunts were closed. Wherever you found yourself last week, we hope you were safe and sound. Now let's get on with the dance news ....
ABC made me endure 75 minutes of Bachelor Pad before revealing the season 13 cast of DWTS, and then only the first six. Nearly another excruciating 20 minutes would pass before the remaining six were disclosed. I wasn't even watching the show -- I swear. I left the tv on in the other room with the audio on while working on other tasks. But even having to hear the show was bad enough. Honestly, do people watch this
After all that, here's what Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet had to tell an eagerly-waiting public (who, at least from Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, appeared as exasperated as I was at having to sit through Bachelor Pad):
- Ricki Lake - talk show host
- Ron Artest - NBA pro playing with the LA Lakers (born in Queens, NY)
- Kristin Cavallari - reality tv star and actress
- Chynna Phillips - "princess of pop," sang with Wilson Phillips
- David Arquette - actor, writer, producer
- Carson Kressley - fashion guru
- Nancy Grace - courtroom commentator
- J.R. Martinez - war hero, soap star (you read that right)
- Hope Solo - soccer (football to our Euro friends) superstar
- Rob Kardashian - reality tv star, brother of Kim
- Elisabetta Canalis - Italian actress, George Clooney's ex
- Chaz Bono - "the only son of Sonny and Cher" (exact quote)
There you have it: another assortment of talk show hosts, commentators, former pop stars, movie actors (whose stars are not shining so brightly these days), athletes, reality stars, soap stars. Ummm ... where does Chaz Bono fit in all of this? And now that Ricki Lake is on the show, I'm reminded of Marissa Jaret Winokur who hit it big in the Broadway musical of Hairspray, the cult classic that made Ricki Lake famous -- and realizing that it was probably Lake that the DWTS producers were after all along. Now, seven seasons later, their persistence has apparently paid off.
No predictions yet on who the favorites in this field might be. I reserve judgment until the pro pairings are announced Wednesday morning, Aug. 31, on GMA. Not sure if I'll be tuning in, but if I do, I won't be dreading it the way I did with Bachelor Pad. (To describe it as "trash" would be a compliment.) In the meantime, we have the current Dirty Dozen to ponder. Hmmm ... should be interesting.
So now that we know who the "stars" are this season on DWTS, and soon enough we'll find out who they'll be dancing with, the next question that arises is: Where should we watch it this season? ACME Bar & Grill is gone, and I suppose we can return to the Upstairs Pub but I haven't been back there since season 12 ended and I'm not certain that our regular gang wants to return there. I mean, it was fine, and they treated us well there, but I guess it just didn't have quite the same atmosphere as ACME. So I turn to you, our New York dance community, for suggestions. Does anyone out there know a place that:
- has a bar with large screen tvs
- that would let us turn on the sound
- and it would be audible despite the surroundings
- is conveniently located in Manhattan, i.e, easily accessible by subway
- that serves good food and drink at reasonable prices
I would have added "that has a cool bartender like Rudy" and "that has a colorful regular crowd" (both of which we had at ACME) but that would probably be asking too much.
If you know of any place that would fit the bill, drop us a line at email@example.com.
DWTS 13 premieres on ABC on Monday, September 19, at 8 pm.
Wayne's latest Dance Commentary correctly noted that, thanks to a little lady with a big footprint named Irene, last weekend's dance plans for many were washed away by 75-mile-per-hour gusts and torrential rain. Not to despair, as Wayne rightly reminds us that the Labor Day Weekend brings with it a bounty of dance opportunities for the salsa and hustle dancers out there.
First, the New York International Salsa Dance & Music Festival takes place from August 31 to September 5 at the New York Hilton. What is a Salsa Congress? According to the organizers:
A Salsa Congress is a multi-day (3 days 4 nights) celebration of Latin dance and music much like any conference or convention with the overall focus to unite, develop and educate Salsa dancers and Latin music enthusiast. The main goals are to bring people from many different cultures, places and social circles together to establish a sense of community, to expose people to different styles of dance, to inspire participants to achieve a higher level of knowledge, expression, and to share the passion for Latin music and dancing. Everyone in all ages from that person who has never danced in his life to the Professional is welcome.
The Salsa Congress is a huge event, loaded with workshops, performances, concerts, and competition, with parties galore, before and after the Congress. The Salsa Congress is celebrating its 11th year. For all the details, visit the website.
If four days of salsa dancing seems to be too much for you, or you would like a little hustle (or West Coast swing) thrown in with your salsa, then head on over to the New York Hustle Congress, taking place at the New York Hotel Pennsylvania. Dancers from all across the country will be converging on the Big Apple, the birthplace of the hustle, to fill their weekend with workshops, competitions and hours of social dancing, covering not just hustle but also including salsa and West Coast swing. The event will be celebrating its 7th year, organized by Lori Brizzi, who just last month celebrated the 10th anniversary of her popular and famous Millennium Hustle Dance Parties.
Learn more about the New York Hustle Congress at the event website here.
- If you missed the first USA Dance National Dance Cruise last year, nowís your chance to take part in the second annual USA Dance National Dance Cruise, taking place from December 4 through 11, 2011. Hereís more from the National Ballroom Dance Cruise website.
- The 22nd Annual Manhattan Amateur Classic takes place in five months, from January 13-15, 2012, at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center. Registration will be open soon. More details to come. Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! Hope to see you there.
- ďDance LegendsĒ 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.
- 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, itís 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 email@example.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.
- 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.
- Tuesday, August 30, mixed ballroom dancing at the Saloon, on York Ave., between 83rd and 84th street, from 8 pm (free lesson at 7:30 pm).
- Thursday, Sept. 1, Sunset Salsa at the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street and 9th Avenue. Lessons at 6:30 pm, dancing from 7:30 pm. FREE!
- Thursday, Sept. 1, Salsa at the South Street Seaport, Pier 16/17, in front of Skipperís Cafe. Also takes place on Saturdays, but Social Committee Chair Rosalyn Hansrisuk advises that Thursday night is the better night to go, because it is less crowded. Itís free, and the music is supplied by a DJ, who plays mostly salsa, with some cha cha, bachata and merengue thrown in. On Thursdays, the dancing starts at 7 pm and on Saturdays, it starts at 8:30 pm. If itís raining, itís not happening. For more details, check out this page from SalsaNewYork.com.
- Thursday, Sept. 1, Thursday Night Dance Club at Mirelle's, in Westbury, featuring Latin, Hustle and West Coast Swing. Lesson at 7:30 pm, dancing starts at 8:15 pm. Admission just $10 per person for USA Dance members (present your card at the entrance to get the discount).
- Friday, Sept. 2, Hot Salsa Friday at the VIP Lounge at the Iguana. Doors open at 6 pm.
- Saturday, Sept. 3, mixed ballroom dancing at Manhattan Ballroom Dance studio, starting at 7:30 pm with a free lesson, dancing from 8:00 pm to midnight.
- Sunday, Sept. 4, Sunday Tea Party at Manhattan Ballroom Dance, mixed ballroom dancing starting at 3 pm.
- Monday, Sept. 5, Salsa at Taj, with live band and special performances. Arrive before 7 pm and get in for $6 (admission price doubles after 7 pm). (Note that it's Labor Day so you may want to call ahead to make sure it's going forward.)
We have a follower seeking a silver or higher leader in Standard or Smooth. To see this and other 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. Itís free, itís easy. Do it today!
That does it for this week. Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!
(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.