Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day One: 'Sin City' and CCDC

~Carmen Champagne

The ballroom is filled with dancers and onlookers alike. The dance floor is a sight to behold: women
sparkling from head to toe with sequins, hair flourishes and embellishments; the men all in black. It's so very impressive at 8:30 in the morning!

It's the American Rhythm Bronze Single Dance Divisions and the dancers are pumped. A swamped up version of Willie Dixon's, I Just Want To Make Love To You is blaring through the speakers. Each couple takes turns performing their best East Coast Swing. They have 45 seconds to wow the judges with the moves they've been faithfully practicing at Fred Astaire Dance Studios over the past year.

This is Cross Country Dance Competition at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Competitors from all over the country come to participate in Fred Astaire Dance Studios' largest national dance competition.

I arrived at the hotel the aftern
oon before and was able to catch the Solo Exhibition Division. This was more of a theatrical dance showcase, complete with costumed dancers performing to less traditional songs (like Maniac from Flashdance and Warrant's Cherry Pie), in shiny turquoise leg warmers, 'metal hair' wigs and concert tee shirts. It also gave this writer a strong indication that CCDC was also about cheeky fun as well.

This morning as the competition hopefuls milled around the breakfast buffet, I was able to chat with Edward Black, a student at the Clear Lake studio in Texas. This was his second competition, having attended his first Astaire World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico last summer. When asked how he was enjoying the challenge he replied with a big grin, "My feet hurt!" Edward started ballroom dancing in January of 2011 and he clearly enjoyed his new pastime.

Obviously, CCDC is off to a magnificent start . . . stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Cross Country Dance Championships Schedule of Events

2012 CCDC
Schedule of Events
April 11 – 15, 2012

WEDNESDAY April 11, 2012

#1 Wednesday Afternoon

12:00 PM Proficiency International Ballroom Grading Divisions
12:15 PM International Ballroom Single Dance Divisions
1:15 PM International Ballroom Open Championship Divisions
1:30 PM Fred Astaire Dance Alliance Scholarship Divisions
2:05 PM Proficiency International Latin Grading Divisions
2:12 PM International Latin Single Dance Divisions
3:12 PM International Latin Open Championship Divisions
3:36 PM International Latin Multi-Dance Championship Division
3:45 PM Fred Astaire Dance Alliance Scholarship Divisions
4:30 PM Solo Exhibition Division
5:54 PM Novelty Division
6:21 PM Showcase Production Division
7:15 PM Pro/Am Cabaret
7:45 PM Argentine Tango Divisions
8:50 PM Proficiency Smooth Grading Divisions
10:10 PM Proficiency Rhythm Grading Divisions

THURSDAY April 12, 2012

Thursday Matinee

8:00 AM American Rhythm Bronze Single Dance Divisions

Thursday Evening

6:00 PM American Rhythm Silver & Above Single Dance Divisions
9:10 PM American Rhythm Bronze Open Single Dance Divisions

FRIDAY April 13, 2012

Friday Matinee

8:00 AM American Smooth Bronze Single Dance Divisions
1:00 PM American Smooth Silver and Above Smooth Divisions
2:55 PM American Smooth Open Single Dance Divisions
5:52 PM American Smooth Open Championship Divisions

Friday Evening

8:00 PM Professional Championship Divisions

SATURDAY April 14, 2012

Saturday Matinee

8:30 AM Smooth Multi-Dance Championship Divisions
9:58 AM Fred Astaire Dance Alliance Scholarship Divisions
11:10 AM American Rhythm Open Single Dance Divisions
12:45 PM American Rhythm Open Championship Divisions
2:45 PM Rhythm Multi-Dance Championship Divisions
4:07 PM Fred Astaire Dance Alliance Scholarship Divisions

Saturday Evening

7:15-8 PM Cocktail Party - St. Croix and Patio
8-9:30 PM Gala Banquet and "Cirque D'Astaire" themed dance show

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Dr. Don Sheldon Casanave Passes

Dr. Don Sheldon Casanave
Beloved husband, father and grandfather passed peacefully Tuesday, April 3.

Born in Chicago and raised in Westchester County, NY. Graduate of Principia College and Leeds University, England where he earned his doctoral degree in English Literature. As a young man Don's golden voice won him the famous Arthur Godfrey talent radio contest, but his love of Shakespeare won out and he enjoyed 10 years as an English Literature professor at Eastern Michigan University. Where he was known for his beautiful lectures, snappy dressing and impeccable grooming. Not your typical professor.

Don never lost his love of singing and piano playing and moonlighted at piano bars and serenaded many a family member at special occasions.

In his later years Don joined his brothers Charles and Chester in the family business founded by their late father Charles Louis Casanave and Fred Astaire as Vice President of the Fred Astaire National Dance Association. In this role, his charm and grace shined and he was a mentor to many.

In his own words, one of Don's greatest sources of pride was his happy and fulfilling 25-year marriage to Sally Lincoln Casanave.

He is survived by his faithful and loving wife Sally, son Jean-Marc, daughter in law Pam, daughter Ondine, son in law David and grandchildren Miles and Marcela.

Services to be held Saturday, April 7th at 2 pm
Fred Astaire Dance Studio
151 SE Mizner Blvd
Suite #16A
Boca Raton, Fl 33432

Donations can be made in his honor to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.