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June 2008

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DanceTalk * 6-30-08


              Happy July 4th, look for me at Discoamerica 2008

Happy Birthday wishes to Tina Labriola,  Joe Reggi,  Lisa "Sparkles" Paternoster,  Linda Jack,  Susan Hiser,  Tina Price,  David Padilla, Tiffany Brown and  Lisa Nunziella.

Three composers, song writers and gifted artists all passed in the same week. Jacques Morali the brains behind the Ritchie family and the Village People in 1991. 
Bebu Silvetti an Argentine pianist that had hits with Spring Rain in 2003.  
Van McCoy passed away in 1979 just as his star was rising. He had a major hit with the disco anthem "The Hustle."

Our condolences to dance friend Dougy Hilago. His mother passed away last week. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, July 18th, Mama Mia opens national wide in theaters. The Broadway musical featuring the music of Abba hits the big screen.

High Five to Donna Boyle and Discoamerica as they were featured on Fox televisions "Good Day" show promoting this weekends event. Along with her performing the hustle were, Joanne Piazza and Ron Bess.

Fancy Summer, DJ Fancy's hot CD, with brand new remixes and dance songs. 15 of the best including, NeYo, Danity Kane, Pussycat Dolls, Girlicious, Natasha Bedingfield , Donna Summer, Kylie Minogue.....  Only $15, write to  to order.

The dance world celebrates, Tango Week,  from July 14th to the 20th

Independence Dance, July 5th Saturday with Mike Rodriguez Dance Show, from  8:30pm - 12:30am a the Wantagh Jewish Center 

The hotels are selling out for Miami Dance Magic, if you cannot get a room, check with the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza 305-577-1000 or 888 444-0401 - mention Miami Dance Magic for the lowest rate. 

This weeks edition of DanceTalk is sponsored by Discoamerica Dance Championships, July 4 - 6th, 

Make it a great week,

Discoamerica - (only 3 days away)

  Ten years ago, a ground breaking event took place in the Philadelphia area. The Discoamerica Dance Championships held its very first dance weekend in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1998. It was a fusion of dance competitions, social dancing, workshops, a Saturday night dinner show and a social gathering like no other. Organizer, Donna Boyle brings her original concept back to the very same place it all started, on July 4th to the 6th at the Crown Plaza Hotel. There will be fireworks, inside, all weekend long, as dancers move to the classic sounds of the 70's and 80's as the finest DJs play those forgotten songs. It is the longest running disco event of its kind.
As the disco era cooled off in the 90's, Philadelphia had a major dance void that Donna was anxious to fill. A former "Dance Fever" champion, Donna decided to develop a dance event to celebrate the hustle that she is so passionate about. She integrated a reunion of dancers from the disco era along with the new generation of avid dancers. Combining Latin dancing and West Coast Swing, Donna introduced an electrifying weekend where hustlemaniacs from all over the country came to dance  the entire weekend.
In celebration of 10 years, Donna has joined up with dance champion Joyce Szili, also a "Dance Fever" alumnus.  Joyce hails from Washington, DC and has created a huge dance following over the last 30 years. 
Together, the two ladies of dance have taken the best of the past 10 years of Discoamerica's annual events to create an incredible anniversary explosion.  Discoamerica has been held in Atlantic City, Center City Philadelphia and Cherry Hill New Jersey but has returned to its birth place, King of Prussia, Pa. It has always been Disco Donna's goal to help keep the hustle alive by attracting new dancers while keeping the old school gang actively involved. Her weekend includes dance workshops for all levels, for beginners to the seasoned professionals, taught by the biggest names in the Hustlesphere.  There is something for everyone including
vendors that specialize in all your dance needs, shoes, clothing, jewelry and more.
Whether your an accomplished dancer or looking to just take a flash back to the disco era, come meet us at Discoamerica 2008, where the mirror ball spins all weekend long.  Located at The Crown Plaza Valley Forge, 260-Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA. For more details visit  or e mail Donna at,  or Joyce

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)
I totally agree (letter from Harris Sulken) every time I see a disco routine on SYTYCD, I cringe we all know that Dorianna Sanchez is inexperienced choreographer, as far as disco is concerned, being in the movie Dirty Dancing is not what makes a choreographer, her steps abruptly stop and start there is no flow, and she has even tried to take some moves from Maria Torres when she did the hustle routine last season. Maria Torres routine had flow and was smooth, and the judges loved it, disco by Dorianna just plain stinks.
 Thanks Tina

Dearest Ron,
I was shocked to read in your newsletter the passing of Cyd Charisse. I am so upset with the media. They are more worried about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Since I am considerably older I can tell you growing up watching her in the movies she was every thing you said. She seemed to not get as much attention as Ginger Rodgers. It could be that Ginger and Fred looked like a real couple with their fair skin complexion and blonde hair but Cyd could out dance them all.
Clair Evans

Hey Ron I see how you limit the number of letters you post each week. Can I recommend that you don't put any more of David Flynn's garbage. You seem to give him a bit more space then others???? He has been bantering the same ...... for years...dancers don't take him serious or give a dam. How come we never see his new modern day hustle done anywhere then in his mind? I believe he is entitled to his say and opinion but he also has a bad habit of beating down on everyone else at the same time. David give it a rest.
Ron I hope you have the gonads to list this letter.
Jonathan "a dedicated Nyer" Lombardo
I feel that some of your readers are mixing up Disco and hustle. they are attacking the choreographer on the show So You Think ....when she is doing a great job. Disco represents a time period which includes line dancing, bumping, white suits and not limited to the hustle. To be honest, I don't think Maria Toress did a good job  last year. All she did was gave the dancers one of her old routines from the 80s. It was old and worn....the music was bland. Watch some of the sharp choreographers on the show...they use colorful new songs with exciting elements, tricks, flips, is a new look, especial for Alex Desilva. Alex is creative.  The show needs an innovative,    hustle choreographer that will give hustle a new edgy look with a new look. 
Jim McGraph

Legends of Dance

Imperial Society Of Teachers Legends Of Dance Award - TV/Movies, theater, ballroom
2006 Pierre Dulaine
2001 Frank Regan
1999 Linda Dean
1998 June Allyson
1997 Larry Silvers
1996 Pierre Allaine & Mirelle Veilleux
1994 Gene Nelson
1993 Francois Szony
1992 Cyd Charisse
1991 Marge Champion

DanceTalk * 6-23-08


Happy birthday wishes to  Jaime Serna,  Spinning Cindy,  Caesar Rivera,  Angela McCabe,  Lynette Allen,  Lori Brizzi,  Frank Badolato,  BU, Lacey Schwimmer, Franklin Ayala and  Evelyn "Champagne" King. 

