Who Have You Dance Swing With?

Adding A few - not bothering to grab my old postings though.

Have been thinking a lot about the whole "dancing with pros" thing - fun how excited we get about it - only to freak out during the dance - there's definitly a self-inflicted pressure to impress - we tell ourselves they they're just people like us, but it's so easy to get caught up in the moment wanting to wow them yet feeling so insecure.

I've known and been friends with Festa for quite some time yet I still get nervous everytime he asks me to dance.

I'm friends with Robert Cordoba - yet when he told me I should ask Deborah to dance I couldn't bring myself to do it. Of course he then told her I was afraid of her, at which point she grabbed my hand and dragged me to the floor. Talk about not being able to perform!

It's interesting that we post "our list" and are proud of who've we've danced with despite the fact that those dances are often not our best or our favorites - there's so much going on in our heads that we often forget to just enjoy the moment. One of my least favorite dances was with Parker - not for any reason other than that I was still a relative beginner, he didn't know me, and the magic connection just didn't happen for those three minutes. One of my best dances has been with Mark Eckstein before I knew he was a former pro turned professional dancer (b'way type dance) and after I learned who he was my brain proceeds to get in the way most times I dance with him (although it's gotten so much better and he is one of my favorite people to dance with all time).

That all said, I've since added:
Deborah Szekely (WCS)
Mario Robau, Jr. (WCS)
Mary Ann Nunez (WCS)
Kevin St Laurent (LH)
Steve Drzewiczewski (LH)
Peter Strom (LH)
Manu Smith (LH)


Also, curious - why did this become a "Which pros have you danced with" thread? And what qualifies someone as a pro? Looking back on my list - many of those I put down are moderate All-Star dancers. Yet I left off people who, despite not competing, are better social dancers and often much more enjoyable to dance with (odd how the fear of doing well disapates when the person doesn't compete). Some are even people who you've never heard of and will possibly never hear of again - the magic just happens.

Interesting recent observations of similarities about some of the folks on my list: Manu and Andy - they both have a strong connection with the music that makes them a joy to dance with. Peter and Mark are some of the most comfortable people to dance with - you feel very safe and sure with them. Mario and Robert C. have a combination of the two (although not as secure and protected feeling as with Peter and Mark) and are just a blast.
 
I have danced with the following:
Jeremy Doss
Phil Dorrol
Kyle Redd
Tom Jennings
Marcus Smith
John Lindo
Angel F?
Jason Barnes
Michael Kielbasa
Barry Durand
Mario Rabu

I think there are a few others - I can't think of thier names right now.
 
Leftfeet,

I believe it became more of a pro thread because it was asked who "famous" one danced with. That to me would mean someone who might be know nationally, not locally or regionally... although our local pros, the Auclairs have been dancing almost out of diapers, so they could qualify.

For me, my "famous" dancers are oldies, so many "newcomers" will probably not have heard of them... my most favorite.... Romero Gonzales. A true, true, true gentleman. I had only been dancing for three weeks when I was dragged to a competition in California. I was so intimidated that I didn't dance a single dance the entire weekend. We went to the Press Box on Sunday after the competition and the California group I was with, included Carlito (can't think of his last name right now). He and a couple of other guys were buying drinks and I was drinking tequila at the time. I was down about three shots when Romero and his dancer partner at the time came in. Carlito dared me to ask him to dance. I took him up on it and found myself doing moves that I had no idea how I did them. Came back to the table and Carlito asked me how it was... I grinned and told him it was better than sex :D

I was priviledged to dance with Romero several years in Phoenix and he never turned me down, even making me sit next to him when a rather fast song came on and he asked me to wait for something a little slower (The song was "Wild, Wild West." I've never had any pro or star do that before or since.

Being from Phoenix, we had all the big names showing up there and they were always available for dancing during the 4th of July Convention. Barry Jones, Randy Clements, Mark the Marine (not going to slaughter his last name), Atlas Griffith, Lance Schoemon..... dancers that were all stars/pros while most of the pros now were still dancing in juniors :)
 
Well, I've been blessed to dance with a lot of the greats here in Southern California.

Lindy: Tip West, Erik Robison, Sailor Mike, Steve Garrett, Nick Williams, Jeremy Otth, Ben Morris, and others...

West Coast: Ben Morris, Michael Kielbasa, Jordan Frisbee, Luis Crespo, Robert Cordoba, Mark Scheuffele and more...
 
True story: A guy at an event is a clear novice. All the other novice and intermediate followers are avoiding him because they just can't seem to make a dance work with him. As a result he's not getting much dancing in and not having a great time. Tatiana asks him to dance, other followers cringe and feel bad that she doesn't know what she's getting into. Well she sticks to basics, smiles the whole time, ads a little bounce like he's got going on, mimics some of his moves that other found awkward and the guy has a great dance and starts having fun again. Granted the story says something about Tatiana's personality and I've only ever heard wonderful things about her, but it also is proof that you shouldn't just stick to your skill range. He may have been one of the lesser skilled dancers in the room, but she had fun, and he got some encouragement and had fun too.
One funny story for me, was the last day of my first convention. It was a really clicky convention, and the advanced dancers werent really dancing with Newb followers they didnt know . I thought this was totally normal. I thought advanced dancers NEVER danced with us little people . So on sunday, Angel figerou... (sp?) asked me to dance... I was totally freaked out, I gave him a really scared little face, and he said "Now what does that do for my self confidance?"
It wasn't a particularily awesome dance, I was frozen solid. After the dance, I apologized, and he said "No, it was fun". (right...) But it showed me that pros werent hard to follow, they actually were easier to dance with (imagine that! lol).
Awww, those stories make me smile! =)
 

Zhena

Well-Known Member
Pro --
Nick Kosovich. I asked him (or rather I asked him if it was OK if I asked him ... I wanted to give him half a chance to say no). He was just standing to the side, not talking to anyone, so I took the chance.

DFers --
TC
Gorme
 
More like a long-suffering, "Stop that! This is WCS". :) I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a lot of dancers with ballroom habits coming into that class (it's taught at a predominantly ballroom studio).
Lol, ah, gotcha... well, in a way, ballroom background is usually ALOT better than a ballet background or other solo dancing. I've found my friends with more solo background have a really hard time with the fact that it's a partner dance. Plus, they always want to go up on their toes. Then again, even "I" struggle with toes and I never took any...
 
Also, she herself originally came from a ballroom background, so she understands. Funny, she's not the only one. Like Arjay Centeno and Melissa Rutz. Hmmm...
Lol, ah, gotcha... well, in a way, ballroom background is usually ALOT better than a ballet background or other solo dancing. I've found my friends with more solo background have a really hard time with the fact that it's a partner dance. Plus, they always want to go up on their toes. Then again, even "I" struggle with toes and I never took any...
Sometimes, it feels like it may be better to come into a new dance with no habits, rather than with some habits, good and bad. :)
 
Also, she herself originally came from a ballroom background, so she understands. Funny, she's not the only one. Like Arjay Centeno and Melissa Rutz. Hmmm...
Sometimes, it feels like it may be better to come into a new dance with no habits, rather than with some habits, good and bad. :)
Most definitely! Took forever to get the Lindy out of my WCS...
 

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