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DanceTalk * 1-27-09

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Happy birthday wishes to  John Aulicino,  Star Seguinot,  Mikhail Baryshnikov,  Tina Carlo-Mercado, Tony Troiano,  George Velazquez,  Mimi Doi,  Yana Brin,  Lisa Ciao  and  Shakira. 

Dance legend Gene Kelly passed away 13 years ago. His slick moves and the class and elegance he brought to the stage will live on forever on film in classics like "Singing In The Rain"  
Please check out the wonderful review of the Arte Philips Tribute. Great footage and interviews with  Stephanie Risser, Joe Kerner, Maria Torres, Nicola Royston and Billy Marti.
Our good dance friend and photographer extraordanaire Fred Fedak, went in for hernia surgery today. After he recovers he will then go through physical therapy. Lets collectively give him some positive thoughts to make this difficult procedure go fine. We look forward to seeing him out on the dance floor soon.
Hats off to Motown Records. They just celebrated their 50 year anniversary. Known as the sound of young America. Berry Gordy, a former boxer with a few bucks began this incredible journey signing the top talent to record contracts and building a music empire. Some of his artists included Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Five.  
You can view photos from the birthday celebration for DJ Noel Colon that were taken at the Opera House Dance Party this past weekend. You can viewed them on his web site at
Auditions for female dancers are being held for a new touring magic show overseas. You must be at least 21 with strong dance experience. Your be working with large stage illusions and must have a valid passport.
Audition on Feb 7 - at 1:00 PM, doors open at 12 noon at Dante Hall Theater of the Arts, 14 North Mississippi Avenue, 3rd floor studio, Atlantic City, NJ.  Phone: 609-344-8877 -
High Five to Evie Hoover and Jeff Kurtz. They competed in a big dance contest in Scranton Pa and were one of the couples chosen (out of 24 couples) to go to the "Dancing With The Stars" tour performance on Feb 3rd,  but it gets better. They will be dancing on stage as part of the show. 
The Current United States Professional Cabaret Champions Eric Luna & Georgia Ambarian were eliminated last week on the televisions show Superstars Of Dance. The show continues tonight on the NBC network with the Grand Finale. 
Don't miss the Classic dance night at Michael's Cafe, this Wednesday night, Jan 28th in Bensalem Pa. They will be celebrating Wingo Hom's birthday too. Come out to hear the best in hustle dance music with DJ Mark. The best part is, it's all free.  No cover and free parking.  
This weeks edition of DanceTalk is sponsored by Mad Jam. Coming March 5th to the 8th in the Nation's capitol. Read all about it below.
Make it a great week,
                                Mad Jam 2009
It keeps getting better and better. Each year the Mid Atlantic Dance Jam just turns it up a notch. Organizer Dave Moldover knows the value of delivering a great event and he has pushed the bar even higher. 
Come join the biggest dance gathering in the Mid Atlantic for the 7th Annual Mad Jam. This is the party that everyone rates with 5 stars. Lock in the dates, March 5 - 8th.  It's only 6 weeks away. Four days of non stop dance fun.  Last year nearly 1,500 dancers made the trip to the nation's capitol. Over 1000 room nights have already been booked for 2009. The hotel is nearly sold out....don't procrastinate. Dave brings together the best of Hustle, West Coast Swing and Hand dancing with a talented staff of over 50 professionals. Leave your tuxedo at home as this fun friendly atmosphere makes dancing a true party. Dancers have registered from nearly every state, including Canada, UK, France and Australia. Charter busses are coming from Buffalo, NY and CT. 
Great workshops, competitions, performances, welcome party, Saturday Midnight Breakfast buffet and over $18,000 in prizes. New for 2009, a "Dance Superstars Show" featuring Hustle and West Coast Swing.
MadJam is affiliated with the Masters National Swing Dance Tour, Novice Tour - A.A.N.C.E., World Swing Council, International Hustle Dance Association and National Fast Dance Association. Book your room now at the Sheraton Premiere Tyson's Corner Virginia. Just minutes from Dulles Airport. (703) 448 - 1234 at only $112 per night, while rooms are still available. But as usual, the hotel will sell out. You can book a room now, risk free. 
With over 45 workshops you can take WCS lessons from: Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann, Robert & Nicola Royston, Parker Dearborn & Jessica Cox, Arjay Centeno & Melissa Rutz, Jason Miklic & Sophy Kdep, Jason Barnes & Erica Berg, Markus Smith & Deonna Ball, Kevin Fitzhugh & Tammy Brown, Barry Durand, Debbie many more.  Then get ready to hustle with Billy Fajardo & Katie Marlow, Kelvin Roche & Lori Ann Greenhouse, Keith & Celeste Gussoni, Danny McGee & Jameson Kilburn, Silvana Gallagher, Donna Boyle, Lori Brizzi, Billy Marti, Brian Gallagher, Kim Vanaman, Tina Price, Elizabeth Darchi, Louie Orlando, Fred Price, Joyce Szili, Diane Nardone, Tybaldt & Hazel Ulrich, and a DJ staff including - Steve Neeren, Erik Novoa, Vicki Kay, John Lindo,
Louie St. George, Victor Loveira, Wes Carrajat.......Your Emcee's are Bill Cameron, Robert Royston, Ron Bess and Dave Moldover. 
Lock in your room now to take part in the weekend extravaganza that people haven't stopped talking about since last year. MadJam is the World’s Largest Hustle competition.  Remember there are your typical dance events and competitions then, there is Mad Jam.