The dance world has lost an icon. A personal favorite of mine, the glamorous and gifted Cyd Charisse. She was called "beautiful Dynamite" by Fred Astaire, whom she danced with in a number of motion pictures. She also appeared with Gene Kelly in the landmark film, "Singing In The Rain." Growing up, most adolescents clinged to Wonder Women, I adored Cyd. I am fortune to have an original poster from the film "Bandwagon," with Astaire holding her in that famous split. It's magnificent. MGM films insured her legs for 5 million dollars. She was simply a gorgeous performer. 

DJ Nick Siani has informed us the sad news that Manny Santana collapsed while dancing at Club Santos. Later that evening when being transported to the hospital by  EMS, Manny passed away. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Simplicity, its a Stardust Weekend. June 27- 29th at  the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa Kerhonkson, NY. All inclusive weekend of fun and dancing. Its not to late to join the party.

Our dear friend Mary Keegan and her family have received sad news. Her sister, Nancy is undergoing chemo therapy for Acute Leukemia. Please keep the Keegan family in your thoughts and prayers.

DanceTalk® celebrates eight years of bringing you the weekly dance news. Thank you to our dedicated readers. Check below for a peek back at some early features. 

Congratulations to dance pro Lisa "Sparkles" Paternoster. Her boyfriend, Dario Cortes asked for her hand in marriage while they were on vacation. We wish them both only the best.

For the entire family, the High School Musical "Get in the Picture," auditions reality show, starts July 20th on ABC 8PM EST, hosted by Nick Lachey.

Only 10 rooms left at the inaugural Miami Dance Magic taking place July 17 - 20,  at the Miami Hyatt Regency. Don't miss the WCS, Hustle and Salsa party. For info    Debra Lynn (954) 270 - 0232,  

DJ Fancy picks the new release by NeYo - Closer as his top song of the week. Next week, his complete list of hot songs for the fancy summer. Stay tuned.

The 8th Annual World Hustle Dance Championships  starts July 24th. There is still some space left in the program for your well wishes. For more information or to get your message in the program, contact Carole at

This weeks edition of DanceTalk is sponsored by Dancing at the Crossroads, the hot new dance socials. See all the details below.

Make it a great week,

Dancing at the Crossroads

Dancing is on a rocket ship. Virtually every television network has released a dance show, contest, reality competition to ride this successful galactic flight. With dancing reaching new levels in popularity, why not create a dance venue for folks in the Mahwah, New Jersey area.  A think tank of some of the top professionals shared their ideas to help make this happen. The results are, Dancing at the Cross Roads at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, for a monthly dance event. What makes this special is that each month the dance venue will change. One month it will be geared for Hustle, one month West Coast Swing, one Month Latin one month ballroom etc.....  The goals of the event are to provide a new and exciting dance venue for dancers and provide an opportunity for new dancers to get their feet wet by getting a lesson in the featured dance style of the month. The teachers are the best from an excellent pool of instructors.  The Sheraton Mahwah Ballroom is a great facility to make this happen. It will feature two dance floors, great music and top teachers. There is plenty of parking and, for those who want to stay overnight, there is a special room rate at the hotel. The Sheraton Mahwah is close to NYC, Rockland, Westchester, Orange counties and of course Northern, NJ.  Located in Mahwah at the intersection of New York State Thruway and Interstate 297 and Route 17 North it is easy to get to.  
The initial event kicks off on Friday night July 11. The doors open at 7:30 PM. there will be open dancing from  9 PM - Midnight. Your general admission includes a Hustle lesson from 8 – 9 PM with Diane  “The Queen Bee" Nardone.  Music by DJ’s Johnny "O" & Tom R. There will be exhibitions from 9:15 – 9:30. Don't miss this special night. Crossroad Hotel Grand Ballroom, 1 International Blvd, Rt. 17 North, Mahwah. There will be a cash Bar & light refreshments.  For advanced ticket sales,  $20.00, call 201 684 6792, at the door $22.00. For the special overnight room rate ask when you call for tickets. For directions go to  or questions you can Email or 
Tell you friends to meet you at the Crossroads.

Look Who's Turning 8

The DanceTalk® newsletter is celebrating it's eighth year of publication. 
Here is a short look back at a couple of our early features. Many thanks you to all the sponsors, promoters, club owners, dance pros, DJs, artists and my family for eight years of your unwavering support....and to my tireless staff, Stacy and Chris and naturally to you, our devoted readers.   

Dance Trivia
The term Discotheque was coined in Paris. It was a play on the word Bibliotheque (Library). This was because the disco was a library of records instead of live bands.
Chubby Checkers (the original Twister), wrote a song called the Discotheque and was known to use the expression first in the USA. (this was back in the early 70's).
The dance sound during the late 70's was influenced by punk and new wave. But in 1979, Donna Summer had five songs hit the top ten and were all recognized on Billboards 1979 Top 40.  Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, No more tears (with Barbara Streisand), Dim all the Lights and Heaven Knows (with Brooklyn Dreams).
Madonna holds the record for the most Dance Club play singles. To date she has had 22 # 1 singles on Billboard Magazine "Dance Club Play."

