Two-Steppin' Down Santa Claus Lane

The final competition of 2019 is officially complete, which means Worlds is just around the corner! Couples who qualified to dance in Nashville at the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships are surely making their final tweaks and adjustments and preparing to compete on the biggest stage in country western dance.

While competitors were certainly feeling some pressure at Christmas in Dixie with it being the last chance to qualify for Worlds, the event was full of holiday cheer. Even Santa got into the country spirit when he showed up during the Saturday evening show, handed out treats to all the good boys and girls, and then danced a little two-step before returning to his toy workshop to prepare for the big day. 

In the ProAm divisions, Linda Weishahn and her teacher Charles Jones enjoyed a clean sweep in Female Diamond Newcomer against 10 other couples and nearly a clean sweep (they took second in East Coast Swing) in Female Silver Newcomer against 12 other couples. Ken Harden and his teacher Vickie Rose took first in four different events: Male Silver Newcomer, Male Diamond Newcomer, Male Crystal Newcomer, and Male Open Newcomer. Great job, Ken! Way to make your teacher work! Vickie Rose must have been feeling very proud of her students at Dixie as she had a total of five pupils who won their divisions.

In the Couples Divisions, Jimmy Mulligan and Elina Sharipova celebrated their win in Couples Open I. This division is going to be one to watch at Worlds. While there are some strong contenders, the scores show they’re closely matched and can trade places at any time. Christopher Muise and Amanda Clark were runners up overall but took first place in Triple Two and Polka (which Jimmy and Elina didn’t dance). Alex Slatsky and Rachel Watts were third overall, but their individual dance scores were an even mix of second and third placements. The fourth-place winners, Ben Howard and Emily Larsen, actually took first place in Two-Step. The fifth-place winners, Todd Longsworth and Jamie Hoyt, made a strong showing in Triple Two and earned a second place in that dance. The bottom line is everyone will need to bring their A-game to Worlds if they hope to advance or at least hold their position.

Only two couples competed in Classic Masters at Dixie: Mike Wagner & Satu Ketellapper and Ronnie DeBenedetta & Brittney Valdez. Having just two couples on the floor gives the audience a chance to appreciate their respective styles. Mike and Satu floated regally across the floor during their first flight, consisting of Waltz, Nightclub and Triple Two (they did not dance West Coast Swing).  Their poise and control in their dancing beautifully supported their full expression of emotion and connection with each other. In short, they made it look easy.

To finish up the first flight, Brittney and Ronnie danced West Coast Swing solo. Brittney’s smile lit up the ballroom as she and Ronnie took their place. You couldn’t help but smile with her as the two grooved through the whole song. They continued to feel the rhythm through the second flight, consisting of Two-Step, Cha Cha, Polka, and East Coast Swing. Whether you felt pulled toward Brittney and Ronnie’s fun, “let loose” style or Mike and Satu’s reveling in their strength and quality, you surely enjoyed a fantastic night of some amazing country dancing.

At the end of the night, Mike and Satu were named the winners of the Classic Masters division, although Brittney and Ronnie didn’t let them sweep and claimed first in West Coast Swing, Two-Step and Polka.

We hope you can join FloDance at the 2020 UCWDC World Championships, held in Nashville, Tennessee. Live coverage begins on December 30th. Happy holidays, and as always, happy dancing!

The Oregon Doctor Whose Dances Went Viral In The Best Way Possible

As we know very well here at FloDance, there is nothing in the world that brings as much hope, inspiration, love, and human connection as dancing. Even in the midst of COVID-19 and the difficulties that this global pandemic has caused, people are still dancing. And there's nobody who has demonstrated that better than Dr. Jason Campbell, who practices at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. 

Why Dancing During a Pandemic Is Important, Even If It's Tough

The coronavirus pandemic has stranded all of us in our homes, and for dancers, that's especially difficult! We like to move, sweat, rehearse, perfect our routines, and express our creativity with our bodies. This whole lockdown thing is almost making that impossible.

Keeping Up With Your Dance Training

Being sick is the worst! Being sick when you’re a dancer is the ABSOLUTE worst. Not only do you feel horrible, but you also can’t do what you would normally do to brighten your mood—dance! Now, as many of us know, the same could be said for staying in quarantine.

2020 UCWDC Country Dance World Championships Recap

Wow, dancers! What a way to end the week! The 2020 UCWDC Country Dance World Championships started with some wonderful dancing by the ProAm divisions and this year, the competition included over 6,500 entries! It just kept getting better and better as we moved into the Couples and Line Dance events, finally culminating in mind-blowing performances by the Classic Masters group on Saturday evening. 

The Best Time of the Year: 2020 UCWDC World Championships Preview

It’s time again for the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships, friends! Held at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, next week promises nonstop dancing in the form of workshops, daily competitive events, and nightly social dancing. Dancers, amateur and professional alike, from around the world have been preparing for this event all year. Some will be competing at Worlds for the first time, while others are returning to defend their titles or try for a second title at a new level.

Dancing in Dixieland

Happy Holidays, everyone! This weekend will mark less than two weeks until we find out if we made it onto Santa's Nice List. Can you believe it? Here at FloDance, we’re taking a break from shopping and gift wrapping to attend Christmas in Dixie, the final UCWDC competition before Worlds! That means it’s sure to be an exciting weekend.

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.

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.