New York Record Pool - Top Ten
Here are the hottest new dance songs rocking the chart. These are brand new songs that your hear at dance clubs, satellite and on dance radio stations. These singles are ideal for various styles of dancing.
The New York Music Pool list  is supplied by Jackie McCloy at
For the week of January 15th 
1)  Stay In Love by   Mariah Carey
2)  Always  by Kristine Elezaj
3)  Out Of My Mind by  Lasgo
4)  I Ran (So Far Away) by  Darud
5)   I Hate This Part by The  Pussycat Dolls
6)   Human (Remixes) by The Killers
7)  Chemistry by  Velvet
8)  Broken Pieces by  Jennifer Carbonell
9)  Faded by  Cascada
10)  Imagination by  Jes
Letters to the Editor
(our goal is  to post readers letters twice a month, unfortunately due to space limitations we can not publish them all)
Hey Ron, just wanted to thank you for all your wonderful support throughout the year. Your write ups for our events have been just wonderful. I also wanted to give you a Hear! Hear! for the Letter from the Editor about the state of the economy and being there for dance friends.. That was so well put. Our dance friends are so important to us not just as dancers but people we share so much with. Let's hope we all come through this with our dance communities intact!  
Best to you in 2009.

Hi Ron
I like to say that Lisa and I went out last night to see an amazing show at N.Y.U.skirball center the name of the show was called Tango,Historias Breves. The Star of the show is Guillermina Quiroga. Ron I'm not sure if know this dancer . I've seen her dance Hustle with her at the old Dancesport and I believe she worked with Paul Pelicorro.  Well needless to say this dancer performs a Tango like no other in the world she has a style that is mixed with classical ballet and theater arts, the women moves like a panther on the dance floor and in and out of lifts with the finest grace of a prima ballerina. Ron It was a pleasure for Lisa and myself in celebration of Lisa Birthday and then after the show went out to dinner to this restaurant called Genes 73 west 11th street N.Y.C. with friends and members of Caribbean Soul Salsa dancers David & Laura. Dinner was the best and the cake was to die for. If you have the time checkout You can also type in Guillermina Quiroga in Youtube maybe your  recognize this dancer.
Hope to hear from you soon  
Leonardo Medina Jr. aka  Leo

Dear Ron
I wanted to comment on your last edition of DanceTalk and the overview of 2008. I appriecate the time you and your staff put into this informative newsletter. I wanted you to know that here in Fishkill NY we all love your newsletter. I read DanceTalk every week but must have had a brain freeze because I dint' know that Nan Bohrah had passed away. What a shock. She was not only a wonderful dancer but a true giver. I recall back at Hustle USA in NYC, the strap on my dance shoe snapped. I didn't know Nan personally but she offered for me to wear a pair of her dance shoes. I told her I couldn't but she insisted. From that day on I admired her as a caring person. She will be missed.
Thank you,
Peggy Lisch

Hi Ron, 
As someone who just rec'd your email and just rec'd word that our office is closing in one week, this is both a comfortable thought and a mute point at the same time. With no income, you tend to stop all activity that costs money outside the basic needs.  Although dancing is my passion, I'm not in the mood for it. Maybe there's a network out there to help link people up with any temporary jobs, at least.
If you have suggestions, please through them out there.

Hey Rowen,
I have been working 3rd shift at work for the last 2 seasons. As of Jan 5 of this year I am back to a normal schedule. As you can imagine going into work at 10PM can just about ruin anyone's social life. Other then on weekends I dont' get to dancer or frequent the regular Tuesday night socials. But here is what I experienced after my short absence. I don't see anyone under the age of 40 years old. I felt like I was at a bingo night. The disc jockey was very good and a good dancer as well. Don't take this wrong because I am 49 years old  but the dancers there could have nothing on the folks at my mothers nursing home in Bal Harbour. It seems clear more then ever that the disco era is on the verge of extinction -  I'm happy to be back working a morning shift at - but wonder how much longer the clubs will keep us around? I'm sure I'm not the only one concerned.
Jim McGraph    

DanceTalk * 1-20-09

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Happy birthday wishes to Lisa Fiorito, Mike Carillo,  Debbie Lynn,  Wingo Hom and Marge Nezin
Sadly we report the passing of Pedro Aguilar , AKA Cuban Pete. A true giant in the dance world. He leaves a major void in the Latin dance community that for years he tirelessly helped to develop. See more below.  
Our heart felt condolences go out to dance friend  Pat McDonnell and her family. This past week her mother passed away. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. 
RIP Fayard Nicolas (the Nicolas Brothers) passed away in 2006. He was born 10/20/14 in Philly. Considered to be one the best tap dancers of all time, from his performance on Broadway to the silver screen in Hollywood, along with his brother they were invincible.   
Have you booked your room for Mad Jam 2009 yet? Over 1,400 dancers came out last year for the biggest non stop dance weekend in the mid Atlantic. March 5 - 8 in Virginia featuring Swing, Hustle, Hand dancing with an emphasis on FUN. For all the details visit
The USA team leads the way in the semi finals on Nigel Lythgoe's, "the Superstars of Dance". Tune in on  Monday evenings at 8PM (EST) for two hours of dance action on the NBC network.
Get ready for the amateur dance contest for $1000. in cash prizes being held at the Winner's Circle. Competitors can chose from Salsa, Cha, Hustle, Tango, Swing etc.. Audience participation, as well as Judges, will determine the finalists. A $25 registration fee is to be paid by January 31st. No late entries. Tentative date for contest is in February. No Professionals competitors. You may register at the Winner's Circle, with Mary. Any questions, please call Mary, (516)785-8250...E-mail,
High Five to Derrick Allan, last weekend, he taught at the Hudson Valley Resort in Hudson Valley, NY for the NYS Theater Education Association Conference. High school students from all over NY attend a weekend of workshops to educate them on performing. Derrick was so well received last year they invited him back. There were approximately 700 attendees with at Derrick's workshops packed with about 60 kids each.  The dance workshops normally handle about 15 to 20 kids.   
Photo's from Burton's birthday celebration at the Palladium Night club in Florida,
Get ready Long Island, Classic Friday nights returns to the dance club Zachary's. Featuring the classics from the 70's, 80s right up to contemporary music. Friday nights are back.  
Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew's returns for it's third season to MTV television on Thursday nights.  
Make it a great week,