The 2002 Winners Readers Choice Awards
Favorite DJ - Mr. Bobby Morales
Favorite Female Dancer -  Debbie Ferro
Favorite Male Dancer - Donnie Shields
Favorite Dance Couple - Brian & Silvana Gallagher
Favorite Dance Couple (not hustle) -    Robert Royston & Laureen Baldovi
Favorite Female Instructor - Diane Nardone
Favorite Male Instructor - Arte Phillips

"Time Capsule"

Feathers Dance Contest
Back in the day, the most exciting dance contests were held at some of the best discotheques in the country. Prizes could range from cold cash to exotic trips or even shiny new automobiles. The night clubs that sponsored the contests typically would run preliminaries then  bring the weekly winners back for the semi and/or final competition. The clubs would be packed. A contest was such a great draw and the atmosphere was just right: The sound systems, lighting and special effects would create the ultimate setting. These contests, in most cases, were open to anyone and pretty much had an anything goes policy.  One memorable contest took place in the summer of 1981, at the beautiful Feathers Disco in Long Island, NY. Each week the best couple qualified to return for the finals. These were some of the best couples in the country. The Silver Screen never witnessed the high energy provided by these teams. Their electrifying performances would still stand the test of time:
*Roma Moon and Joseph Harris danced to Salsoul's  "It's good for the Soul"
*Lucas Jamie and Kathy Young chose the classic "Shine on Silver Moon".
*Ricky Quintana and Lee Rafrano danced to Melba Moores "Pick Me Up I'll Dance" *Derrick Allen and Lilia Parra performed to Meco's  "Star Wars".
*George Velazquez shocked the crowd dancing to "Savage Lover" in caveman attire
*Billy Fajardo and Sandra Rivera selected the theme from "Star Wars"
*Ralph Rameriz and Maria Gomez chose "Latin Odyssey" by Voyage
*Miquel Marrero and Annette performed to "In the Socket"
*Billy Assmus and Annabelle danced to "Fame".
And first place went to Eddie Vega and Laudes Jones as they performed effortlessly to "Ten Percent" by Double Exposure.  The applause was deafening.

"One Hit Wonders"

Billboard Magazine tracks those artists that have had one song place on the top POP 40 list but were unable to do it again. This is not to suggest that they aren't still writing music but only that they have failed to strike gold twice.
I have listed those musicians that are the one hit wonders in the Dance Music category during the 80's.
* Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Hooked on Classics - 1982
* SOS Band - Take Your Time - 1980
* Lipps Inc. - Funky Town - 1980
* Taco - Puttin on The Ritz - 1983
* Shannon - Let the Music Play - 1984
* Limahl - Never Ending Story - 1985


I sat intensely, strategically positioned, in front of the family TV, watching the weekly Saturday morning dance show, "Dick Clarks American Bandstand." The year was 1977. The studio audience on the Bandstand set went into a frenzy. It wasn't a Hitchcock flick but a new superstar from France, making his US debut. At first I didn't understand it. It was reminiscent of the fab four that descended here in the sixties. This new artist had a different sound and style. This was Cerrone. " The trick’ to the fresh new sound was my reputation as a drummer: A kick drum, high in the mix, was to serve in his entire career and to this date," states Jean Marc Cerrone. Cerrone was not anticipating such a reaction from the American public when "Love in C Minor" hit the East coast in a monumental fashion.....................

   The Top Songs
So your getting ready for that big dance contest.  You know, the one where the DJ selects the song - HMMMMMMM, whether its a Jack & Jill contest, getting down at the club or just shaking your groove thang, ... you never know what tune the DJ may play?   DanceTalk® polled some of the most knowledgeable and influential DJs on the Planet, to get their selection for best hustle songs.  Here are the experts top picks.
Thanks to all the DJs for their input.  Here are their selections
* Romeo & Juliet   by Love & Kisses - ( DJ Lenny B.G.)
* Love Is The Message   by MFSB - (DJ Rene Hewitt)
* All I Do   by Stevie Wonder - (DJ Donnie Shields)
* Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet   by Gonzalez - (DJ JohnnyRocks)
* Circles  - ( DJ Kenny Arditi)
* Close to Perfection    by Miquel Brown - ( DJ Johnny "O" )
* Love is the Ultimate (Medley)   by Ultimate - ( DJ Radar )
* Jingo    by Candido -  ( DJ Mark Routzahn )
* Date with the Rain    by Eddie Kendricks -  ( DJ Stan )
* Love In C Minor    by  Cerrone -   ( DJ Jerry Lane )
* Native New Yorker  by Odyssey - ( DJ Jimmy Yu )
* Runaway   by  Salsoul Orchestra -  ( DJ Joey Tess )
* Too Hot for Love    by  THP Orchestra  -  ( DJ Mike Gormley )
* You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  by Lou Rawls - ( DJ Dave Muzii)
* Save The Last Dance by  Free expression -   ( DJ Johnny V )
* Peanut Vendor   by Ritchie Family  -  ( DJ Frank Pellicci )
* Aint Nothin Gonna Keep Me From Lovin You   by Teri Desario - ( DJ Frankie Z )
* Love is the Message   by MFSB -  ( DJ Bobby Morales )
* Ten Percent   by Double Exposure - ( DJ Marty Angelo )
* Love Unlimited Theme   by Love Unlimited Orchestra  - ( DJ Roscoe Alverez )
* Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel   by Tavares  - ( DJ Nino Torre )
* Was That All There Was   by Jean Carn -  ( DJ Bobby Gerard )
* The Hustle   by Van McCoy -  ( DJ Giant Gene )
* "Dancin"  by the Crown Heights Affair  - ( DJ Steve Tursio)
* More, More, More   by Andre True Connection - ( DJ Caesar Ricuarte )
* Midnight Love Affair   by Carol Douglas - ( DJ Mike Brooks )

DanceTalk * 6-16-08


Please keep all of our friends and dance buddies from Iowa and Mississippi in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with the deadly floods.

Happy birthday wishes to Karen Lupo, Mark Rappa, Jimmie Billups, Billy Marti, John Festa, Carol Feldman and Louise Symington.

Twenty-one years ago, the premier dancer of the 20th century passed away. Fred Astaire did it all. Pick up one of his classic DVDs and experience him in action for yourself. A true triple threat.

Congratulations to Renne & Dominick Ali, they took the plunge. To view photos from their wedding go to - Uc=8t9xsa9z.37t7p5wn&Uy=- 5mgfc5&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode %3Dfromshare&Ux=1&UV=562232754398 _555787129111&loca leid=en_US -
Joey Lawrence is the host of "Masters Of Dance," an amateur reality show putting contestants to the free style dance test, Mondays at 8PM EST on TLC.

