Blog Updates for West Coast Swing and Hustle
2013 Year in Review
2013 was an incredible, fast moving year. We exposed hundreds of new people in the Connecticut area to Hustle and West Coast Swing. We were invited back to perform at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. We had new dancers from Norwalk Community College. We hosted our second annual Dancing New Year's Eve CT event. And, we announced our latest addition to the SwingShoes Entertainment production team.
Salsa in Norwalk, CT in December has been fun
For many years, I've considered teaching a Salsa series in Connecticut. I vaguely remember trying it about 6 years ago in Stamford, but I haven't ever done a full month's series in Norwalk. This December 2013, I gave a it a trial run.
I wondered if people would be receptive to me teaching Salsa since I am most known for my West Coast Swing and Hustle. I wondered if people would want to try another dance. And, of course, I wondered if people would be interested in continuing Salsa.
Swingin New England 2013 - Review and Placements
Swingin New England celebrated their 15th anniversary with good vibes from the event directors that embraced a ballroom full of dancers. It’s these good vibes which become the “Magic Sauce” of this event.
Vermont Swing Dance Championships Review, Placements and Pictures
The Vermont Swing Dance Championships were a blast! From it's scenic vistas to it's cozy feel, this event is a friendly place to be as summer transitions to autumn. But don't be lulled by the crisp fall air, VT Swing has plenty of good competitions and late-night dancing for everyone.
Showcase Review, Memories and Video
It has been almost a month since our West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. It has become a a proud memory for me and in a secret place inside, I wish we could perform it again. But, we will have to wait till next year.
In the meantime, please enjoy the public review on ExploreDance.com, the pictures and the video of our performance.
The After Party
I wasn't sure that I was going to write about the After-Party for the Performing in NY Showcase, but after the stellar performance of our Connecticut based, West Coast Swing and Hustle dancers, there is a good story to be told.
Looking back, it's almost crazy to think that we spent 7 weeks preparing for a 4 minute and 48 second moment on stage. And at 7pm on Saturday, August 17, 2013, as we waited backstage to be called into the wings, we realized that it would be our final performance of our West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase piece.
The Matinee Performance
The Platinum West Coast Swing and Hustle After-Party
After our amazing Friday night Opening performance, our West Coast Swing and Hustle cast went to the Platinum Party at You Should Be Dancing on 31st Street in New York.
It was the perfect way for our Connecticut-based cast members to dance the night away with other West Coast Swing and Hustle dancers from the New York City area. They got to tell the story of their performances to everyone, and some even got to chat with the reviewer who attended the show and the after-party.
Most cast members arrived around 9pm and stayed dancing until 12am, at which time a sense of responsibility took over. They realized that they needed to be ready to perform the next day and should get a good night's rest.
Anna and I did not even check in to our hotel until 2am, we hoped the cast would get more sleep than us.
Friday Performance / Opening Night
I can't begin to express the feeling of fulfillment with the West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase as part of the Performing in NY Showcase at the Ailey Citigroup Theater! Our cast of 20 dancers really did a superb job a reaching a new level of success.
It is hard to describe the greatest challenge of the Showcase process....Call! In the theater world, "Call" is the term that is used to describe the time that all performers are supposed to be at the theater. But try to ask 18 people from Connecticut to arrive at a New York City theater by 5pm on Friday, and you're begging for logistical nightmare.
However, with good preparation, verbal threats ("You will not dance in the show if you arrive after 5pm), and a responsible cast, the most challenging hurdle was overcome. All dancers had arrived to the theater by 4:57pm.
"Hell Week" for the West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase is in Full Swing
"Hell Week" is traditionally known as the week before the opening night of a theatrical performance. It's when dancers are finalizing their choreography, adding the styling and working through blocking patterns on stage.
"Hell Week" is also the time when choreographers become most demanding, asking their casts for more excellence, refined movement, fluidity of blocking and projection of emotion.
It's the convergence of the cast's push for self-refinement and the choreographer's striving for artistic idealism that creates a performance worthy of the Ailey Citigroup stage.
Swing Fling 2013 - Review and Placements
If you ever wanted to feel like a rock-star dancer during the summer of 2013, Swing Fling fulfilled your dream. This event, hosted by the same event director as MADjam, takes the dance experience to new sensory level. We had an amazing time dancing in the Jack & Jills, teaching workshops and performing "Take It Off" in one of the best shows produced in recent memory.