Spotlight - Marie Izzo
The motion picture, "Saturday Night Fever" resonated her passion for dance.  From that day forward, she was inspired right down to her inner core. She had found her calling in life which drove her to conquer the hustle and to share her passion to teach others. Marie Izzo was a natural.
At an early age, she began to explore various dances including the merengue and salsa. Growing up in Franklin Square, Long Island, without any formal dance training, she was anxious to learn all the dances but gravitated towards the new dance craze on the horizon. Once John Travolta hustled his stuff, she was sold. Marie was in a dance frenzy and launched her new career when she signed up in a teachers training program, hosted by Henry Dior's Dale Dance Studio's located on long Island. Her first instructor, Dominick Longo was a popular out going dancer. Dominick brought lots of talent to the table. The chemistry between Marie and Dominick quickly took hold and fermented into an exciting dance partnership. "He was such a fun partner and made friends every where he went. He was constantly booking shows for us," explains Marie. The hustle explosion was captivating and Marie had a front row seat. The excitement of dancing fueled her heart and soul and she hasn't stopped exploring and teaching dance since.  She worked with an extraordinary group of teachers at Dales, including: Eddie Paterson, Maria Gomez, Eddie Simon, Diane Nardone, Alfonso Triggiani, Lydia Lee Aiello, and Jimmy Garcia. Coincidentally, her roommates happen to equally be gifted dancers as well: Gail Bloom and Suzanne Lambro.  "We were known as ‘the girls’, and we went everywhere together", shares Marie. Her other close dance associates included, Donna Shelley, her sister (Marta Hogan), Carl Charles, David Williams and Jose Solano. Together, this band of dancers, would frequent many nights clubs through out NY including their favorites: Penrods/Zachary’s, Winners’ Circle, Uncle Sam’s, Feathers, Rumors, DeCameron’s, 231, Channel 80 and Attitudes. Their clubbing circuit would also put them in contact with the  “The Long Island crew”, which consisted of Bobbi Petri, Lori Brizzi, James Stanford, Keith Merriweather, Chuck Fetta, J.O. (John Ort), Jimmy Garcia, Derrick Allen, Ron Rochester, Robin Amante and Rose Capello. 
Dancing with Dominick meant doing shows on the fly. One night when Marie was seconds from heading out for a night of dancing she received a call from Dominick, " we have a show to do at Studio 54, get here now". "The club had all the sound equipment, but we needed to bring someone to emcee for us", explains Marie. "I called my sister, Marta, and we rushed into the city.  He was waiting for us at the door and he shoved Marta into the DJ booth, whisked me onto the dance floor, and our song began. Whew! That’s what it was like being partners with Dominic Longo."
The genie was now out of the bottle and moving in the fast lane. While attending, a dance competition she met the popular duo of Jeff & Donna Shelley. They were very taken by her dance skills and instantaneously offered her an opportunity at their New York Hustle Dance Studio in Flushing, Queens. For the next six years, Marie would perfect her ballroom and Latin skills. She would develop many students and compete in the Pro/am divisions. Some of the dancer students she engaged in her training  included Armando Berrios, Joe Ramaglia, Wally Montalvo and John Rocchio,  all from NY hustle studio which later became NY Dance Center.  Marie would continue to compete outside of the studio world and do shows and simultaneously partnered with George "White Lightning"  Velazquez and then with Long Island bad boy, Carl Charles.  "I am also among the few people who made it to the finals at Zachary’s, dancing with another girl", explains Marie. The annual contest is one of the premier events on the Island. Marie and close friend Lisa Stecket, put together a high energy  jazz routine to Janet Jackson's hit song "Control".  It received rave reviews. Marie couldn't get enough of dance or the satisfaction it brought her. With an entrepreneurial spirit she formed her own dance company called  “All the Right Moves”.  "In April, 1990, my sister, Marta, who was the audio mixer on The Phil Donahue Show, got us an audition on the episode entitled “Lambada – The Forbidden Dance”, explains Marie. "Phil Donahue decided at the last minute that he wanted to have a contrast to all the craziness of the Lambada dancers, and hired us to perform a dance retrospective".  With less then 24 hours to prepare for their national television debut, she had to choreograph a performance representing each dance era, five in all,  select the music along with narration (courtesy of good friend Chuck Fetta) pick costumes, and rehearse for the deadline. "I danced with George Velazquez and Gail Bloom partnered with Chuck Fetta.  We worked through the night… sleep was not an option…and very early the next the morning a limo came to pick us up.  By that afternoon we were on.  We performed a medley of dances from each era: the 40’s (fox trot), 50’s (swing), 60’s (twist), 70’s (hustle), and the 80’s (dirty dancing).  Of course, I enjoyed our foursome hustle the most, which turned out perfect. It was awesome; and to date, one of my favorite dance experiences ever" shares Marie. 
Then the talented, oh so talented Marie would experience a set back as the exhilaration would come to a screeching halt. Marie suffered a terrible knee injury which forced her to stop dancing for nearly two years. This challenge crystallized her determination. She gallantly returned and began working at "Dance Obsession" with Barnie & Debbie Aquilino, which became her new home until 1998 when it was time to leave. Marie was ready to dance in a new direction, which was in the Carolina's. First North then ultimately South where she opened her own dance studio appropriately named, "All the Right Moves" located in Fort Mill , South Carolina.  "In 2005 Carl Charles came to North Carolina to visit me and we decided to put something together to perform", shares Marie. "Because they have never seen a hustle done on that level before, the audience roared when we took our bow.  We were asked to perform our hustle at a master’s show that same weekend along side the legendary theatre arts performers David Howland & Vivienne Ramsey.  We were awe-struck" explains Marie.  They couldon't believe they were on the same stage as David & Vivienne. "See where hustle can get you", shares Marie. For the past four years she has been a dance Professor at Winthrop University, teaching  two ballroom/Latin courses per semester.  "It is an extremely popular course and very difficult to get a spot in the class" explains Marie.  This is one of her most gratifying jobs that she truly embraces. She makes the class very rewarding supporting the students with encouragement, fine etiquette (both on and off the dance floor), some life lessons, spiritual guidance - all with a twist of fun included. Marie created the curriculum, which consists of the seven major dances with five steps in each dance, including a  final exam with a prerequisite of performing a formal dance.  "The students have to dress in formal attire, some students wearing tuxedos and top hats" explains a proud Marie.  She doesn't miss a beat and demonstrates the responsibilities of the men and how they should approach their partner for a dance, escort them onto the floor, thank them at the end of the dance and then escort them off the floor.  "Every semester I’m amazed at how the guys’ chests broaden as they escort the lovely ladies with beautiful smiles on their faces, on and off the dance floor", she shares. She instructs them on how a lady should be treated and encourages the ladies to expect nothing less from a gentleman. Alumni have expressed their gratitude and the impact her course has had on their lives, leaving fond memories of their college days. "They’ll remember it as their own ‘good old days’, and they’ll look back on it the same way I look back on my days dancing the night away on Long Island", shares Marie. "It’s just dance, but we all know it’s so much more".  Marie has taken her craft and shares it with young students and adults through out various states. The admiration she receives from her college students and those from her studio depict the love Marie has for her art.  She has done for hustle what Rita's had accomplished for the water ice, its simply mouth watering. She continues to enjoy every teaching moment and was able to make her childhood hobby an outreaching career for herself for over 30 years


      Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar  6/14/27 - 1/13/09
It is with great sadness that the dance world mourns the loss of  Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar.
Barbara Craddock, his dance partner, shares his incredible history and all the gifts he bestowed on the  dance world.  
Cuban Pete grew up in New York’s El Barrio and made his mark in the Latin dance world at the dawn of the Mambo craze, in New York’s famous Palladium Ballroom, and from there vaulted to international prominence. Known as the “King of the Latin Beat,” “Mr. Mambo,” and the “Prince of the Palladium,” he invented scores of dance movements and hand embellishments now viewed as standards of Latin dance. He
served as a catalyst for social change in the entertainment and social arenas by being the first “man with a tan” to dance with a white woman onstage; in 1951 he danced with Millie Donay at the Palladium,
ushering in one of the first instances of integration on the dance floor. In his multi-decade career, he performed in movies, television, stage, and danced for American Presidents, heads of state and dignitaries, as well as serve as choreographer and consultant for the film, “Mambo Kings.” He adjudicated at many prestigious dance events worldwide, and was a skilled lecturer on the history of Latin dance and music.
With Barbara Craddock, he helped make history in the preservation of “clave,” by serving as choreographic consultant and instructor for Miami City Ballet’s unprecedented work, “Mambo No. 2 a.m.,” and was
choreographer for “Latin Magic,” an original mambo ballet for the University of the Arts School of Dance in Philadelphia. The recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to Latin dance, he was referred to as “the greatest mambo dancer ever” by LIFE Magazine, Tito Puente and George Goldner of TICO Records. He is archived in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and RAICES Latin Music Museum in New York.
He is survived by his children, daughters Denise Gerard and Petrina Aguilar, son Sean Peter Aguilar, granddaughter Gina Gerard, grandson Noah Aguilar, sisters Socorra Blackman, Chickie Masdeu, Yvette Masdeu, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dance partner, Barbara Craddock. He is predeceased by his brothers Tony Aguilar and Pedro Aguilar, Jr., and his mother, Nellie Trujillo Masdeu.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:  Boys Harbor Inc. - Harbor Conservatory for the Performing  One East 104th Street, New York, NY 10029-4495  Attn: Nina Olson  In Memoriam: Pedro “Cuban Pete” Aguilar.  Cuban Pete is now dancing “en clave” with the angels.