The Philly Sound Works has just posted its new store on eBay. Lots of great products for sale: classic vinyl, CDs and auctions for rare 12" vinyl as well. All the new products from Vince Montana Jr. (Godfather of Disco) will be featured there first. Visit

Cashing in, another dance reality show? ABC TV launches their newest show, Dance Machine, starting June 27th, 8PM EST.

To view photos from Mona Walker's birthday party and dancers at the Palladium, in Florida, courtesy of Ed Viera, go to - " mode=fromshare&Uc=w6779eq.49kj9q22& Uy=- vxgwop&Ux=1&UV=566006804385_47347 052513&conn_speed=1&refer=digreg& ;UV=5660068043" -

This weeks edition of DanceTalk is sponsored by The Big Apple, read all about this exciting event below.

Make it a great week,

The Big Apple

The long running event for all styles of dance returns to Newark New, Jersey. Kick your heels and grab your hat for this years Big Apple Country Dance Festival. One of the biggest shin digs of the year takes place July 10 – 13th at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel, at the Newark Airport. Conveniently located only minutes from Manhattan. Country, Hustle and swing dancers all meet for this fascinating weekend of dance. It wount be the same without book your room now at 908-436- 4600. There will be all levels of workshops and competitions with many new divisions this year. The Big Apple has something for everyone. Challenge your self to learn the fundamentals of a new dance. They are offering special deals for newcomer line dancers as well. For the competitions, there is Just dancing newcomer and the new ProAm newcomer, where you get to dance out on the floor with the 3 DANCE-A-TEERS. There will be many professionals on the floor helping to acclimate the new dancers. They will also be hosting a Weekend Warrior Dance. This is where the pros help the dancers all get together, learn a performance dance (in about 2 hours) and then go out and perform as a team on the floor. It doesn't get anymore exciting then that. Also, new this year at the Big Apple is "Dance with a Pro." This is a fun way to dance with an advanced dancer and put your new skills to the test in 2-step or West Coast Swing. You will meet your partner Friday night, get a chance to practice a bit and then out on the floor Saturday morning. The invited professional Staff includes:
Sam Arvidson, Mona Brandt, Bob Bahrs & Paula Graves, Brian Barakauskas Jeff Bartholomew, Barry Durand, Dean & Dawn Garrish, Dave Getty, Sloan Hansen & Gretchen Lutz, Rex & Rachel Jones, Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin, Cody Melin, Toby & Harmony Munroe, John Knapp & Meredith Stead, Diane K. Nardone, Roberto Pagan, Debbie Paulhus, Robert & Nicola Royston, Clive Stevens, Shawn Swaithes & Donna Bonham Steinfeld, John & Dee Soares, Kathy St. Jean & Randy Deats, Albert & Antoinette Tailleur, Mike Wagner, and John Whipple plus Mark James & Karen Lupo.
Line Dance Male SuperStars - Brian Barakauskas, Couples Open 1 Showcase - Rex & Rachel Jones, couples Open 1 Advanced - Sloane Hansen & Gretchen Lutz, World Invitational Showcase Swing - Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin, These top teachers will be hosting 50 different classes... and as always, the incredible Dinner Show extravaganza is packed with fabulous high-energy entertainment by top dancers. So if you like to dance, watch, learn new steps or just be entertained this years Big Apple is for you. Hotel reservations at 908-436- 4600,

Time Capsule

30 years ago, our country had a different landscape. The population was 80 million less then it is today. A peanut farmer by the name of Jimmy Carter was in the White house and the Dallas Cowboys won the Superbowl. Somehow, New York is always on peoples minds as the disco era was front page news. The NY Yankees would go on to win the baseball World Series and in the world series of dance, Tony and Susan Marolda would capture first place honors at the Harvest Moonball in the All Around and Hustle divisions. We would lose a gifted artist Norman Rockwell who looked at America and painted his expressions like no buddy else could. Tragedy struck when Pope Paul VI died, then unexpectedly the new Pope, John Paul I, would pass only 34 days in office. It was a year of ups and down. The movie box office rang big with " The Buddy Holly Story", "Coming Home", " The Deer Hunter"
"Halloween", "Heaven Can Wait" , "Midnight Express" and "National Lampoon's Animal House". The country had the dance fever. The top dance album sales in June of 1978 in Los Angeles and San Diego were:
1) Come Into My Heart USA-European Connection
2) Voyage - Voyage
3) Rio De Janeiro - Gary Criss
4) If My Friends Could See Me Now - Linda Clifford
5) Romeo & Juliet - Alec R Constindinos & the Symphonic Orchestra
6) Gimme Some Lovin - Kongos
7) Macho Man - Village People
8) Let's All Chant - Michael Zaeger Band
9) West Side Story - Salsoul Orchestra
10) Sloth - Lawin Rinder & Michael Lewis
11) Dance With Me - Peter Brown
12) Play With Me - Sandy Mercer
13) Lets Get Together - Detroit Emeralds
14) Gettin the Spirit - Roberta Kelly
15) Risky Changes - Bionic Boogie

Letters to the Editor
(our goal is to post readers letters twice a month, unfortunately due to space limitations we cannot publish them all)

Hi there Ron:
I'm a fairly new reader and do enjoy your on line publication. I was wondering when does the 'readers choice awards' take place? How do readers vote and when?
Thank you
Response from Editor:
It is held on an annual basis each October. We include a ballot in DanceTalk for all readers to participate and vote for their favorites.


