Mar. 26, 2012 ed.
Greetings from the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance!
In this edition:
- DWTS14 Season Premiere: The Report from Rare
- USA Dance Nationals 2012 Starts March 30
- On YouTube: MAC 2012 Youth Standard Championship Final
- USA Dance Cruise in Alaska in July
- Reminders: Dance Legends, GCDC
- Looking to Improve Your Dancing?
- Looking to Social Dance?
- Looking for a Partner?
Did you catch the season opener for season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars”? A few of us gathered at Rare Bar & Grill in Chelsea, at the Hilton Fashion District (within a stone’s throw of the Fashion Institute of Technology), to watch the premiere. They gave us the Captain’s Room in the lower level, and we had a large room to ourselves with three large screen TVs all tuned to the show, with the sound on. We had some good food and drink to go with it, and the experience was set. On top of that, the service was friendly and attentive. It was enough to make us forget about … what was that place again? I think it began with an “A”?
We’d love to go back there week after week, and I think we would need a strong turnout to pull it off. If you can make it down to Rare Bar & Grill on West 26th Street, between 6th and 7th, please join us there. We have a reservation for Monday night, March 26, but the management has not committed to having us there week after week. I am hoping that if we have a crowd on Monday night, that might convince them to let us take over the Captain’s Room for the rest of the season. Come on, DWTS fans, let’s make it happen!
As for the show itself, I must admit: it was quite entertaining. The dances were cha cha and foxtrot, and the ballroom content in each dances was scarce but it was more than made up for by the high level of showmanship from the contestants. Over the course of the next few weeks, as the technique catches up, things can only get better, right? Or am I being too optimistic?
For the most part, the contestants seem to be on an equal footing, with no true standouts. The closeness of the scores reflected that fact, although for a season premiere, there were way too many 8s; it almost felt like we were already watching week 4. The score inflation went overboard once Latin model William Levy got three 8s from the judges for a cha cha that was very rhythmic but danced entirely on bent knees. After that, it seemed inevitable to award 9s to singer Katherine Jenkins and Jaleel White (tv’s Urkel). Katherine and Jaleel ended up at the top of the leaderboard, tying with 9-8-9 each. (Only Kristi Yamaguchi had done better in a season opener -- with three 9s. She went on to win season 6.)
Week 2’s competition show will be on Monday, March 26, followed by the season’s first results show on Tuesday. Who will be the first to go? It will have to be the “celeb” with the smallest fan base, but who would that be?
Come to Rare Bar & Grill in Chelsea on Monday night and let’s see if we can’t figure it out together.
Competitors, the moment you have worked so hard towards for these past many months is finally here: the 2012 USA Dance National DanceSport Championships will launch on Friday, March 30 and continue on until the last dance finishes on Sunday, April 1. It will once again take place at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore’s scenic Inner Harbor. Are you ready? Ready or not, it’s on (so we hope you are).
With less than a week to go, Nationals still needs volunteers. Competitors who may have some time to give over the course of the weekend can get their entry fees reimbursed. Interested? Contact Debbie Russell at email@example.com.
All attendees may be glad to know that DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba will be at Nationals as an Honorary Judge to present the third annual Star Quality Awards on Friday and Saturday night. Carrie Ann has also agreed to become the first USA Dance National Celebrity Ambassador, and she will be at Nationals serving in that capacity. As stated in the press release from National Publicity Director Angela Prince,
At the event in Baltimore, Carrie Ann will also attend numerous VIP events and make several guest appearances on the Red Carpet, where athletes, guests and fans can meet/greet the new Celebrity Ambassador, obtain autographs and have their photo taken with Carrie Ann and other attending celebrities and officials.
Congratulations to Carrie Ann on taking on this important new role. USA Dance is truly fortunate to have a celebrity of her stature and renown representing the organization. We hope all attendees at Nationals will take the opportunity to meet Carrie Ann and get an autograph from her or take a photo on the Red Carpet.
- Spectator tickets are available and advanced purchase is recommended. More details at http://www.usadancenationals.com/Tickets.html.
