2014 USA Dance California State DanceSport Championships and NQE

The 2014 Cal State DanceSport Championships and NQE took place in the recently  renovated San Jose City National Civic. This 1930’s landmark building received a $15 million facelift several years ago, including a refurbished hardwood floor, all new fixed seating, improved lighting, and upgraded dressing rooms complete with make-up counters and lights as well as showers in both the mens’ and ladies’ dressing rooms.

Over the decades the City National Civic has hosted everything from revivals to basketball games and music performances by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand.   While music performances still take place regularly, these days the refurbished floor also hosts its share of dance events, including the 2014 Cal State.

Attendance was up from the 2013 Cal State, and especially strong among college age competitors, as UC Berkeley and Stanford brought their entire dance teams, and the San Jose State University formation team performed in the evening.

Over 150 couples competed in over 60 individual events, plus an additional 140 spectators came to cheer them on, using clappers and bringing signs to support their favorites. The arena was set up in a manner to allow for a generous competition floor measuring 75×48 feet plus a separate and spacious practice floor.

A number of individual Novice, Pre-Championship and Championship events had two rounds while several syllabus and newcomer events had anywhere between 40 and 55 couples, requiring multiple rounds to determine the ultimate winners.

There were many outstanding performances, especially notable being the Adult Championship Standard winning performance of Earle Williamson and Charlotte Christiansen, competing in their first USA Dance NQE. Runners up and dancing impressively in this event also were William Stansbury and Jenny Sokolsky.

As a member of the organizing team I was not in the ballroom during all the competitions. But during the times I was there I particularly enjoyed watching Winston and Lilly Chow, who were victorious in Senior IV Championship Standard, while Senior II Championship Latin was ably won by Edwin and Charlotte Bugarin. Senior III Championship American Smooth winners were Bill and Frances Manning, and the Junior I Championship Latin title was captured by Tyler Li and Anjelica Lowe.

Kinsley Lin and Michelle Yiu won both the Youth Standard and Latin Championship events. It should be noted that Kinsley and Michelle have represented the U.S. in several WDSF world championships this year, and were presented with a $500 scholarship by Nor Cal Chapter President James Kleinrath on behalf of the Nor Cal Chapter Board in order to help offset their expenses to these events.

To view the full results for all competitions as well as photos and video clips, simply go to the Nor Cal Chapter Website at www.usadance-norcal.org and click on the links.

A wonderful selection of music was provided by Music Director Dave Ingals, while MC duties were expertly handled by Karen Andersen. There was an excellent panel of judges, which was headed by Dan Calloway as Chairman.

I was pleased to hand out a number of awards during the afternoon and evening, and since Esther Freeman, who is a USA Dance National Past President as well as the Immediate National Past Treasurer was in attendance, I asked her to assist in award presentation as well.

The organizer of the event was the USA Dance Nor Cal Chapter Board, assisted by a group of experienced volunteers the day of the event.

The organizers would like to thank all those who came and participated in the 2014 Cal State and look forward to seeing them again next year.