I would like to comment about this past weeks tv show so you think you can dance. I think it is a great show. I really enjoy watching it. this past week they had disco. One couple had to do a disco routine. As one of the people that has written into you has said - the disco thing is always cheesy, pretty much making fun of the dance and the era. I know that the dance is the hustle but the name disco is still added and gives the dance a bad name. As much as I love hustle, it was the worst part of the tv show on so you think you can dance.
Harris Sulken


Ron, I wanted to respond to Paul Jones letter about "Marketing Hustle".
To sum up, Paul makes two assertions common from the NY styled dance crowd lately: 1.) Use current music 2.) Get our dance out there where kids can see it.
I respond - Using current music would change nothing, because tired, slow music of any generation will never get young people away from the faster more exciting Lindy, Salsa or the night clubs of today. West coasters use current music, but having a faster dance than hustle - have more musical choices and a larger following - but NOTHING like when hustle was done at club speeds in the late 70's.
Putting NY styled Hustle out where it can be seen has been tried folks. And when we have done it, it was fatal. Kids at the competitons see hustle and west coast together, and pick west coast every time. If you put NY styled Hustle on TV, or in the clubs, it would poison the well so kids seeing it would never give any other hustle style a chance. After you demonstrate how completely "out of touch" we really are to kids even one time - they'll never give you another chance. Best bet - keep NY style a useful "secret", so people doing faster hustle styles that DO have a shot with the young can be seen and actually succeed.
David Flynn

Hi Dancetalk,
I can't believe the story on David Padillia. Just when you think you know someone, then, bang. Oh my God. I knew David had been dancing for a long time but I had no idea he was on the Dance Fever show. We watched that show religiously, every week. I gots to see that video. Great job to let everyone know about David and what he has done for the hustle dance.

Good morning Ron
Greetings from Charlotte, I enjoy your newsletter and wanted to throw out a question to your readers. I attended the Brunswick New Jersey Campus for Rutgers Univ. I graduated in 1984 and spent just about every spare minute going dancing at the clubs in Woodbridge, Brunswick, Elizabeth and Nutley, NJ. I even danced in a contest at a place called 3 Brothers and took first place. I got to know a lot of the hustle dancers back then and just every now I wonder how they are doing? So basically this is a shout out to Gail (pretty blonde) and an incredible dancer Butchie, (tall, black gentlemen). They really helped me make it thru school when I was basically home sick and blue. They were four years of the best times in my life. Should they contact you, or anyone knows their where abouts, please forward them my contact information.
Thank you so much Ron,
Mary from Charlotte


DanceTalk * 6-9-08


Happy birthday wishes to Mona Walker,  Ginny Carey,  John Merisie, Robert Lawrence,  Margaret Tuttle,  Rick Barney  and  Shawn Brennan.

Marie Izzo has informed us that "Lydia Lee Aiello has lost her year-long battle with breast cancer. Lydia Lee worked for Dale Dance Studios along with Henry Dior for many years. Many of us worked with her, in the day, and have many fond memories. She was one of a kind, an original dance diva. She is survived by her son & his wife & her beloved grandchildren. In the end, she was a believer so she has gone to be with her Lord. She was a dear friend & will be missed by all who knew her".  

Dance professional Minnie Ruiz has relocated to San Diego,  and is now teaching at Champion Ballroom Academy, (619) 291-7722.  We wish her the best of luck.

June 20th, Friday, is the next amateur dance contest at Zachary's in Long Island, NY, the home of the $1000. in cash and prizes contest. 

It's round two for Randy Jackson's Battle of the Crews dance competition. The second season returns on June 19th, Thursday nights, 10PM, EST on MTV.

Summer sale now going on @ SoHo Dance. Purchase a 6 private lesson package &  receive 1 FREE! Purchase the 10 private lesson package & receive 2 FREE or purchase the 20 private lesson package & receive 4 FREE! "Let's Dance" presented by Summer on The Hudson @ Riverside Park! Join SoHo Dance for FREE lessons (in salsa, cha cha & hustle) and social dancing by the water. The resident DJ will be spinning the hottest salsa & dance music all evening long! June 15th, 22nd & 29th from 6:30-9PM. Enter the park @ 68th St. or 72nd St. & The Hudson River.

The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA will host a theatrical dance performance of  Luceafarul: The Legend of the Evening Star on Friday, June 13th & Saturday, June 14th at 8:00PM.  It  is a story about the ill-fated love between the Evening Star and a beautiful young princess. Willing to give up his immortality for the young girl, the Evening Star is forced to accept that his pure love cannot be sustained in the mortal world. The cast of performers are Eric Ortega, Raluca Georgiana, Patrick Murney & Terrence Montgomery. Tickets are $15 for adults and children and can be purchased at the West Side YMCA web site,, by clicking on Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater, or by calling 212-352-3101 or 866-811-4111

FREE group class @ Club H Fitness on June 28th 5-6 pm! This will be a FREE 1 hour class overviewing salsa, cha cha & morengue and will be held @ The Club H Fitness Murray Hill location (222 E. 34th St.). SoHo Dance T-shirts & Tanks now on sale! Only $25/ cool & move hot this summer :) Hip Hop classes now being held on Mondays & Fridays @ 7:30. Special class price, only $15!

Julianne Hough, two time winner of Dancing with the Stars has a bigger passion then dancing. Her self-titled album, sold 67,000 copies in its first week. She will hit the road as the opening act for Brad Paisley's 42-date tour. Bye Bye DWTS

Wanted: NY casting director looking for a man approximately 24-34; Ht: 5'11-6'2 for an upcoming shoot for NY Magazine. Shoot dates are June 12, 13 15. They will need all 3 days. It will be one guy (ballroom dancer) and a female model. The Man must know how to dance and lead. Please contact David at

After a 2 year romance that began on Dancing With the Stars, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff are no longer an item. Karina states that they are both to busy, focused on their own careers.

The hot new dance club at the Jersey shore, check out Boogie Nights at Resorts Casino, 1133 on the Boardwalk. A tribute to the music, fashions of the disco era: roller girls and disco balls. A gimmicky fun night...but not a hustle dancers paradise. 

This weeks edition of DanceTalk is sponsored by Discoamerica, celebrating 10 years of dance perfection. Read all about it below.