 Letter from the Editor
As we enter 2009, we will see and experience many changes. A new president, with new ideas but a stalled economy. Statistically speaking, it is unfortunate that one out of every 10 dancers will be unemployed over the next few months. I don't mean to be perceived as a dooms - dayer, but simply a realist. Although we may not be able to solve the problem, one can handle it better understanding the issues and knowledge of how it impacts all of us. We are all going through this. We have many dancers, from the community , that have been laid off or have experienced a reduction in their work hours.  Some employers have shut down facilities while other friends are worried,  as they anticipate a threatened level of job security at work.  Lost wages not only creates the burden of paying bills, mortgage and providing food on the table but more importantly  .... undesirable stress. Stress can lead to greater health complications and stages of depression. Ultimately, some may face a lack of interest in everyday affairs, family and their work.  
We can all help make a difference. Keep an eye on your dance friends. Keep them active. Dealing with problems is more manageable understanding those concerns up front. Be there for them.
During economic recessions, it is documented that those  folks that engage in entertainment can manage their stress better. To overcome stress folks should go out more and enjoy a movie, activities and to dance.
Encourage your friends to come out. Dancing is an escape from the rat race. A chance to feel good and leave any negative anxiety behind. Reinforce their value in the dance community and that life is not limited to just your career or job. Be proactive. Be there as a friend to show concern and sympathy. Don't let your friends fall into a downward spiral....catch them before they fall. Keep them up beat. Keep them dancing.


DanceTalk * 1-13-09

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Happy birthday wishes to Irena Griffin, Eileen Kellerman, Judy Van Dyke, Angela Risser, Carmen Mendez, Estelle Hedaya,   Sharon Frio,   Chuck Fetta,  Joan Hancock, Ralph Ferro,  Alex Jack, Benji Schwimmer, Sheril Shue and Domingo Cruz.
A member of the British brother band the BeeGees, Maurice Gibb passed away six years ago. A quiet member of the group he helped launch the sound track for one of the highest grossing records of all time, Saturday Night Fever.
Dancers don't only move their feet but they move our hearts. Mikalena Nau, was special. She would have celebrated her 40th birthday this week. She disappeared almost 3 years ago.
Jason Colcino returns to New Jersey this coming Saturday night, January 17th, at the Haddonfield School of Dance,  for two great workshops and dance social. See all the details below. 
Cheers to Bobby O as he has joined the teaching staff at Dance America Dance Studio in Tampa Florida. For the schedule please visit
New photos images from Mary Keegan & Carole Phelps and Gail's birthday celebration at Michael's Cafe, courtesy of Fred Fedak.
The Motion picture "Move" is scheduled for release later this year. A documentary on dance it has a cast of dance All - Stars, including  Ben Vereen, Cris Judd, Shane Sparks, Chita Rivera, Jamie King, Mandy Moore, Brian Freedman and Mia Michael's.   
Next week, DanceTalk  points the spotlight on a native New Yorker that relocated to the South to open her own dance studio, to help spread the love of dance. Stay tuned.  
Make it a great week,

Jason is coming Back
They say, don't judge a book by it's cover, but in this case, Jason Colacino is the real deal. From his good looks to mesmerizing dance skills, Jason is the complete package. Back by popular demand, Jason returns to rock the Delaware Valley. His last visit, this past November,  was so explosive that they had to bring him back for a second shot. Come join Rob and Sheila’s on Saturday, January 17th for an incredible evening of workshops and dancing.  Whether he is teaching, competing or just social dancing, Jason is quite extraordinary. He has made a name for himself the old fashion way......he earned it. Plan to be at the Haddonfield School of Dance as "Swing" takes over. Jason will be teaching two workshops.
As a staff member at many of the Swing dance events, Jason has been invited to Japan to teach as well. His unique style combines his jazz and ballet training implemented into Swing. Jason will floor you with his skills. His style is soooooo cool, making him technically one of the most exciting dancers anywhere…and boy can he spin, one leg pirouettes and all. He has partnered with some of the most talented ladies in West Coast Swing, including Katie Boyle and Mary Ann Nunez. He is a former three time world Cabaret champion, US Open Swing Champion as well as holding many other titles. Jason, being multi-talented, has performed on stage and in many shows including, “Swing”, “Evita” and “A Broadway Tribute”. He also appeared, last year in the Disney Motion picture, “Enchanted”. This should be a night you don't want to miss. Mark it down for this Saturday night, January 17th at the Haddonfield School of Dance. It is located at 413 Crystal Lake Avenue in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Please visit for all the information. For additional info write to  Sheila at or call 609-519-0078.

Letters to the Editor
(our goal is  to post readers letters twice a month, unfortunately due to space limitations we can not publish them all)
im saddened to hear about arte and elena passing. i knew them both in and out of the dance floor. for over 30 years. when we started dancing i would take the train to the city from queens and arte would make sure to take me home and we sat in front of my house for hours just talking.  i miss him so much. thank god i love taking pictures so i have lots of memories,ive always kept in touch with elena she would bring the kids to eat at my job every sunday.  just to see me,  and visit my home. my condolences to scott and the girls that i know so well. 
they will be missed  : love MIRIAM LATINHUSTLE 1
Hi Ron,
I'd like to put out a challenge to all the hustle DJ's out there.
They all spin great hustle tunes.  I'd like to challenge them to see who can come up with the best salsa music. Many of the hustle dancers also dance salsa on a regular basis at salsa clubs.  The music is great and are used to dancing to music with a lot of flavor. That great salsa flavor not something that we get when at a hustle social.  Putting a salsa beat to 'Hey Jude' or playing 'Volare' isn't what salsa dancers are looking for.  They may dance to it because they know they may only have two salsa dances for the entire evening and dancing to 'something' is better than not dancing at all.  I'd like to give kudos to Franklin Alaya for playing great salsa all the time.  Maybe he wouldn't mind sharing some of his favorites with the other DJ's? 
I only put out this challenge to the DJ's in an effort to make a great party even better!!

