So Trent started this blog a year ago with the opening post about Swingapalooza last year. I am SO glad that we were able to attend again this year because it was an even bigger blow out than last year! Bryan and Catrinel Jordan did a truly amazing job at putting together one of the friendliest events ANYWHERE.
One of the highlights of the weekend was that they had a local Cajun comedian, John Morgan, MC the Saturday night exhibitions and Pro J&J events. He was absolutely hysterical and really just brought the energy in the room even higher than it already was. Here is Debbie Figueroa, chief judge for the weekend, doing a wee exhibition with John to start off the evening!
John was absolutely a riot, leaving no stone unturned when it came to friendly ribbing of ALL competitors. But the one thing that struck me the most, was when he got serious for a few moments to talk about the shared love of dance, and how it really made us all a big dance family. It made me realize that it is what I have missed most about traveling for dance – meeting new friends to bring into my “dance family”. I think that Swingapalooza has been a great example of that. The people that we met in Louisiana from last year’s event, welcomed us back with open arms, like it was a family reunion. Saturday afternoon, I chose to have margaritas with some of my Louisiana dance family over a nap! First, that should really tell you how much I love these people. Second, once I got there, I never once felt out of place, even though technically, I was the only outsider. Love all around!
The rest of the weekend was just phenomenally high energy and fun. The DJs were fantastic and kept the energy up in the ballroom all weekend. The comp music was perfect. I had the privilege of dancing pro-ams with Matthew, Louie and Eric this weekend and they all did SO great, I was bursting with happiness and pride! From my three Ams, we got 6th, 3rd, and 1st!!!
I also placed 6th in the mixed Advanced/All Star strictly with “Clabby Clab Claws” Cory Chiquet and a 3rd place finish with my good luck charm in jack and jill, Henry!
Trent had much success as well! A 2nd place finish with Katie Slater in Advanced/All Star strictly, one of our new dance family members from St. Louis and a 1st place finish in Sophisticated J&J with Jeanne DeGuyter!
But I can’t emphasize enough, that the things that stick out in my mind are the laughs and the hugs and the smiles (not to mention amazing cajun food and that delicious drive through daiquiri place! Oh and who can say no to yummy homemade jambalaya at midnight???)
If we can help it, we will be going back to this event every year!