Make it a great week,

Discoamerica 2008

There's nothing like a party especially when your celebrating a rich dance history. Disco America kicks off the July 4th holiday weekend with a big bang... a 10 year anniversary. Lets return to where it all started, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. 
Donna Boyle and Joyce Szilli bring back the fun that has made Discoamerica the longest running hustle dance competition to date. This is a credit to the hard work and commitment from the organizers, staff and attendees. This length of time is the exponential indicator of a great, successful event.  We are less then a month away, so hurry and book your room now. The deadline to lock in the low room rate of only $115.00 per night has been extended till June 13th.
Just added a Professional Classic Division which will be held on Friday night right after the Amateur Classic Division at 8:45PM. The Crown Plaza Valley Forge hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the King Of Prussia mall, 2nd largest in the country and with some of the finest dining and shopping facilities seen anywhere. Discoamerica takes place from July 4 to the 6th. The weekend of social dancing, competitions, dinner show (choreographed by Arte Philips), exhibitions, fresh DJs, vendors, and the friendly dancers that has been the trademark of Discoamerica. Everyone will be there. How about you?
Joyce Szilli is bring the DC dancers, David Padilla is bringing a bus load of the NY dancers. Join the Philly dance family as folks from all over the East coast team up. We welcome the incredible dance staff of: Donna Boyle, Brian Gallagher, Raye Avery, Silvana Gallagher, Irene Griffin, Diane Nardone, Wendy & Wajih Dalal, Ron Bess, Elizabeth Darchi, Joe Kerner, Louis Orlando, Arte Phillips & Joyce Szili, Roberto Pagan, LoriAnne Greenhouse, Jameson Kilburn, Billy Marti, Danny McGee, Kelvin Roche, Hazel & Tybaldt Ulrich. Thru out the weekend there will be professional dance hosts for your dancing pleasure....lots of people to dance with and many surprises.  The DJ’s will keep you dancing all day and night under the careful direction of Steve Neeren, Bobby Morales, Mark Sakowski. It will be a Saturday night Fever with more fireworks then ever. The dinner takes place from 7:30pm - 9PM followed by IHDA Awards at 900PM.  Then at 9:30pm the Professional Dance Off. Then sit back and enjoy the Show at 9:45PM. There will be social dancing in between, then at 11:00PM  a Professional 3 Dance Competition followed by Professional Exhibition at 11:15PM. It only comes once a year....don't miss out on the event that everyone will be talking about. Visit
contact Donna J. Boyle -, Joyce Szili -

So You Think You Can Judge

"So You Think You Can Dance" is the dancers dance show. Raw, nitty gritty talent. Some pristine and polished while some still neglected, in need of tender loving care. But without question, captivating and always edgy. As the show now moves to the Las Vegas beat, lets take a look at the qualifications of the judging panel. HMMMM, Do these dance "interviewers" have the credentials to know the difference between a pop, jete, sweep or pirouette? The scope of the audition's is large and varying.
Here is a peek.    
Head judge, Nigel Lythgoe, the Simon Cowl of SYTYCD. Well, besides being the producer of "American Idol" for the last seven seasons (probably has a 8 digit income) Nigel is the current president of 19 television.  He has been on the art/entertainment side of the business for years and is one of Britain's most respected TV talents. Nigel CO-created SYTYCD. He also produces a number of successful television shows including the  "Next Great American band". He has a great eye for talent and knows what looks good on TV.

Mary Murphy, CEO of the "hot tomalley train," will be seen in a featured role in the upcoming thriller "Killer Movie," She has accumulated a long list of stars that she has trained including Julia Roberts, Mary Steenburgen, Donnie Wahlberg and Dennis Quaid. Mary is in great demand as a judge at major ballroom dance competitions across the U.S., including The Holiday Dance Classic in Las Vegas. Mary was a US Nine Dance Champion some 10 years ago. She currently lives in San Diego, CA, where she is a world-class instructor and has her Champion Ballroom Academy. 

Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo, husband and wife choreographers have contributed their choreography and dancing talents to every genre of entertainment. Their careers began in Las Vegas, directing and choreographing numerous shows for casinos and companies such as NIKE, Levi's and MAC. Since then, the duo has choreographed and/or performed with recording artists such as: Céline Dion, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Toni Braxton, Timbaland and Destiny's Child. Their assistant director credits for music tours for artists include Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera and the current Kanye West tour.  They can be found in Hollywood teaching at the Edge Performing Arts Center and Millennium Dance Complex, as well on the road with "Jump" and "Monsters of Hip Hop" dance conventions.  Tabitha is from New Jersey, and Napoleon is from California. They both currently live in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Dan Karaty hails from Wyckoff, NJ, born into a family of dancers, his parents both performed on Broadway. Dan attended NYU College and appeared in the Broadway musical Footloose. He then danced on tour with Britney Spears in the 90's. His quick recognition sprouted him to choreography for the stars and their tours including, Jessica Simpson, N'Sync, Justin Timberlake, Kyle Minogue, Usher. Dan not only shares the judges seat on SYTYCD but also splits his time choreographing many of the couples routines and group numbers. Dan resides in the big apple.

DanceTalk * 6-2-08


Happy Birthday wishes to  Mark Ballas,  Mike LoCicero,  Erik Novoa, Michelle Russomanno,  Lisa Berger,  Collette Antonelli,  Sandra Rivera,  George Dudley,  Nellie Cotto,  Cindy Lehning and Philip Taylor. 

We sadly report that Disco DJ pioneer Barry Lederer was found dead this past weekend in his NYC apartment. Barry helped shape the disco sound in the early 70's. This is a great loss for the music industry.  "The difference between ignorance and awareness is wisdom. We don't know where we are going unless we know where we've been. Without that knowledge history is gone with the wind"  by Barry Lederer

Six years ago, an angel was tragically taken from us. A young dancer that had just begun to touch on her potential. Wanda Soto was magical. We miss her and honor her on the Hustle Hall Of Fame.

Who says you can't find love on the dance floor. Congratulations to Steven Shaughnessy and Kathy Johanessen - their recent wedding engagement. They have been dance partners and will now tie the knot.

Don't miss the Cha Cha amateur dance contest this Saturday at the ULTIMATE DANCE ZONE, hosted by Mark James & Karen Lupo. Swing, hustle and more from - 8:30pm -12:30 am, see more details below.

Please note: the hustle dance party held at Michael's Cafe (Bensalem Pa) has now been switched to Wednesday nights. DJ Mark will be spinning, no cover, free parking.  The club is now closed on Tuesdays. Unfortunately, the irresponsible management failed to give us adequate notice.

Cheers to Keith Harrison and Lena Spurdis, the winners of the May 23rd dance contest at Zachary's. Get ready amateurs for the June contest. 

FYI - June 7th, Saturday night Millennium Hustle party has been  CANCELED at Campanello. The next party will be August 2nd. Please pass the word.

June 7th, the annual NY Daily News Salsa Contest, 2:30PM, McCarren Park, Lorimer & Driggs St. Greenpoint Brooklyn. Susan Fritz is a judge. Free to participate, no lifts - tricks. Fabulous prizes, 1st place a five-day Caribbean Salsa Cruise/round trip airfare to Fort Lauderdale, two $100 Rincon Musical gift cards & 2 Daily News Gift bags. Great 2nd & 3rd place prizes also plus trophies to the winners.   Register on-line

June 2nd, Monday, the new reality show "Legally Blonde" begins where ladies audition for the lead role "Elie Woods" for the Broadway Musical. MTV 10PM EST. 

This past Saturday,  Louis Del Prete hosted an extraordinary "Evening of Dancing with the Stars" presenting Karina Smirnoff & Louie Van Amstel. The Surburban Temple was sold out as Louis came out singing "Quando, Quando, Quando", followed by the "Lorenz Salsa Group." Then the "Stars" Karina & Louie danced onto the floor a Cha Cha to "She bangs." Followed by a Rumba, Jive, then a very informative Q & A section and ending to a Tango/Paso climax. If that was not enough Karina & Louie - stayed and took pictures with  "All" their fans from the crowd.
As usual Louis Del Prete delivered the goods.

This weeks edition of DanceTalk® is sponsored by Stardust Weekend. The all inclusive dance weekend. 

Make it a great week,

Spot Light - "David Padilla"

In the early 70's, this tall talent literally began by dancing in the streets. He would go to vacant lots, the parks, even basketball courts to practice dancing with his friends.  This is where the hustle was born.  "We just did it, no one taught us" shares dance pioneer David Padilla. He was one of the originators of the hustle, a true pillar in the dance community.
In the beginning it was called the Latin Hustle, " we started to do a salsa style dance back in 1968," says David. "there were no actual steps to this dance at first, nothing was formalized." Raised in Spanish Harlem, David never took formal dance lessons, but his natural skills took over as he applied himself, working his craft along with fellow dancers William "Butchie" Everett, Floyd Chishom and Melvin Curry. This band of self taught dancers were very creative and leaps ahead of the pack.  In 1975, David along with Floyd, Annette Rivera, Eddie Espinosa & Gina Figoroa had the luxury of appearing in the first motion picture, "Roseland" that exposed the hustle to a national audience. Although he didn't have a starring role, he was on the ground floor of a dance bubble that was still 2 years away from turning the country upside down with hustle frenzy. Standing six foot two, with long side burns, David stood heads above the other dancers. In the late 70's, while hanging out at the "Silver Slipper Club" in Brooklyn, David met one of his first dance partners.  An unknown dancer at the time by the name of Maria Torres. Together they would practice and then exhibit their skills on television competing on the popular New York dance show "Soul Alive." Good friends Melvin, and Butchie helped develop and refine the young Maria, "we taught her how to become a diva."  The experience of competing on television would be a major turning point for David, lifting his confidence and challenging him to be better. He set his goals to capitalize on the opportunities that were popping up for dancers.  David was driven to be a part of this cultural revolution. His ingenuity and powerful expression set him apart.  In the dance turnstile of life he found himself training and developing new partners. He struck it very big with a tiny partner he met when dancing at Club Ipeniama.  Migdalia Medina also known as "Baby," (before Dirty Dancing), created instantaneous chemistry with him. "She was another partner that was fierce."  He taught Baby how to do the cork screw then while spinning place her other leg behind her head.  David was a dance wizard but practicing was a challenge as Baby had a jealous boyfriend who didn't appreciate her dancing. They were forced to sneak out to practice, compete in dance competitions and ultimately had to hide her costumes from her boyfriend. Their hard work paid off as they would be victorious in several dance contests including Zachary's where they won approximately 7 times in a row. They also took part in the first hustle contest that was held as part of the Harvest Moonball. It was a dramatic event as some 60 couples competed in this landmark competition. David & Baby captured third  place.  This was a special time in David's life as he would see his picture displayed in the popular magazine "Details" which covered the Harvest Moonball. David was in his glory. Another memorable contest took place at Cherry's, in Long Island, where the owners gave away matching new cherry red Chevrolet Corvettes for the grand prize.  Although they didn't win, they took third place, besting some of the finest couples of all time.  The turnstile of dance would spin again for David, as Baby would leave dancing to marry and start her own family. David's dance compass now pointed him towards Hollywood.  He would join forces with one of the premiere dancers from Philadelphia. Donna Boyle, was also a "fierce partner" that complimented his dance repertoire. "We took turns going to each other city's to rehearse," David recalls. " Donna would drive to New York and I would take a two hour bus ride to Philly."  This new partnership set their eyes on the syndicated televisions show "Dance Fever." Winning the preliminaries earned them the privilege to compete on the televised show filmed in California.  An all expense paid trip landed them on this top ten television show. " When I danced on Dance Fever with Donna, the trip was as much fun as the competition.", shares David, " that was my first time to California, it was a fabulous time." Their successful win advanced them to the semi finals. This exposed them to a national audience as their pictures would pop up in newspapers and magazines everywhere.  David would once again get the opportunity to appeared on the silver screen as he auditioned for the New York thriller "Summer of Sam." Not only did he perform but he was hand selected by director, Spike Lee, to train the acting stars, Miro Sorvieno & John Leguzamo, " the correct way" to dance the hustle.  Although the stars had been personally training for a month on the hustle, the director asked David to give them the real look and feel for the dance.
In 1991, David didn't see this one coming, as he became the victim of a bad accident. Subsequently, both of his ankles were severely broken. It left him confined to a wheel chair for one entire year. Doctors were very skeptical and warned him that he may never walk again. Support pins were placed in both of his legs, which he has been living in pain with ever since. This gave David even more determination to get back on the dance floor. He pushed himself to new heights in efforts to regain his dance skills. The turnstile would spin once again as David would begin working with a new up and coming dancer, Wanda Soto.  They competed at Hustle USA and began performing in shows and contests when tragically, this budding star was killed in a horrific motorcycle accident. A with drawn David was left speechless. His heart was broken.
Management at the popular dance studio "Stepping Out" was looking to reenergize their weekly hustle socials after relocated to 37 west 26th street. They pursued David to co host along with Simone Assboeck. David provided a keen knowledge on how to attract dancers to the gathering, similar to how it was back in the 70's &  80's. Not an easy task, but after applying his years of experience, they have enjoyed tremendous success.  "We have the best place to dance Hustle & Salsa every Wednesday night", explains David. This great achievement has lent itself to the creation of the first Friday of the month party at the studio. " It brings back the memories of the old school dancing (Dale Dance studios in Brooklyn & Alexis Dance studios combined)", shares David. Over the last 4 years while holding down a full time job, running his dance gigs at Stepping Out, David has partnered with Jesus Candelario. They took first place in the annual Queens Pride Salsa Contest in both 2006 & 2007. They also won a Salsa contest held by the Joyce Dance Theater at battery park in NYC which was hosted by his old friend, Maria Torres. There were 7 couples and one male & male Couple (David & Jesus).  The crowd in attendance went wild when they saw two men dancing together. The decibels went even higher when they won the $1,000.00 dollars first place prize. This past April, after nearly 16 years of living in pain, David finally had the pins removed from his legs. Now recuperating, he is ready to launch the next chapter in his dance career. "Hustle has been a great part of my life it has kept me in great shape, great spirits, dancing is an excellent stress reliever. I'll be dancing till the lord says that is enough time till sit down, until then I will keep the hustle alive" explains David. His dance turnstile swings again as he will compete with Simone at this summers Discoamerica. David has gotten his mojo back. His statuesque physic has always framed him above the majority of dancers,  but his kind soul has made him a great asset to the dance community. Expect more great things from this hustle pioneer.

