Swing Niagara 2012 - Review and Placements

Swing NiagaraSwing Niagara was a great event. There were people from Canada (Toronto and Montreal), Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and, of course, upstate New York. It covered a base for many people who love to dance but generally have to travel to the Boston, Chicago or New York City area to attend a good-sized event.

Felix Hernandez - Event Director of Swing NiagaraA new event director

New event director Felix Hernandez didn't look like he broke a sweat during the entire weekend while he managed 4 rooms of workshops, a high-level staff list, full-spectrum Jack & Jills in Hustle and West Coast Swing and long-term social dancing. Real tribute has to be given to Felix's core staff, specifically Joanna Swanson and Maria Cirino for everything they did to take the pressure off of him.

Major Milestones

Anna Novoa's medals from Swing NiagaraThis event was a major milestone for Anna Novoa. Anna won the Hustle Jack & Jill Open division, the highest division at Swing Niagara. She also placed first with me in the All-Star West Coast Swing Strictly Swing division. The combination of those two wins is something almost unprecedented in the national dance circuit and cannot be understated. It presents Anna as a major dance force in multiple social dance forms.

In addition, Anna also placed in the West Coast Swing Intermediate Jack & Jill, which officially gives her enough points to move into the Advanced division. After working her way up to the intermediate division in record time, Anna had to deal with a knee/hip issue which side lined her progress for almost 9 months (while she still performed with me), and then had to deal with a adjustment of the point system which made it more challenging to make progress. All I can say is, "It's about time"

Josh MacDonald also had a great competitive weekend. He and Anna both scored an event "Hat Trick", placing in 3 divivisions. Josh has really grown in the West Coast Swing circuit. He started taking West Coast Swing with me in October 2008 and quickly improved. Now he represents our only male-leader in the Advanced division.

Surprise Performance

Erik Novoa and Anna Novoa - Call Me Maybe at Swing NiagaraThere's really nothing like finding out that there's going to be a show and having only a couple of hours to figure out what to do. But that's show biz! So, since Anna and I did not have our costumes for "Take It Off" with us, we decided that we would revamp our group number "Call Me, Maybe" into a solo piece that would be entertaining for the Swing Niagara show.

Anna and I figured out a new entrance since we did not have our 22 other cast members or a stage with wings. We modified our amoeba transition from West Coast Swing to Hustle to continue the cute storyline and I had to practice all the parts since I would not be able to lead off of any other dancers.

But the show was awesome!! Anna dressed in pink vest and ripped jeans (as per the lyrics of the song) and I matched her color scheme. We performed the routine flawlessly and added extra cheese during the "Barry White" section. The best part was that Mario Robau Jr. announced that we had performed the routine as a group number with our students on the Ailey Citigroup Theater stage in New York City and the audience was so excited to see the routine that they had read so much about online and on Facebook. I wonder if the full cast would like to perform the routine at another event...


Here are all the pictures that I took of Swing Niagara 2012.

Group Placements

Even though our group was small (the drive from CT to Buffalo, NY is a bit long), we still did very well:

Jack & Jills
Josh MacDonald - Swing Niagara

WCS - Jack & Jill - Intermediate:

Anna Novoa & Sean Ryan - 3rd Place

WCS - Jack & Jill - Advanced:

Josh MacDonald & Partner - 3rd Place

WCS - Jack & Jill - All-Star:

Erik Novoa & Laurie Rouser - 2nd Place

WCS - Jack & Jill - All American (pros and amateurs):

Josh MacDonald & Jennifer Deluca - 3rd Place
Erik Novoa & Jessica Reeher - Finalists

Hustle - Jack & Jill - Open:

Anna Novoa & Nelson Clark - 1st Place

Strictly Swing

WCS - Strictly Swing - Advanced:

Josh MacDonald & Partner - 2nd Place

WCS - Strictly Swing - All-Stars:

Erik Novoa & Anna Novoa - 1st Place

and one more thing

I bought white dance shoes. Yes, I gave in. They are trendy and I've got the footwork (my tap background) to pull it off. My only reservation is that it has the potential to make ones feet look "floppy" but I'm sure the shoes will blend in with a sea of other guy's white shoes.....and I also got them in black.

Erik and his white dance shoes