Oct. 26, 2011 ed.
Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!
In this edition:
- A Little MIA This Month
- Thanks for the DanceAssist
- Talking About Ballroom on Let's Travel!
- DWTS13: 4 Weeks of Themes
- Halloween Dance Party at Bohemian National Hall: Oct. 27
- Fall Fantasy Showcase on Oct. 30
- Reminders of Upcoming Events
- Looking to Improve Your Dancing?
- Looking to Social Dance?
- Looking for a Partner?
In case you were wondering, no, you didn't miss any issues of the e-news. Work has been keeping me busy and on the road this month, and I also was out of town two weekends in a row for MC gigs. All that adds up to limited time and energy to get in front of my computer to write up the e-news. But here I am, typing away.
Because I've been MIA, we've got some catching up to do. We'll do some of that in this edition, and I hope to be back to you soon to catch you up on the rest of the month. Well, let's get to it ....
On Saturday, October 22, we held the Assist Dance at Manhattan Ballroom Dance studio to kick off the DanceAssist Fund. We had a good crowd of dancers come out to support the event. Thanks to Patrice Tanaka, author of Becoming Ginger Rogers, for donating copies of her wonderful book to the cause, with all proceeds from the book sales at the event going towards the DanceAssist Fund.
We are pleased to report that we generated $500 from the evening, and we are even more pleased to announce that the Board of NY USA Dance has agreed to match that amount, giving us a total of $1000. We will distribute those funds to support Julia Ivleva, who is fighting lung cancer, and Roberto Pagan, who is recovering from a stroke.
If you were not able to make it to the Assist Dance but would like to help us to build up the DanceAssist Fund to benefit ballroom dancers in the Greater New York area who are facing major health crises, you can still donate by sending a check made payable to "NY USA Dance" to our treasurer, Michael Phillip, at 179 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, noting "DanceAssist Fund" in the memo field. Any amount, large or small, will be gratefully accepted, and your donations are deductible as charitable contributions to the extent allowed by law.
Last week, on October 20, I had the privilege to be interviewed on an internet radio show, Let's Travel!, along with two other guests. The subject was "Dance, Dance, Dance," and I got to talk about the state of ballroom dancing in New York and the US. The other guests were Denise McClellan, of the National Dance Association, and Bea Becker, of the American Dance Therapy Association. I was there representing USA Dance and the Greater New York Chapter. Click here to listen to the podcast. Let me know what you think by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've had four theme weeks this month on season 13. Here's the quick run-down:
Week 3: Personal stories. Very unimpressive; these dancers have only had a few weeks of dancing under their belts, and you're asking them to tell something personal about their lives. Good luck. Not even the best dancer on the show, JR Martinez, could impress me on this one. Kristen Cavallari was the casualty.
Week 4: Movie themes. It went wrong for Chynna Phillips from the get-go, with Tony Dovolani strapped in and dropped from the ceiling like Tom Cruise in Misson: Impossible. Tango: Impossible was more like it, with Chynna Phillips struggling to get through the dance. At first, I thought it was the boots that both she and Tony were wearing but re-watching the footage on the results show revealed that Chynna just totally panicked.
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough were brilliant in their tango danced to Bernard Hermann's theme from Psycho. The 10s were well-deserved.
JR Martinez dancing with Karina Smirnoff turned in a fantastic foxtrot that was not only well-performed, it fit well with Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme. But the judging was way off, with Carrie Ann Inaba saying that the funny stuff wasn't necessary. What? Hello, Carrie Ann, Pink Panther was a comedy -- you know, funny stuff. What was decidedly not funny was the absence of a single 10 for JR. Total, absolute rip-0ff. Judges, you suck.
Chynna Phillips was the casualty in week 4.
Week 5: '80s music week. I love music from the '80s. I did not love the dancing, particularly because it did not fit the music selections. I mean, tango to Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"? No good. Knocked out on week 5 was Carson Kressley.