Stardust Weekend
Get ready for an exciting weekend of non stop dancing. Celebrating their 75th Stardust Dance Weekend at the HUDSON VALLEY RESORT. Len Moss, your host,  invites you for a splendid weekend of dancing.  Over the past few years this lovely hotel has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation and is now the most beautiful resort in the Catskills. (This was formerly the Granit Hotel).  It includes luxurious guest rooms, beautiful public space and superior dance floors, all combined to make this a memorable dance weekend. An all inclusive weekend where you can focus on having fun and not over spending. The setting is simply incomparable this time of year. You just can't go wrong with a Stardust Dance Weekend.
From June 27th to June 29th, at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa, located in  Kerhonkson, New York, your be treated to a fun thrilled dance party. This is a true dance vacation. Activities for indoors and outdoor fun, performances and more. The weekend includes dance workshops for all skill levels of dance. Your be treated to  just about every style of dance on the map. Improve your favorite dances and learn new ones. The weekend rates start at $269 plus tax and gratuities. Come enjoy the talented staff and all they have to offer in all styles of ballroom, Swing, Latin and Hustle.  The All star staff includes: Fran Chesleigh, Donna De Simone, Jackie Horner, Nick Lecakes, Teddy Kern, Norton Hyman, Ben Murtha & Esther Odescalchi, Frank Elia, Ed Britten, Nell Mooney, Solomon Singer, Norma Granofsky, Fidel E. Gonzalez, Gene & Naomi Anolick, Jason Myra, Kristina Maria, Karina Romero, Dardo Galletto, Paolo Lanna & Vanessa Telona, Tybaldt & Hazel Ulrich.    Enjoy the beautiful month of June in New York.  For more details, rates and information visit the website at

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, thanks for keeping us updated on all the dance news, old and new. Your a God send. I wanted to say that losing Nan Bohrar was a great loss. Nan was one of those people that did so much to promote and advertise hustle dancing for all the new yorkers.  As many had written she was a competitor at hustle USA and helped organize the event. She gave so much of herself. I hope everyone realizes and appreciated Nan and all the other dancers that give so much.
Forever missed,

First, Ron, Congratulations on raising that much $ for scholarships. 
Second, perhaps the name of the dance...the Hustle...should be changed if people want the dance to be taken seriously, - at least to not be thought of in one lump package as leisure suits, Studio 54, and the little ditty "Do the Hustle".
Here's  a little true and humerous story. During a conversation at a family party with an older gentleman friend of my Dad's, a danceable piece of music started.  Rather than abrubtly leave this man in mid-sentence to seek a partner, I politely asked him if he would like to "Hustle". He declined, but not because he didn't know the dance, but because as I later found out, he thought I was propositioning him! We all got a chuckle when the mis-understanding was brought to light. So, maybe the name of the dance should be altered.  

I'd like to respond to Ava Apple's call for discussion about how to
market Hustle.  I've written in this news letter and on the IHDA site
several times about doing something to improve Hustle's image.  My
proposals have been 1) to use music that is currently popular: House,
Hip Hop Merengue, Latin House, Dance, and Euro, and their variants; and
2) take hustle out where it can be seen...take groups to popular clubs that
play this kind of music and blow people away with the hottest club
dance ever!  I will be doing this, this coming summer in Chicago.
Anyone interested in joining me, let me know.  I have more ideas too.
Paul Jones
pbj [at] cmicdo [dot] com

Hi Ron,
Look forward to seeing you and your family at Disco America this summer. I wanted to echo the song selection by DJ Louis Del Prete. Begin the Beguine by Johnny Mathis is a Classic. What a song, romantic and energetic at the same time! One of my favorites, ever!! I agree with some of the readers that the hustle dance has bad connotation attached to it. Most people think of being hustled as a bad thing, being taken advantage of - given the run around. I vote to give the hustle a make over. 
Hope you had a great memorial day,
Rich Castor 


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