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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ups and Downs with the Vegas Open 2011

Ups and Downs with Vegas Open

Straight off our heels from ....New York...., Roxi & I attended the Vegas Open this weekend. The Vegas Open was enjoyable. It started with a thud, but the comp was packed with energy. The Organizers were super friendly, but support staff was terrible. We had a really difficult time at check in when we arrived for the event. The support staff was unfriendly and at times hostile towards teachers and students alike.

We attended the event with Miguel Ramos and Simone Donne. We spent out first night in Vegas at ....Caesars.. ..Palace...., before heading over to the Las Vegas Hilton for the event. So our first night in Vegas was the fun night. Miguel made arrangements with the front desk to have our room upgraded. It came as a surprise to us. Just look at this room:

On our first morning, Miguel and I enjoyed the pool at Caesars.

After our first day in Vegas, we checked in at The Las Vegas Hilton. It is a rather dated hotel, but none the less a fun place to stay.

Roxi enjoyed that the hotel was filled with Elvis nostalgia. By day the hotel was just fine, but by night it was a different story. Our wing of the hotel had a dance club by the elevators that hosted a nightly 90's ghetto dance party. It was slightly horrifying and as Roxi would say " Comedy Gold!" all at the same time. The Las Vegas Hilton seems to attract a rather less distinguished sort of clientele during the evening, and we were forced to walk through it each night on our way to the hotel room. Imagine navigating your way through a room filled with cowboy hats and NASCAR t-shirts, and booty shaking with women my mother's age, donning ill appropriate gaudy, tight fitting clothes, with Salt-n- Pepa blasting loudly in the air.

Loud enough to make your ear drums bleed. That's the Las Vegas Hilton Nightlife! I admit that although despite the gaudiness, we were bold enough to jump on the dance floor a few times. Roxi, Miguel, Simone & I stepped out for the Cupid Shuffle, which was the most recent song played in the mix. Note the men's restroom at the Las vegas Hilton. the woman pictured far right is holding a ruler.

During our first night out on the town, we went to see Jersey Boys. It was a fantastic Show. It was great to see a Live Broadway Hit.

The Show was held at the Palazzo.

Miguel Ramos at ..Jersey.. Boys.

Out first night out on the town ended early. Roxi and Simone had to wake up the following morning at 5am for hair and make-up! We prepared the next morning for the American Smooth session and dancing went well. Miguel and Simone both danced really well. This pair has been dancing for less than a year, so I was really impressed with their performance in intermediate bronze freestyles and the scholarship. Together we danced about only 25 entries, so we had plenty of time to spectate and enjoy the sights and sounds of the event. There were several larger than life personalities on the floor during this event. Spectating was highly entertaining and educational, especially during the bronze divisions. I also witnessed some odd behavior that I've never witnessed on the comp floor before. The Smooth Day at Vegas was fun, but it took second seat to the evening we had.

After our first day of dancing, we went to visit ....Paris..... Roxi & I explored the wedding chapel there.

NO, we are not married yet.

We just went up there for some ideas.

After our chapel visit, we visited the sky deck of the ....Eiffel.. ..Tower.....

Later in the evening, Roxi and Simone went shopping. Roxi went shopping until she dropped.

She nearly sunk our gondola at the Venetian, as it was overflowing with shopping bags, which nearly fell into the canal. Nearly every store that Roxi walked into was having a sale.

We had a day to spend between dance events at the Vegas Open. So during our day off from dancing, we spent most of our time by the pool at the Hilton. Most of the American style Pro/am dancers were poolside at the Hilton during our "off" day, with their teachers in tow. None of the dancers mingled. Dancers at this event were socially exclusive. Polite introductions were ignored when I attempted them in the Ballroom, so once poolside we focused on enjoying the hotel amenities and the perfect March weather that Vegas had to offer. It was warm enough to Swim!!!

For our second night out on the town, we went for dinner at The Wynn. We went for dinner at Okada, an upscale Japanese restaurant with views of a waterfall and Lagoon.

It had the most surprising and spectacular view! Dinner cost more than half a weeks pay, but it was worth it... Earlier in the trip, the girls had allowed Miguel & I to make one visit to the buffet at the ..Rio.. (funny in so many ways), so a nice dinner at the Wynn was the task at making up for it.

After Dinner we explored the Wynn, which is luxurious at every angle.

We made our way to the ....Wynn.. ..Theater...., to catch the evening show. The hotel is hosting a New Dance Show, Sinatra Dance With Me. The show entertained us with a spectacular evening of music, all real Sinatra Vocals, accompanied by a LIVE Big Band.

The show was worth attending based on the music alone.

The Dance component of the show was an absolute train wreck, slutty would be the most polite way to describe it. The dancing was completely out of theme with the music. Imagine hearing a classic Sinatra Foxtrot... one would expect a dapper gentlemen in a suit or tuxedo? Would one expect to see dancers dress to the 9's.

The show's dancing offered anything but sophistication. During the show, the dancers stripped to their underwear, and crawled on the floor. At times they rolled on the floor, and did sporadic modern dancing throughout. The Dancing looked like a Half Naked Yoga class, combined with Jazz


Watching "good" bad dancing is one of life's greatest pleasures. It was so odd to watch such talented dancers, perform such distasteful choreography. I didn't understand the concept of a modern dance style strip show in front of a 17 piece big band. Especially with the dancing and clothing so out of touch with a classic Sinatra Theme.

The Show was attended by a mostly old generation of audience. Many took offense at the show's content and walked out. I'm glad we stayed under the end. We all really enjoyed hearing the music and the Live big band. It almost felt like Sinatra was there singing along. The vocals and the music felt real.

The Bad Sinatra Dance Show was one of my favorite moments in Vegas. But if I had to pick my favorite part of the trip, it would be walking through the lobby of the ....Wynn.. ..Theater.....That was (for me) the biggest highlight. Our weekend was elegant, restful and fun, and our walk through the ....Wynn.. ..Theater.... was symbolic of that.

I'm happy and grateful to have had Miguel and Simone with us for this event. They helped us test the waters for West Coast Dancesport events! The experience is very different. I'd definitely attend this event next year with experienced dancers. The comp was not newcomer friendly, but it's definitely worth repeating with dancers who can take the heat & know the ropes.

- Mb

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