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2016 National Smooth Dancers Convention - Dancing on Parade

We arrived in Palm Springs on Friday afternoon ready for all the fun the next few days would bring. 268 other Smooth Dancers had the same idea and the excitement of seeing and visiting with friends from around the state filled the hotel.

Friday evening began with an informal dinner. The parade theme for the evening was the Doo Dah parade, or the anything goes parade. Several clubs, San Francisco, San Fernando, San Diego, Fresno, and Palomar had skits or participated in a parade to begin the evening festivities. General dancing and the first of several Jack and Jill contests were held. Late night hospitality concluded the evening.

Saturday morning arrived bright and early with dance competitor’s practice, state meetings, and 2 dance seminars given by Lorena Bravo and Jonathan Atkinson, the professional entertainers who would dance for us Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The afternoon dance theme was Chinese New Year Parade with many dancers dressed in Chinese costumes. With general dancing, dance competitions, Jack and Jill competitions, and ending with a line dance lesson it was a very busy afternoon.

The Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Parade was the theme for the Coronation evening. A parade of Queens and their escorts began the ceremony. Outgoing State Queen Kay Ryan crowned Los Angeles’ Susan Johnson as our new State Queen. Susan and her husband Chuck entertained us with the Queen’s dance and then current and past queens joined them on the floor for the traditional waltz. The Honor Dance, a beautiful waltz to the music “The Way We Were” was performed by Marsha and Peter Hanson.

After dinner, general dancing, competitions, and Jack and Jill contests were run. The dances performed by Lorena Bravo and Jonathan Atkinson, the professional dancers were fabulous. Hospitality hosted by Palomar ended the evening.

Sunday morning began with the competitors dance practice, state meetings, 2 dance seminars, and the Crown Circle Champagne Luau. The afternoon dance was a Fourth of July Parade, again with many clever, colorful costumes. Then general dancing, dance competitions, and Jack and Jill competitions as well as a line dance lesson filled the afternoon.

Mardi Gras Parade Ball was the evening theme. Again general dancing, dance competitions, Jack and Jill competitions, and as a special treat Lorena Bravo and Jonathan Atkinson thrilled us with their beautiful dancing.

Monday morning, was the Farewell Breakfast. As is traditional, the chapter hosting the next convention, San Francisco, introduced their convention’s theme, which is Viva Las Vegas. 35 members from San Francisco traveled to convention to participate in the skits to introduce the different party themes. The Stars Come Out at Night had famous Vegas personalities and showgirls strutting their stuff. Going to the Chapel White Party featured a couple getting married by Elves himself. Casino Royale Coronation had James Bond saving the day. Slated for Sunday are parties, Sin City Swing and Abracadabra: A Night of Magic and Illusion. Monday, What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas is the Farewell Breakfast theme. The presentations for the various parties were really clever, cute, and humorous and everyone seemed excited to attend convention next year.

After a delicious breakfast, the awards for the various competitions were awarded. Then it was time to say farewell, and begin planning for next year in San Francisco.

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