30 Years in ABQ: 2019 New Mexico Dance Fiesta Recap

While most of the country was experiencing cooler fall weather, things were heating up in Albuquerque this past weekend! The 30th anniversary of the New Mexico Dance Fiesta included some amazing dancing and close competitions. 

Friday featured Intermediate and Advanced ProAm dancers. Amy Casperson and her teacher Lee Harpe were the winners out of 11 couples in the ProAm Female Silver Intermediate event, narrowly beating Carolyn Goebel and her teacher Greg Thrash who came in at a close second. In the ProAm Male events, Dennis Homan and Jenica Zimmer took first overall in the ProAm Male Gold Intermediate event against five other couples.

Sebastian Quinones was busy at Dance Fiesta, competing in both Couples Open Division 1 and Line Dance Superstars. It was no surprise that he and his partner Alexis Garrish took first place in Division 1, although the runners-up Joseph Lettig and Madalina Varlam gave them a run for their money as they took first in the Waltz and Cha Cha. 

That seemed to be a theme for the competition. Almost no one got an easy clean sweep in their event; they had to work for it! In Couples Classic Crown, Mark and Brigette Thompson won the event, but the second place couple, Greg and Laura Thrash, actually placed first in more of the individual dances. Mark and Brigette took first in Nightclub, Waltz and East Coast Swing. Greg and Laura took first in Triple Two, Polka, Cha Cha and Two-Step. However, Greg and Laura placed third in two of their other dances, while Mark and Brigette placed third in only one other dance.

Close competitions like this are always more exciting because it could be anyone’s game! One misstep in Triple Two or a hiccup in Waltz and suddenly you’ve slipped off the top spot on the podium. When the field of competitors is more evenly matched, dancers bring more energy to the floor and to their audience. 

One exception to the close-call rule was Ronnie DeBenedetta and Brittney Valdez. They dominated the Masters event on Saturday night with beautiful and confident dancing, placing first in ALL of their dances. This is Ronnie and Brittney’s third competition together this year and their first clean sweep. Congratulations guys! This writer is looking forward to an event where these two and the top three Masters couples all come together. It will be nothing short of epic, I’m sure! 

While Sunday’s line dancers were mostly uncontested, newcomers Annalisa Brady and Mackenize Nunez brought their A-game to their respective events. You couldn’t help but smile while they worked the dance floor and entertained the audience. Mila Treat, the winner of the Line Dance Female Silver Novice event, was another clean sweep as she took first in all four of her line dances against three other competitors. As the MC commented, everyone in the audience had sore cheeks by the end of the line dance events from smiling so much. Every dancer who came out provided such great entertainment and good old fashioned fun!

Next stop on FloDance’s tour is in the Lone Star State at the 2019 UCWDC Dallas Dance Festival from November 8th through 10th. Will we see you there?

A Dress Rehearsal for Worlds: Recap of 2019 Dallas Dance Festival

One sign of a well-run event is one where a lot can go wrong behind the scenes without anyone attending the event ever noticing. During the awards ceremony at Dallas Dance Festival, one of the organizers, Dave Getty, shared how the dance floor went on a little adventure before finally arriving at the hotel much later than scheduled and how they finished setting up the ballroom with only 30 minutes to spare before the doors opened on the first day! Aside from a few sleep-deprived staff members that morning, you never would have known without him telling the story.

A Dress Rehearsal for Worlds: What to Expect in Dallas

Happy November dance fans! The weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, but the dancing just keeps ongoing. Things are heating up in the dance world as we get closer to the Country Dance World Championships, held in Nashville, Tennessee on December 29, 2019, through January 5, 2020. There are only a few events left where dancers can qualify to compete at Worlds, one of which is the Dallas Dance Festival happening this weekend.

It's Fiesta Time! - What to Expect at the 2019 New Mexico Dance Fiesta

It’s fiesta time in Albuquerque! The 30th anniversary of the New Mexico Dance Fiesta is happening this weekend. This UCWDC-sanctioned event was started by dance couple Mike Haley and Patti Miller, and ballroom coordinator Steve Stevens in 1989. Though the competition has changed hands a few times over the years, it continues to be a can’t miss event full of dancing and great times with dance friends and family.

2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic Recap

Howdy partners! It was an exciting Labor Day weekend in Nashville. From packed ProAm heats to a close Crown Masters competition, the 2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic kept us hootin’ and hollerin’ for more.

2019 UCWDC Nashville Dance Classic Preview

It’s time for some dancing in the ”The Country Music Capital of the World” - Nashville! Home to the Grand Ole Opry House, the famous “Grand Ole Opry” stage and radio show, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it’s obvious why this city would draw a crowd for our next UCWDC competition, the Nashville Dance Classic. 

2019 UCWDC Chicagoland Dance Festival Recap

Alas, another weekend full of dancing has come and gone. Isn’t it always so hard to go back to work on Monday? In case you were off doing your own dancing, here’s what you missed at the Chicagoland Dance Festival.

Chicagoland Country & Swing Dance Festival Preview

This weekend, hold onto your hat and point your dancing shoes towards Chicago for the 32nd annual Chicagoland Country and Swing Dance Festival. This event has it all - qualifying events for the United Country Western Dance Council’s World Championships, points events for the World Swing Dance Council Jack & Jill swing dance registry, and it’s a part of the original Hustle Dance Tour. 

Armen Tsaturyan & Svetlana Gudyno Victorious In Rimini

And things keep changing! The third GrandSlam of the WDSF calendar year has officially concluded here in Rimini, Italy, and we found ourselves face to face with some intriguing occurrences!

Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite Continue Success In Rimini

We are in Rimini, Italy, and the second day of the GrandSlam series is soon to commence, but we cannot forget about the excitement that filled the halls of the Rimini Expo Centre just last night! From a total of 148 couples, one champion couple was crowned—Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania achieved their third WDSF GrandSlam title of their careers, making them the undefeated champions of the 2019 series.