Event Report: Line Dance Showdown 2013
Well, Boston was even more fun than last year and the year before and the year before and... We got there on Wednesday so we could do the town on Thursday. Jen had arranged for whomever wanted to, to go out for lunch at Antica Forna in the North End. It was exactly what you would want an old Italian restaurant to be with brick walls and white starched tablecloths and waiters with pitchers of sangria keeping everyone fed like they were family, and the food was yummy. It was restaurant week in Boston so there was a special menu with selected entrees including three-or-four courses. After that, we went to Mike's Pastry. This is a place everyone needs to experience at least once in your life. You will have to look at the pictures to appreciate it even a little. People pack in this little place and wait at the door to get in. Cookies, cakes, pies, cannoli, and every pastry imaginable. You can also order things from them for a few occasions a year. Here is the link Mike's Pastry. It would be a great treat for Mother's Day or Easter or Christmas.
We had to stop in a snowy park for Jen and the gang to make snow angels on the way there and for them to geo cache on the way back and they found one of the treasures. If you don't know about geo caching, here's what it is and Jen is a pro at these little adventures. If you see her crawling around looking behind trees and under benches, that's what she would be doing (most of the time). LOL. It's a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time -- kind of like dancing. Geocaching
On the way back to the train, we stopped in this really neat Irish Pub called Goody Glovers. She was the last witch to be hanged in Boston. And here is the rest of the story Goody Glovers History It's in a three-story building but the pub itself would only hold about 50 people at the most. Pictures of the pub are under the PHOTO TAB.
We took the train back to the hotel under the able direction of Mary O'Connor. She reminded me of that lady on the Nanny who drives up in her little tiny black car to rein in unruly children. I'm not sure she did much unreining with this group but she was very good at herding everyone in the right direction and made our day way more enjoyable than it would have been had we been reading directions all day. Thanks, Mary, for being such a great guide.
We got back to the hotel and had a snack in the bar and changed for the evening party on Thursday. As always, there's a main ballroom, a beginner room, and this year there was a soul dance room for the huge group that Kenny J. brought to the event if they wanted to go back and forth from the other ballrooms. Oh, my, can they dance. It was so much fun to be able to get on the floor and just pick up some of the fast-and-furious dances. You have not done TNT until you have done it with the whole group with Kenny and Lorenzo and all of their friends out there dancing it with you. They were so much fun. For a little while it was like line dancing used to be so you could watch a dance and get up and actually do it. What a concept. LOL. The Thursday party was what it always is, fun!! It's part dancing and part hugs and part chatting with people you haven't seen in awhile. Jen and Jason always have the registration set up so you can register on Thursday night if you would like. The entire staff is friends of theirs so it's always extra greetings and hugs because we've all become friends with them, too. Guyton has, for years, taught a little dance on Thursday and this year he taught Superstar to a packed floor. Friday started off with breakfast in the restaurant and then a full day of dances. Here is the entire schedule for the weekend: Line Dance Showdown Workshops
People will be writing in about their favs and Iím sure they will rise to the top of the survey after a few weeks.
After lessons, a lot of people go to Legal Seafood for dinner and it's always packed and fun. I would suggest making reservations if you go next year because it's very crowded. The shuttle will take you back and forth from the hotel to the restaurant. There is also a large mall where Legal Seafood is located so if you like to shop, you can get there easily via the shuttle. Taxis are very reasonable, also, and they donít charge per person like in some cities but by trip so itís easy to split fares with friends.
Saturday was also a day filled with lessons followed by the dinner, if you chose to go to the yummy sit-down dinner, and after that, the highlight of the weekend, THE SHOWDOWN!! Jamie Marshall did a great job of entertaining us while each act got ready to perform. She was the emcee along with Rachael for the demos each day and, as always, they did a great job. And was The Showdown ever a highlight this year! Fabulous show. I really had no idea who won until the results were read because it could have been any combination. There were five entries and the results were:
1st Place, Roy Hadisubroto who won $1000 for first place from the judges and another $500 by winning first place from the audience. I was so happy he was at the Showdown this year. I have watched him dance on Youtube for a long time and really was hoping he could come over here sometime. He is just awesome to watch.
2nd Place, Kenny J's group, who did a rousing medley. They won $400. I don't know how they lasted through this fast number of a variety of dances but they weren't even out of breath!! It was just a flurry of red, white, and black outfits and pure energy and fun. We loved it!
3rd Place was Lorenzo and his crew doing a Michael Jackson Thriller medley. Wow!! They were really, really good. I'm still not sure which character was Lorenzo. Great costumes. We've all gotten to know Lorenzo over the last couple of years and it was fun watching him do some dances with his dancers and do some of the soul dances he has taught us as well as doing new ones we didn't know. They won $300.