It is difficult for me to express how touched and honored I am that so many of you voted for me in DanceTalk's annual Readers Choice Award as Person of the Year. I was surprised last year and this year you have chosen to honor me again.  I must admit I do not understand why I am worthy of such an award so I asked some friends for their opinion.  One person said it was because of my contributions both to keeping the hustle alive as well as my support of important causes. Another person told me that I am like the character George in the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life' who doesn't see or appreciate the value of his contributions to his community, I am glad you appreciate my contributions. I know that all of the people who are fortunate enough to have made their profession in the business of dance, whether it is writing the music, DJing,  teaching, choreographing, competing, entertaining, running dance studios  or running dance parties/events, are often thanked for the happiness they give to the people whose lives they have touched. We do this out of a passion for music and dancing and for a love of people. It really has been a privilege. None if this would be possible without all of the aforementioned people, the students and the people who come and dance so thank you to all of you who have given me such a rewarding and fulfilling way to make the donuts. I truly LOVE the dance hustle and I will do whatever I can to see it continue through the years. 
Because of your contributions at the NY Hustle Congress in the last 4 years, we have given to members of our dance community who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, Multiple Sclerosis, Children with Cancer and First Responders of 9 / 11. I thank everyone who has ever worked on these events through the years, especially my talented sister Bobbi Petri who is helping behind the scenes more than you know and for her wisdom, strength and support in all my endeavors. Heartfelt thanks to so many of my friends that have worked very hard on at least one of the events and did not ask for anything but the success of the event. I apologize if I have forgotten any of them but deepest gratitude to Silvia Piccininni, Doug Hagwood, Bonnie Herbert, Donna DeSimone, Anthony Lee, Derrick Allen, Donna Portelli, Donna Boyle, Ron Bess, Eddie Simon, Benjamin Soencksen, Roula Gianapoulu, Steven Orlikoff, Jeff Sandler, Vinny Munno and Franklin Ayala. I also thank those who have sponsored me in the Dance Parade and in the walks for Breast Cancer, Aids and Alzheimer. It is wonderful that we can come together as a dance community to make a contribution in the world. Big thanks to Ron Bess who spends so much of his time creating this fabulous newsletter that is informative about so many things related to dance and lets us know the places to go dancing all over the country. Thanks also to Stacy who puts it all together! Thanks for all the time and effort that goes these awards (all that counting) and weekly newsletters that people may express themselves and feel appreciated!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Diane Nardone for honoring me with the Christopher M. Nardone Award at her World Hustle Dance Championship last year and for the warm reception of those who were present. Once again I was surprised and whenever I read the words on the plaque, I am deeply touched and cherish it. Many thanks to all who attended my first dance cruise and the terrific staff who made it a success which were DJs Nelson Roman and Franklin Ayala, Bobbi Petri, Doug Hagwood, Jose Solano, Bruce Bryant and LoriAnn Greenhouse and Kelvin Roche. It was a blast and we are working on dates to do that again this year for sure. Thanks to IL Campanello, the Hilton NY, the 92nd Street Y and Club 412 for providing great places to dance in NYC. Saving the best for last, thanks to this year's DJs that have worked with me especially hustle DJs Nelson Roman, Johnny O, Bobby Morales and Herb Martin, salsa DJs Franklin Ayala, Jeff Stennett & Henry Knowles, WCS DJs Wes Carajat and Dmitri, ballroom DJs Peter, Noah and Mark and all the DJs throughout the last 7 1/2 years. These fabulous DJs make it all happen!
 These awards makes me want to quote the movie 'As Good As It Gets' when Jack Nicholson says "You make me want to be a better person" (well he says man but I had to change that part). Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE animals, especially dogs. I have started with efforts to foster, adopt, donate money and time transporting rescues and plan on devoting as much free time in 2009 in continued efforts to help as many animals in need as possible. I will be creating a blog next month and hope that there are many of you animal lovers out there that can offer assistance as well. I also plan on my continued efforts to keep you dancing with my events and parties. I begin with a new dance party on Long Island this Friday and may be branching out to other communities in the near future. I hope to see you all on the dance floor soon! 
Thank you again!

