Halloween Swingthing 2018 In Review
About The Directors
Halloween Swingthing is hosted by the amazing Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mollmann, who have created a West Coast Swing party that rivals their ability to dance. I know that's saying a lot for two people who have won the U.S. Open 13 times, but read on and I think you may agree.
Halloween Swingthing commenced Thursday night with bar hopping and karaoke at Redondo Beach Pier.
The main event was held at the Torrance Marriot Redondo Beach Hotel from Friday to Sunday evening. Conveniently, there are two major airports within 15 miles of the hotel. As a local, what is most important to me are the restaurants, coffee, and shopping easily within walking distance and driving distance.
Hotel check in was standard as far as events go. Parking is available in a garage located across from the hotel that allows in and out privileges for overnight guests. Daily parking rates can be a bit steep, but the event offers validation. Hotel rooms include a fridge, ironing board and hairdryer. There aren't any complimentary meals, so you will want to make sure you plan accordingly. The hotel restaurant offers meals at prices comparable with other hotels.
Workshops and unbelievable dances at this event were facilitated by Benji Schwimmer, Kyle Redd, Sarah Vann Drake, Ben Morris, Victoria Henk, John Lindo, Deborah Szekely, Ben McHenry, Cameo Cross, Demetre Souliotes, Tara Trafzer, Chris Dumond, Jordan Frisbee, Tatiana Mollmann, Tashina Beckmann-King and Stephen White.
DJs & MCs
Every event and night of dance was filled with a fantastic music with a variety of style from Louis St. George, Victor Loveira and Larisa Tingle. As MCs, Jordan and Victor energized and brought out the best in the crowd.
Unlike Philly Classic, the ballroom felt very humid offered limited to zero cell reception - all the better to focus on your dancing! I was able to attend Steven and Tara’s workshop which was my first time interacting with them as a pair. Both teachers have a great sense of humor, bring a lot of personality and will informatively break down any question. As a student I walked away with two new patterns with several variations.
I also has the opportunity to watch Ben and Cameo's workshop on “metronoming”. There approach is much more straightforward and they really push students to see how far they can progress in one workshop. Between the two workshops, it was nice to observe such diverse content for dancers.
In a year of dancing at 13 events I've attended, this was the first comp where I saw them run out of numbers and have to order more. Each Jack and Jill had 2 - 3 heats for each division and 4 heats for the All-American. About a quarter of the competitors dressed up in costume. Once competitions started other events tended to get pushed back about an hour including trick or treating and the costume contest.
Scary strictlies was by far my favorite event with a bit of a game theme among most of the professional couples. A VERY close second was trick or treating on the top floor hosted by the professionals that hold West Coast Swing events throughout the year. Each room had been decorated with a theme and staff passed out candy and free drinks. (pictures shown above) The invitational Jack and Jill had an amazing round of pros singing karaoke while a couple danced.