MADjam 2012 Review and Group Placements

MADjam 2012 logoGo Big or Go Home!! MADjam 2012 was really incredible. First-rate hotel, first-rate staff, first-rate dance floor, first-rate sound system, first-rate dancing!

I personally had a great time at MADjam 2012. From the moment of first arrival, the hotel staff was quick and responsive and even accommodating (no way!!!).

Great Organization

What makes MADjam's organized. Dave Moldover does an excellent job at coordinating with a first rate staff. From event registration (done by NowDancing), to contestant check-in and line-up, to Jack & Jill rotations, to payment of monetary awards (checks are finalized at the registration desk along with W-9 forms), the system just works. It's great to see an event director actually not making the same mistake twice.

Live Video Stream

MADjam-UStreamPossibly the best aspect of this event is the live video stream, which can be seen over the internet by family and friends for FREE and also in every room in the hotel. It allows for spectators and contestants to be in tune with the course of events. It actually prevents people from missing divisions or miss highlights of the event that a person might otherwise have not seen.

Our SwingShoes Group

20120303 - MADjam Group Pic-smI was very happy to be organizing a group of 11 dancers at MADjam. Although there weren't any physical tables in the room, I think I was able to touch base with everyone in our group throughout the weekend (more on the lack of tables later). Unfortunately, I was also so busy with workshops, DJing and rehearsals for our 2 routines, that I didn't get to really dance or spend any quality time with our group until the very end of the event (not exactly what I had hoped for). I got one picture of our group - but it missed many faces. Some were sleeping, some were dancing, some forgot, some didn't get the message...but a few people did. Hopefully we'll get more at the next event!


MADjam 2012 Trophies and Awards for Erik & Anna NovoaCompetitively, I think our group did well considering the amount of dancers in each division. I think it was most challenging for dancers in the Newcomer and Novice division, each which had close-to 200 people (100 followers in Novice) and were heated in 3 rounds (a Preliminary, Semi-Finals, Finals). I feel that our dancers should hold their head high for as far as they got.

Here's how we did:

West Coast Swing Jack & Jills:

Debbie - Prelims

Harold - Semi-finals
Steve - Semi-finals
Kathy - Semi-finals
Victoria - Semi-finals

Larysa - 3rd Place
Anna - Semi-finals
Erin - Prelims

Kim - Semi-finals
Josh - Prelims

Harold - Prelims

Erik - 5th Place

Hustle Jack & Jills:

Harold - 4th Place
Debbie - Prelims

Kim - 2nd Place

Kathy - Prelims

Open / Professional:
Erik & Stephanie - 1st Place
Anna & Tybalt - 4th Place

Strictly Swing:

Steve & Kathy - Prelims

Open / Professional:
Erik & Anna - Prelims

Strictly Hustle

Steve & Kathy - Prelims


Erik & Anna - 2nd Place

Open Hustle:
Erik & Anna - 2nd Place

What needs to improve?

event tablesTables!!! There's a part of me that theoretically understands raised bleachers but the tables also allow for a socialization that is integral to the dance events. I personally like being able to have a home-base throughout the event. I like when our community is able to come together at one location while continuously mingling at other tables.

Our dance group picture organization needs some work. I tend to take our group picture on Saturday night, right after the Champions Jack & Jill (or featured event). I hope that we can be a little more organized to make these special pictures happen. Even though they feel like a silly, little picture in the middle of a lot of energy - they capture a magical moment in time.

MADjam 2012 - Showcase West Coast Swing 130Last but not least...

I had a great time at the event. From what I've heard from others in our group, they did too. People were dancing in the main ballroom on Saturday night until 8am on Sunday morning. But MADjam is competitively important to Anna and me. We had to teach as soon as we arrived, then I had to DJ on Fri night in the Hustle room...but I didn't get to social dance much afterwards because I had to pace myself for the two routines we had to perform on Sunday afternoon. Saturday started with about 4 hours of judging the West Coast Swing Jack & Jills, then we had to teach a workshops, photograph the Showcase and Classic division, then....we had to rehearse from 1-2am. Sunday was game-day for us. We were at floor trials at 10am, then spent the rest of the day preparing for our routines. At 3pm, it was time! We had 2 great runs of our routine and we were very was just tough to have fun on the social dance floor while trying to pace ourselves for dance excellence. Dance means different things for different people. This weekend we had to minimize our social dancing in order for precision performance. MADjam is one of the few events that offers such a high level of social dancing, competition and performance.