4th Place was a dance skit by Guyton about what to do in the Showdown with dances he wanted to try or themes he wanted to use. As always, Guyton was creative and entertaining and he made a puppet that looked just like Roy and incorporated it in his skit. We are so lucky to have Guyton as part of our line dance family. He always amazes me with not only his dance talent but just his talent and personality in general. Guyton won $200.
5th Place was Just Dance WII Game. starring Kelly, Beth, Cat, Amanda, Will - Just Dance Wii Game - Showdown Edition. They won $100.
See? You need to get a routine ready for next year!! It is so much fun to watch and you can actually win some money. This was one of the best Showdowns ever and I hope some people will decide they can do it next year so we can be entertained by our great community of dancers, and of course, I think there should be a rematch for some of the ones from this year. Just think of a theme and get your friends together and do it!!
After The Showdown, we got back to dancing for a little while until the drawings for the many passes donated by the Line Dance Showdown, Fun in the Sun, Tampa Bay Line Dance Classic, Fort Wayne, Line Dance Marathon, Big Bang, Scenic City Line Dance Extravaganza, The Experience, and Windy City. Winners got to choose what pass they wanted, which is a nice way to do it, I think. Thanks to everyone who donates passes and gifts for drawings.
Jamie told everyone about Katy Stalnaker, who was involved in a very serious accident after returning from Peach State two weekends ago. Here is her blog if you would like to follow her progress Katy Stalnaker Blog. She is just now coming out of an induced coma but had many internal injuries and this lovely young girl has lots of people cheering her on and praying her through this ordeal. People donated money during the evening and Roy H. donated the $500 he won from the audience vote as well as Dancin' Dean donated half of his 50/50 winnings to her fund. People lined up to donate cash as well and I know Katy's family really appreciated it and are touched by how many people are supporting them through this horrible time in their lives. Jen coaches the Wild Roses team she is on and she is close to Katy so it's been a tough time for all of them. If you would like to donate to her fund, here is the link: Click here to Donate to Katy Stalnaker
I have to mention how nice it was to meet some of the new instructors this year. Karl-Harry Winson was there and dancing all weekend with everyone. He was very friendly and personable and I had good feedback from people who were in his classes.
Linda McCormack taught one of my favs from the weekend, HOT DANCEFLOOR. She is from Scotland and is just a charming person. Linda won the World Dance Masters choreography competition last year and part of her winnings was a teaching slot and trip to The Showdown this year. Can't wait to meet the winner from this year if they are as talented and nice as Linda. She was out dancing all night and meeting everyone and was a joy to have around.
Kenny J. was like a tornado blowing into the event. His classes were so much fun and he is so much fun. What enthusiasm and personality he brought with him and his dancers. You could just tell how much they admire and respect him and they were so supportive of his classes and made them fun as well. I hope we see lots more of Kenny and his friends.
Roy Hadisubroto. Well, what can I say about him? He is really amazing in every way -- a great dancer, a gentleman, a wonderful, inventive instructor, and a choreographer ahead of his time. Many times we get competition dancers that come to our events in the US not quite knowing what we do here but obviously Roy had done his homework and brought with him some very interesting dances that appealed to the dancers here as well as challenged them for the types of dances they were. I thought when I saw SKINNY LOVE that there would not be much interest in that dance because it is really different than most things we do here but his class was packed and he did a really good job of teaching it because everyone looked great on the floor when it was performed and they could all do it. I was impressed. I took his class for SATISFY MY SOUL and loved taking the class and loved the dance. It won't be a dance for everyone because of the timing (a rumba) but I hope we will be able to do it with the people who did like it. I loved the sound effects he made as he taught and I KNOW we will be seeing much more of him in the US.
Malene Jakobsen was new to the staff. I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Malene and her husband a little in Tampa and she did a couple of excellent dances. Another welcome addition to the staff this year.
Thanks to the DJ's, Louie St. George, Dan DeLisle, JP Potter, and DJ Walter (in the soul room) for keeping everyone on their feet this weekend. They are the heart of the evening parties and set the mood and tempo for the evening, so we appreciate their taking their jobs seriously and trying to keep everyone dancing and enjoying the evening. Thanks to the staff for the awesome job they always do. Thanks to Jen and Jason for the fabulous floors of theirs and for the amazing job they do at this event and all of their events.
Please let them know your feedback so they can continue to make all of their events better than the last. Directors really do listen to you if you take the time to write them and compliment them for the things you do like and make suggestions for things you think would make things better. They aren't always able to immediately do what you suggest but I know from the directors I have known over the years, they take your comments seriously and appreciate them. Here is the address and it will go only to Jen and Jason: firstname.lastname@example.org
There was choreography competition on Saturday. I will get the results and post them in the newsletter. There were some very good dances that were done.
I know I probably missed people and dances but itís a packed four days and Iím human. LOL. I hope you will mark your calendars for next April 3-6, 2014. Canít wait to see the lineup of instructors and to see you all there next year.