Welcome to my life on the ballroom D - list

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Comical visit to the Rainforest Cafe

It was our last day in Florida after USDC. All the girls had left us, so Dmitri and I decided to have lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. The place is filled with robotic animals, mist and fog machines, vines, fish tanks, and screaming children...what's not to love aout it? Dmitri and I first stopped in the photo booth for a quick picture.

Roxi avoids this place like the plague, and under normal circumstances, she forbids me from entering the Rainforest Cafe... Since she left USDC early, it was the perfect time to go. Here is Dmitri outside while we were waiting for a table. He was acting a bit childish and I kept waiting for the hostess to reprimand him, but was not surprised when she started flirting with him instead.

Even though we had advance reservations, we had a long wait for our table. Luckliy we had plenty to do in the lobby area and gift shop. Here's Dmitri with the snake.
When we were called for our table, we were met by our Safari Guide.
Roxi would have been horrified, as we took the full tour. Also, I find that when I'm not with  Roxi, people make the assumption the Dmitri is my Russian Twink BF. Obviously, I dont care about what people think, but it would be nice if they thought I had better taste. Downtown Disney is a judegment free zone, or at least it should be.. We were there to have fun, and sadly everyone thought I was on Russian date night.
After Diner we hung out by the Downtown Disney Stage and watched the
 Michael Jackson Line Dance Show!
Followed by desert at T-Rex...which may be even cooler than the Rainforest Cafe...I'm definaitely tasking Roxi here next year. The place is filled with Dinosoaurs and volcanic eruptions go off every 20 minutes.
The perfect way to end our adventure at USDC

Lindy Hop at the World War II Memorial

Dancing depicted in one of the panels:

Little Shop of Horrors at Planet Hollywood

While Dmitri and I were on break after USDC, we had lunch at Planet Hollywood. After lunch we toured all the levels to explore the memorabilia. I got to see the dresses worn by Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon in the opening number. We've used the soundtrack from this movie in many of our dance showcases and parties. It was odd seeing it on display on Downtown Disney. We also got to see a dress worn by Audrey in "Somewhere that's Green"

Monday, October 8, 2012

USDC Spetember 2012

USDC 2012

In September I attended USDC with Sophia and she made the finals!
The event was held at the Disney Swan Resort
When we finished dancing, Sophia celebrated by dress shopping at the Jordy booth.
Dmitri and I celebrated by drinking at the pool
Sophia and Zelda left Florida early, but Dmitri and I stayed the next day to have lunch at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney.
Inside Planet Hollywood, I saw the clown costume worn by Gene Kelly in the Pirate.

Avant Garde Studio Opening July 2012

In July we attended the opening of Avant Garde Dance studio, in Rockville, MD. The new studio is directed by Michaela "Pinky" Puno, Slava Sergeiv, and Nick Short. Nick has coached Roxi and I for several years now, and we were very happy to see his dream of studio ownership come full circle.

Attendance at the professional "soft" opening was by invitation only. Those attending were a who's who of the local dance scene. I was impressed that many local studio owners attended this event, including Michael Rye from Dance Bethesda along with Irina and Ron Bennett, from Chevy Chase Ballroom.

Several leading Pro/am's attended as well: Marcy Garson, Sophia D'Angelo, Simone Done, Miguel Ramos, Danielle Roeber, Alice Williams, David and Amy Pollinger, and Bill Zeisel.

Among the many guest attending were several of the DC area judges, Including Dan Calloway, Beverly Donahue, and Pat Traymore. Pat looked vibrant and took the time to catch up with Roxi. They always chat about their favorite Nail salons. It was nice to see her again.

My coworkers from Arlington were noticeably absent from the opening night: Daria Zotova, Kirill Gorjatsev and Dmitiri Dolgopolov. They were all invited but declined their invitations. I was both saddened and surprised by that, especially when nearly every local studio was represented at this event.

The evening gala was an elegant affair, with a formal catering and an open bar. Music and general dancing followed, along with a video tour of the facility and its' construction. Roxi and I got to join in for the Samba line Dance with Chris Thompson before heading home that night. It was the perfect way to end the evening. Meeting up with old friends and mending fences.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Remembering the Leroy Theater

My grandfather was an usher at the Leroy Theater during the 1940's. I have fond memories of his many stories about the Leroy. It was a magical piece of architecture. I got to visit the Leroy on two occasions before its demolition in 1996. Some of these photos were taken from the Pawtucket Times, but a few of them I took myself during my last visit.
Fireplace from the lobby
Ticket Window
View from the balcony
High above the mezanine level
Vintage lobby illustrations
Base of grand staircase
Wrecking ball photos from the Times

The Old Dance Factory Sign

It had been hanging over the studio for over 30 years. Several of our students had mentioned that leaving the sign in place would help to provide historical protection for the studio building, which is threatened by surrounding development. The sign was taken down this year to make way for a more modern version. Shortly after it was removed, the phone began ringing with offers from antique dealers to buy it. The sign was finally sold to a couple how had first met underneath it, and wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons.