Welcome to my life on the ballroom D - list

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 Millennium Dancesport Championships

We had a great time dancing at Millennium Dancesport in June. This year's theme was the Four Elements.
Sophia placed 2nd in her championship round and 4th in the Silver Scholarship.
The Ballroom was centerpieced with a digital display of the four elements.

We had a nice time catching up with Charlene Proctor, who had custom  made dresses prepared for each element theme of the event.

The ballroom charged color and theme each day. My favorite day was the water theme, with the room digitally lit in shades of blue.
Marcy Garson joined us on our flight from DC to Tampa. She had a lovely new rhythm dress by Jordy Chris Stephenson.
Sophia brought her dance bag with her, which she received at Hollywood Dancesport.
Edna and Sini arrived for the Fire Day for Latin 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Showfolk the movie, with Monica Lewis

This week I was privileged to see the movie Showfolk, during a special screening at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring.
The film features several Golden Age entertainers including Monica Lewis , singer, entertainer and former MGM star. 

Website: www.monicalewis.com

I learned about this film by following Monica Lewis and Alicia Mayer on Twitter. I've learned so much from both these ladies, who inspire me by sharing their knowledge of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Here's a link to the trailer for the film

We first heard rumors that Showfolk would be airing, when we attended Robert Osbourne's perspective talk on the film, Flying Down to Rio. Several audience members rumored about the movie Showfolk, coming to DC, but no one knew if it was true.

How lucky we were to find tickets!

The film screening was held at the famous Silver Theater in Silver Spring, now home to the American Film Institute.
Alan Eichler had posted the Showtimes for the AFI film docs festival, which is how I learned, at short notice, the the film was playing this week. I quickly canceled my lessons and headed to the AFI, as it was a film not to miss. On the first day of screening, the show was sold out, so we got advance tickets for the next day.

I attended the screening with my dear friend, Miss Alice, who is a retired White House Secretary. She served every administration from Eishenhower to Obama, and she is also a classic movie lover.
After the show, we attended the discussion session. Jennifer Cylmer, was on the panel and shared her personal insights on the film. We were so honored to have our photo with her after the show!

I'm slouching in this photo, after I injured my back during dance practice this week. It took a few days of Yoga to straighten me out again :).

To my surprise, I was delighted to find this message on Facebook the following day.

Some people are truly magical in life, with their ability to move and inspire others, and I truly beleive that Monica Lewis is one of them.

She has several thousand Facebook followers and several hundred twitter followers.. She has what I like to call, intergenerational ability. Beyond being a wonderful singer and entertainer, she has moved into the digital age to inspire a new generation. I can think of nothing more generous to do.

This semester I'm making sure that all my youth and university students learn who Monica Lewis is. When we learn about pursing a life in the arts, it is most wonderful to discover that it can be lifelong and enduring.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Roseland Ballroom closing , NYC

I'm so sad to learn that the Roseland has closed. It was on my bucket list to dance there and I am so very glad that I had the opportunity to check that off my list before it closed.

I danced there for Empire Dancesport in 2007. It is a wonderful memory for me.

Here are some pictures of the Roseland in happier days.

And how it looks now just after closing 
The last dance competition that we attended there was Empire Dancesport in 2007, I still have the ticket stub.
The event was hosted by Edward Simon at that time. The Roseland's location is far superior to the Conrad Hilton, where the event is held today. The Roseland had class and sophistication, with a near magic energy that is only captured by the years of love and energy that filled it's walls.

Here is a photo of the Marquis during the 2007 Empire Dancesport Chanpionships. 

I wish I had a photo of the lovers wall, listing all the couples who met and got married there. I tried taking pictures during my 2007 visit but the lights were too dim for camera resolution.

Although this is not the best quality photo, this may be one of the most intersteing photos that I took at the Roseland During my last visit, it is the Vernon & Irene Castle Award, which was presented to Louis I. Brecker by the Academy of Ballroom Dance Arts. The Roseland was founded initially in Philly, in 1917 by Louis Brecker with financing by Frank Yuengling of the Yuengling & Son beer family. The Roseland had two locations. The most recent facility was formerly an ice rink that was built in 1922. The dancing operations  moved to this space during the 1950's. Many jazz
greats and dance legends toured the Roseland including Glenn Miller and Ella Fitzgerald. 

I visited the Roseland with Daria Zotova and Dmitri Dogopolov. We were all working at the same studio back then.

Here is Dmitri on the Roseland's steps to the lower level.

It's feels like it was just yesterday that we visited the Roseland for the last time. It's so sad to see such an iconic venue close it's doors. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of the Roseland's legacy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

1914 dress worn by Irene Castle

This 1914 dress by Lucille , was originally owned and gifted to the Met by Irene Castle. The image was is being circulated  by a History of Modern Vintage.