Final performance

West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase Final PoseLooking 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

Platinum Party - West Coast Swing and Hustle Showcase after partyAfter 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

20130817-Showcase-001-300pxI 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

Gates of Hell"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

Swing FlingIf 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.

First Full Cast Rehearsal for Showcase 2013

Hustle and West Coast Swing come together

During the month of July, Anna and I taught our Hustle and West Coast Swing classes their respective choreography for the Showcase. The Showcase is part of a larger Performing in New York Showcase produced by Kat Wildish and being peformed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City.

For almost one month, both Hustle and West Coast Swing classes worked independently to perfect their movement. However, it wasn't until our first full-cast rehearsal on July 29, 2013 that both classes were brought together.

Liberty Swing 2013 - Group Results and Review

Liberty SwingWow! Talk about an awesome weekend of West Coast Swing in the New York City tri-state area! Liberty Swing is easily the most prominent West Coast Swing dance event in the upper Northeast region. During the weekend, I was incredibly active: I participated with our West Coast Swing group from Connecticut, judged multiple divisions of Jack and Jills and Strictly Swings, taught in the "A Better You" tune up, danced in the Pro-Am Jack & Jill, competed in the Pro Strictly Swing and Johnvitational, and photographed just about everything else.

Swingin Into Spring 2013 - Group Results

swingin-into-springThanks to the 41 dancers that came together as part of the SwingShoes Group at Swingin Into Spring!

The 30 minute break between workshops is one of the best things I've seen at an event. It allows for people to review what they learned, ask the instructor a question and still get to the next workshop in time.

This event is also a great way to bring the entire Connecticut West Coast Swing (and some Hustle) community together. It's this camaraderie and synergy which is so important to the social fabric of any good dance environment.

Best of all, Swingin into Spring allows local dancers to dance in the Jack & Jills (random partnerships) and the Striclty Swings (with your partner) in a comfortable and positive environment. Congratulations to all who had the courage to compete in the Jack & Jills or Strictly Swing divisions.

*If you were part of our group and would like to be mentioned (and are not on this list), please send an email to me and I will update this list.

Boston Tea Party 2013 Review and Group Placements

Btp-smallBoston Tea Party 2013 was another fun weekend of dancing and socializing. This event combines West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop for one of the best times in the New England area. Many of our dancers danced in the Jack & Jills, attended our group dinner and social danced until the wee hours of the night (or the next morning).

Dance captured on video

Erik Novoa and Sophie dance at MADjam 2013It might be awkward to hear this, but I'm not often thrilled by my own dancing. Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of my accomplishments in West Coast Swing, Hustle and 25 years of dancing. But it's not often that I see a video of myself and say that it looks as good as it felt.