Week 6: Broadway week. Again, wonderful music, and again, a brilliant turn from JR in his quickstep to "Hot Honey Rag" from "Chicago." Finally, the judges came to their senses and awarded well-deserved 10s to JR. Of course, Len Goodman had to be the spoiler and gave JR a 9. Len, you suck.
The big story from week 6, though, is Maks Chmerkovskiy talking back to Len, first by suggesting to Len that, after 50 years in the business, "maybe it's time you [Len Goodman] left," and then, during the post-performance interview in the Skybox, saying that "this is my [as in Maks's] show." Well, friends, it's not the first time he said it. Recall last month's New York Times article about the DWTS pros becoming the show's stars: Maks was quoted as saying, ďI donít want to sound conceited, but now I feel like itís my show too.Ē
Maks and Hope and Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer ended up as the two teams in jeopardy on the results show, which was not surprising at all. Chaz got the boot, but I'm sure both Maks and Hope experienced some nervous moments. Will they survive past next week? I doubt it. I wonder if the judges hold grudges. We shall see.
For Halloween, we plan to watch week 7 at Sinigual on 41st and Third Ave. Join us (costumes optional)!
For those who look forward to NY USA Dance hosting our Halloween Dance, I regret to say that the timing did not work out this year to hold one, but we would like to suggest the Halloween Dance Party at the Bohemian National Hall on Thursday, Oct. 27. Hosted by Blanka Stichova with music by DJ Raphael Pungin, the evening features a polka dance lesson, costume contest, plenty of dancing and open bar. All this for just $20 in advance, $25 at the door (with a $5 surcharge if you come without costume). For more information, go to http://bit.ly/halloween_bnh102711. Find additional Halloween social dance options in the "Looking to Social Dance?" section below.
Fans of DWTS take note! Dance with Me Studios will be presenting a Fall Fantasy Showcase at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn on Sunday, October 30. Expected to appear are world-renowned DWTS pros and celebrities including Kirstie Alley, Tony Dovolani, Elena Grinenko, Val Chmerkovskiy and Daria Chesnokova. Tickets now on sale. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/dwm_fall_fantasy.
- 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 email@example.com. Save the dates! Hope to see you there.
- USA Dance National DanceSport Championships takes place on March 30 through April 1, 2012, at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. On-line registration closes on March 6.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
Here are some suggestions, including Halloween dance socials around town:
- Thursday, Oct. 27, Annual Halloween Party at DanceSport, starting at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $40 at the door, with $10 rebate if you come in costume.
- Thursday, Oct. 27, Dance Times Square Social with Melanie LaPatin. Melanie will teach a latin group class at 8 pm with one of the DTS instructors, followed by a social from 9 pm to 11 pm. Admission is $10 per person but free if you bring a friend or if you are new to the studio. For more info call the studio at 212-994-9500.
- Thursday, Oct. 27, 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, Oct. 28, Hot Salsa Friday at the VIP Lounge at the Iguana. Doors open at 6 pm.
- Friday, Oct. 28, Stepping Out Fright Night Halloween Party starting at 9:30 pm. FREE admission, with FREE swing and salsa classes at 8:30 pm.
- Friday, Oct. 28, Joe Palmer's Annual Halloween Show and Swing Party at Dance Manhattan, starting at 9:30 pm.
- Friday, Oct. 28, Friday Night with AbakuŠ at YSBD/Club 412, hosted by Frankie Martinez and Manny Blackett, featuring salsa/mambo and cha cha, starting at 9:00 pm.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, Swing 'n Salsa Saturday at YSBD/Club 412, with two live bands in separate rooms. Lessons at 7 pm, dancing starts at 8 pm.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, Donna DeSimone's DancXChange Lounge at Dancesport, California mix, hustle, starting at 9:30 pm.
- Saturday, Oct. 29, 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, Oct. 30, Sunday Tea Party at Manhattan Ballroom Dance, mixed ballroom dancing starting at 3 pm.
- Monday, Oct. 31, Salsa at Taj, with live band and special performances. Arrive before 7 pm and get in for $6 (admission price doubles after 7 pm).
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. Autumn chills have arrived; best way to stay warm -- head to your favorite studio and dance, dance, 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.