nyusabda logoDWTS Season 13 Kicks Off
Sept. 23, 2011 ed.

Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!

In this edition:
  1. DWTS13 at Sinigual?
  2. DWTS13 Season Premiere: Week 1
  3. Victor and Anastasia to Perform in Queens on Sept. 23
  4. Live Orchestra and Dancing: Place at Main on Oct. 21
  5. Reminders of Upcoming Events
  6. Looking to Improve Your Dancing?
  7. Looking to Social Dance?
  8. Looking for a Partner?

DWTS13 at Sinigual?

Thanks to those who came out to Sinigual on Monday night for the season premiere of DWTS13. I was running late and wasn't able to get there until about a quarter past 8 pm. When I arrived, there was some confusion at the bar about our group viewing that night. Those who got there on time were told by the management that they had no reservations for a group to watch DWTS at the bar on one of the televisions with the sound on. I, for one, was surprised to hear that because I personally made the reservation. In fact I checked with the hostess on a Saturday evening a couple of weeks ago to find out if we could bring our group there to watch DWTS, and she told me 'yes.'

To make a long story short, I spoke to the manager on duty that night and explained the situation, and he promptly got one of the sets tuned to Channel 7 for DWTS, got the sound on and even turned on the closed captioning. The bartender was very accommodating and treated us all well. We watched the rest of the DWTS season premiere without incident.

On the way out, I spoke with the manager and asked if it was okay if we did this again next Monday, the 26th, and he said he'd keep our reservation in the system. Perhaps if we had more of a crowd -- I think we had eight or so on Monday night -- we might be more welcome? Let's give it a go for week 2 of DWTS13 at Sinigual, shall we? The restaurant is on the corner of the 41st and Third. Hope to see you there.

DWTS13 Season Premiere: Week 1

DWTS 13 Ron Artest Peta MurgatroydThe first week of the thirteenth season kicked off on September 19. The big news, for me, was not the dancers but the new set. It's GI-normous. It looks more like an opera house than a ballroom. The "Celeb Aquarium" has been replaced with a Sky Box. The fancy huge new digs is a testament to the success of the show. Who would have thought that this summer replacement from 2005 would have taken off the way it has?

One would think that the popularity of the show would lead to bigger names representing the "Stars" part of the show's title, but the luminosity of the "celebs" remains dim. DWTS continues to be a refuge for D-listers and ex-celebs looking for a comeback.

Didn't the "stars" and pros used to have five weeks to get ready for the season premiere? I thought I kept hearing that this current crop had only been together for three weeks. If that is the case, then I guess the dancing on week 1 wasn't so bad, given the short time the teams had spent preparing.

The dances were Viennese Waltz and Cha Cha. I didn't see one good Cha Cha. The Viennese Waltzes fared better, with good performance put in by Chynna Phillips dancing with Tony Dovolani and Ricki Lake dancing with Derek Hough. The best performance of the night, in my book, was put in by J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. It was elegant, musical, poised and easy to watch. I never heard of J.R. before this season of DWTS, but he has certainly captured my attention and I will be keeping my eye on him in the coming weeks.

The worst performance was put in, I thought, by Carson Kressley, dancing with Anna Trebunskaya, who tried to channel Mick Jagger in his Cha Cha but it came off more like the chicken dance. The judges, however, found it amusing. Len Goodman even said on the results show, when he announced Carson's Cha Cha as the command performance, that Carson put the "Ha-Ha-Ha" in "Cha-Cha-Cha." I beg to differ.

The first elimination has already taken place. Contrary to my expectations, both Nancy Grace and Chaz Bono survived the cut. Lacey Schwimmer, Chaz's partner, seemed surprised by that outcome.

The first to get knocked out was Ron Artest of the L.A. Lakers. I don't know why he changed his name to Metta World Peace and dyed his hair blonde, a la Dennis Rodman. I did not have the pleasure of catching his performance because I got to Sinigual late, but judging by the outcome, I didn't miss much and his fans apparently did not approve. Ron/Metta was a good sport about the elimination; he almost seemed proud to be the first to go.

Next week: quickstep and jive. I don't know who picks the dances but I wish all the contestants much luck in week 2.

Victor and Anastasia to Perform in Queens on Sept. 23

Victor Fung and Anastasia MuravyevaPaul Ru, President of Farrington Ballroom Dance School, has informed us that the school's Grand Re-Opening Party has been rescheduled to this Friday, September 23. The original date of August 28 was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. On the re-scheduled date, World Professional Standard Finalists Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva, will be performing so if you want to catch a world-class show right in our neck of the woods, the place to be is Farrington Ballroom Dance School at 35-22 Linden Place in Flushing, Queens. The evening begins at 6 pm, the star performance is scheduled for 9 pm. If you might be interested in attending, contact Paul at rudanceny@gmail.com to ask about ticket availability. Tell him that NY USA Dance sent you.

Live Orchestra and Dancing: Place at Main on Oct. 21

I've heard about a dance space in Flushing, Queens called Place at Main. I'm told that it's huge, with a great floor. I haven't been there myself so can't speak from personal experience. However, you may get your chance to check it out for yourself if you go to their special event next month on Friday, October 21, when Place at Main will feature a live band, Gerard Carelli and his Orchestra, and professional performances by Andy and Yulia Klinchik (former USA Dance National DanceSport Championships Standard Champions). The cost is $48 per person and includes light dinner and wine. Place at Main is located at 36-51 Main Street in Flushing (a few blocks north of the Main Street stop on the 7 train). For more information, call 718-321-0521. Click here for the flyer.

Reminders of Upcoming Events

  • 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 less than four months, from January 13-15, 2012, at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center. Registration now open. Questions? Send them to mac@nyusadance.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 now on sale. 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, 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 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.

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 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 autumn, 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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