i want to thank everybody that tuned into my guest dj appearance on this past wednesday 1/7. it was rawcast's best tuned in show ever with record numbers of listeners, visitors to the chat room
and length of log in per listener!! the show is now available for download @ scroll down to "the wednesday remedy" show. it is broken down into 3 sets, so please help yourself to over 3 hours of soulful house music, great classics and a couple of surprises, mixed by me and rawcast program director markus rice!! feel free to log into anytime as they are streaming great music 24/7 with a great lineup taleneted dj's!! speaking of talented dj's (wink) i will soon be hosting my own weekly show(s) in the next few days!! one show will be dedicated to nothing but the best dance classics ever, full of surprises, rare dusty favorites and special guest dj collaborations!! stay tuned for the inaugural launch date and time slot!! what a great way to start the new year!!
see you soon on the www!!!
Hi Ron,
Great write up about the change in music and more dance stuff - less rap crap.
I enjoy the music of the young singers like Neyo and Chris Brown. The quality is good, nice lyrics and most important they have real talent. They show that a good voice can lead to good and better things. Their songs share personal messages, postive ideas not female abuse and drugs. Its nice that they are getting more recognition. I appreciate that you and your newsletter keeps these topics out there. I hope these artists can create that resurgence in dancing for the new generation of youth. 
Thank you,
Sierria Taylor    
Dear Ron
Phil Dorroll from  and Bobby Caudill said there was a dance event in ORLANDO, with invited guest TINA PRICE. I replied Oh really!!She is good friends with DIANE NARDONE ,and knows a whole bunch of people that I know.Wow, she could dance up a storm!!!II met her at HUSTLE USA years ago and at the WORLD HUSTLE DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP in NEW JERSEY. Tina Price is from OHIO, she has been involved in the HUSTLE with Fred for many, many years. When I used to teach at SWING CITY in Tampa Lee Holton use to rave about her credentials and great teaching skills. Tina participated and won many competitions. I arrived at NEW YORK, NEW YORK IN CLEARWATER this last friday night and there was a nice crowd,   DJ FRANKY played ''CAN'T GET ENOUGH'' BARRY WHITE When I tell you you we LIT IT UP Just what you could imagine people cleared the floor, all eyes looking, people applauding, afterwards I had a whole lot of new friends, people bee-lining for introductions. My old students amazed on how much better I got, When I tell you the ruccous she created....DJ FRANKY now understood why I was bothering him for disco classics. After a parade of dancers, wanna be dancers, potential students, admirers, people  wanting to give complements. I had the opportunity to dance with her again. Everytime a friend of mine showed up they heard about the HUSTLE DISPLAY asked me to dance with her again I will tell you THE PRICE WAS RIGHT Then off to a night club near the beach INDIAN ROCKS BEACH called SASSY'-S  It was a nice niteclub, romantic atmosphere like a supper clubs, dark, candle lights, mirrors. There was a guy performing with a microphone, drum machine, guitar, an electric piano, a kareoke machine and a computer and he was a solo guy with sunglasses performing up to date music WOWOWOWOWOW. he was super. I said to John and Anna there is not enough room here and this will be a short visit. John said the band is excellent. They are called BUSSTOP. The solo artist introduces BUS STOP. Excellent music!! This was a band an a half. I went to the band and said I have a world champion dancer from OHIO here tonight and she is about to go back to ten degree weather could you play SINGASONG by Earth Wind and FIRE He did it immediately and once again we TORE IT UP. Some attractive girl approached TINA and thought we were dancing together for years..... The band said LADIES and GENTLEMAN the dancers. Tina did west coast swing, two-step, nite club, east coast swing THE HUSTLE and hit SASSY'S with impact.
What I haven't been able to do in the three years that I have been to TAMPA,  TINA PRICE did in one night and that is PRICELESS and now we are PRICE LESS.
See you on the hardwood,
Bobby O

DanceTalk * 1-6-09

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Happy Birthday wishes to  Madeline Ossias,  Fran Richman,  Mimi Litz,  Nick Bellivan, Tony Sevarin  and  DJ Marc Fisher.
Three years ago the incomparable Lou Rawls passed away. He left us with a life time of wonderful music. Mr. Rawls was also a Veteran, from the  82nd Airborne divisions at Ft. Bragg, NC.
Two of the big guns on "Dancing With The Stars" became engaged on New Year's Eve. Maksim Chmerkovskiy popped the question to Karina Smirnoff while in Las Vegas. Karina previously dated Mario Lopez, but has been dating Maksim for the past 6 months.
Get well wishes to dance champion Mark James. He has been suffering severe back pains but is on the way back to a full recovery..... under the careful eye of Karen Lupo.  We look forward to seeing him dance, compete and perform soon.
The first season premier of the "Superstars of Dance" started this week on NBC television. Sundays (8PM) and Mondays (8PM), where 16 different countries compete in solo, duet and group dance competitions. The show is hosted by Michael Flatley, who is best know for "Lord of the Dance."    
The Kennedy Center honored dance legend Twyla Tharp. She is very tiny, gray-haired and nearing her seventh decade, but can still bang out push-ups on the bare floor of her Upper West Side apartment. Her dancing and choreography still steals your breath away....with its timeless magic.
Kevin Tancharoen is the director of the new motion picture, remake, of "Fame", coming in September 09.  With an extensive background directing dancers ( "The Pussycat Dolls Presents" , "Dancelife"  "the JammX Kids" and "Britney Spears Live from Miami", he is bringing back Debbie Allen to play the principal.  
New images from Pat Stewart's birthday celebration held at Michael's Cafe can be seen, courtesy of Fred, at:
The Top Ten singles downloaded and purchased in  2008
1 Flo Rida  -  Low
2 Alicia Keys  -  No One
3 Leona Lewis -  Bleeding Love
4 One Republic  -  Apologize
5 Sara Bareliles  -  Love Song
6 Chris Brown  -  With You
7 Usher  -  Love In This Club
8 Jordin Sparks  -  No Air
9 Lil Wayne -  Lollipop
10 Ray J  - Sexy Can I
DanceTalk wishes to thank all of its readers, sponsors, dance pros, DJs, organizers, performers and friends, for all their support. I appreciate all the hard work and assistance during 2008 from my tireless staff, Stacy and Christine and to our associates, Mark James, Robin Amante, Asia Bautista, Robert Rothman, Guy Thomas, Diane Weinberg and the "Hustle Hall Of Fame" panel.  Special thanks to my loving family Wendy, Lauren and Brandon.
Wishing everyone only the best in 2009. Make it a great year for dance.
Make it a great week,