- Nationals has plenty of activities for social dancers, including dances and workshops. For a schedule, go to http://www.usadancenationals.com/Social%20Dance%20Events.html.
- When you’re not dancing, take in the sights. Here are some suggested places to visit: http://www.usadancenationals.com/Around%20Town.html.
Come join us in Baltimore to see some great dancing, enjoy some social dancing, connect with friends from far and near and see champions and world representatives being crowned. It’s going to be a splendid time!
Our chapter’s YouTube channel for the MAC, NYUSADanceMAC, just got updated with footage from the MAC 2012 Youth Standard Championship Final. We expect to see many, if not all, of these talented young finalists competing at Nationals this weekend, and if you’d like a reminder of just how great they are and maybe get a preview of the action at Nationals, you can view the video here: http://youtu.be/gupwl6LVlQE (also embedded on this page). Other MAC videos can also been seen there, and if you want to be notified as soon as new videos are uploaded, you can subscribe to the NYUSADanceMAC YouTube channel, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter, to receive word of new videos as they are posted.
The third annual USA Dance Cruise will take place in July, from the 15th through the 22nd, this time visiting Alaska. Here are more details from the USA Dance Cruise website:
This is a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, which departs from Seattle, WA, and includes the USA Dance extensive program of ballroom, latin and club-style dance classes taught by the country’s top professional instructors (to be announced shortly) and nightly social dancing. On this truly elegant ship, USA Dance members and friends will have every opportunity to share their passion for dancing and treasure the best of cruise ship experiences -- fine dining, fun-filled theme party nights, late-night clubs & discos, musical and performing arts shows, as well as a casino and indoor-outdoor spa/fitness amenities.
Book by March 31st for a chance to win a free private lesson on board (teacher of your choice) or one of two free Alaskan off-ship excursions.
- Dance Legends, a two-day event showcasing the best in ballroom, featuring current and past champions, including the legendary Bryan Watson and Carmen in what may be their last show together, takes place at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center on April 13 and 14. Don’t miss out -- buy your tickets now. Use this link: http://bit.ly/dl_nyusadance. A portion of the proceeds from all tickets purchased from that site will go towards NY USA Dance.
- Holy DanceSport, Batman! The first annual Gotham City DanceSport Challenge, co-hosted by the ballroom teams at NYU and Brooklyn College, takes place on Sunday, April 22, in Jersey City. Registration is now open but closes on Friday, April 7. For more details, go to http://bit.ly/gcdc_12.
- 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, it’s 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 Thursdays, from 8:30 pm and Latin Rounds on Friday nights from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. The latter information is from the website, the former from Facebook. Call the studio if you want to confirm times.
- 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:
- Monday, March 26, Salsa at Taj, with live band and special performances. Arrive before 7 pm and get in for $6 (admission price doubles after 7 pm).
- Thursday, Mar. 29, Salsa on the Square, After Work Thursdays, at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in Times Square. Happy hour and prix fixe menu until 7 pm. Free salsa lesson at 7 pm, DJ spins at 8 pm.
- Friday, Mar. 30, Friday Night Dance Party with the Manhattan Ballroom Society, in the Ballroom at St. Jean Baptiste, 76th and Lexington, mixed ballroom dance starts at 8:30 pm, lessons start at 6:30 pm, $20 admission includes one lesson plus refreshments.
- Friday, Mar. 30, Swing Revue and George Gee’s Birthday Bash at Dance Manhattan. Swing Revue starts at 8:15 pm, George Gee’s bash starts at 9:15. Prices: $15 for show only, $15 for dance only, $25 for show and dance.
- Saturday, March 31, Mixed Ballroom Dance Social at Manhattan Ballroom Dance studio, starting at 7:30 pm. Admission is $15 per person; go five times, get one free.
We have a leader seeking a follower for practice and possibly competition. If you'd like to post your own ad, go here:bit.ly/partnerseekers. If your post has expired and you're still looking for a partner, feel free to re-post. It’s free, it’s easy. Do it today!
That does it for this week. Hope to see you at Rare Bar & Grill tonight for DWTS14 week 2!
(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.