A recap of the year in dance  
It was a sad year as we said good bye to many dance friends.  They will forever live on in our hearts.
Gladys Torres, Nan Bohrah, Arte Phillips, Jim DeFato, Elena Nurse

Cyd Charisse passed away, age 86, a dancers dream, Fred Astaire called her "beautiful dynamite." She was incredible whether dancing with Gene Kelly in "Singing in the Rain" or with Fred in "Bandwagon." 

Music legend and actor Isaac Hayes passed a way. A Grammy and Oscar winner he gave us "SHAFT" and the classic "Pursuit of the Pimpmobile."
Many new dance shows popped up on the tube in 2008, showing the power of dance.
The Premier of "Dance War" Bruno Vs Carrie Ann and MTV has had great success with their dance contribution - "Dance Crews." Although the show is about 15 years to late, since the hay day of hip hop crews, it makes for entertaining TV. 

Mad Jam 2008 was 1,400 strong. Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mollman rocked the house taking first place honors. Once again, the Virginia weekend was non stop action as host Dave Moldover brought together one of the biggest dance gatherings featuring hustle, swing and hand dancing.   

The International Hustle and Salsa Championships took place in Miami for its 9th season. Dance icon Lisa Nunziella received the Olgi & Margo award. A special award was given to co-host, Billy Fajardo as  recognition for his years of service to the dance industry.
Singer/actress/performer Grace Jones turned 60 years old in 2008.   

Dancing With The Stars, returned with huge ratings as the mirror ball trophy went to gold medal figure skater Christina Yamaguchi and her professional partner Mark Ballas. They were the clear cut victors in the winter season.  Wonderful, difficult choreography with excellent execution.

Dance Champion and instructor, Erik Novoa became engaged to fellow dancer Anna Brady, this past year.  Erik also rolled out his own dance event, Swing & Hustle event in Connecticut.

One of the greatest singers of our generation, Donna Summer released her first album in nearly 17 years. With so many previous hits, she proved she still has staying power. 

Discoamerica was by far one of the best events. It took place on Independence Day weekend, celebrating their 10 year anniversary in Philadelphia. Joyce Szili joined Donna Boyle as organizers. In the Pro Dance Off  Wajih & Wendy Dalal captured first place.
Lots of new music and exciting songs in 2008 from Ne Yo, Rhianna, Pussycat Dolls, Danity Kane, Chris Brown, Madonna, Britney Spears, Natasha Beningfield, Christina Aguilera, Jordan Sparks, New Kids On The Block,  
Swing dance champion/DJ  John Festa presented his own dance event, "Hudson Swing Affair,"  With a new approach towards a dance weekend, the focus was on creativity and fun -  all weekend long.    

The World Hustle Dance Championships hosted by Diane Nardone honored dance champion Donna Boyle and inducted her into the Hustle Hall Of Fame. Ms Lori Brizzi received the Christopher M. Nardone award. Hazel and Tybaldt Ulrich took first place in the World Open.

Adagio and theater arts specialists, David Paris and Zoe Kline tied the knot.
The 4th annual NY Hustle Congress hosted by Lori Brizzi honored Billy Fajardo with the David Melendez Spiritual Award. Raul Santiago and Sergia Anderson capture the Professional crowns over this exciting Labor Day weekend in Manhattan.  
Dancing With The Stars had many ups and downs with its performers but Brooke Burke along with Derrick Hough danced away with the Mirror ball trophy in the summer season finale.   

DanceTalk readers voted in the 2008 DanceTalk® Readers Choice Awards. The winners were,
Favorite DJ -  Mark Routzahn   AKA  DJ Mark 
Favorite Female Dancer -  Stephanie Risser
Favorite Male Dancer -  John "boots" Merisier
Favorite Dance Couple -  Kelvin Roche & Lorianne Greenhouse  (voted 2 years in a row)
Favorite Dance Couple (not hustle) -  Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann
Favorite Female Instructor -  Diane Nardone  (voted 7 years in a row)
Favorite Male Instructor - Roberto Pagan  (voted 2 years in a row)
Most Improved Dancer -  Alexandra Cebollero
Favorite All Time Dancer -  Arte Phillips       Derrick Allen (2007) Eddie Vega (2006)
Person of the Year -  Lori Brizzi   (voted 2 years in a row)
The 16th Annual Holiday Spectacular was another great gathering of dancers from many states.
Our star studded panel of judges (Jonathan Laub, Diane Nardone, Wingo Hom, Stephanie Risser, Brian Gallagher) selected the new King and Queen of Hustle, George Garcia and Sabrina Paxmann
The Hustle Hall Of Fame inducted Arte Phillips into the Life Time Achievement Class of 2008

Auditions, Competitions, Socials, Concerts & More....

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