Friday, December 11, 2009

North American Open Swing Dance Championships

On Decemeber 3rd-5th in the great city of San Francisco I attended the North American Open or Balboa Battle or SF Bal Fest...they really need to find a name and stick with it. I had arranged with Burnie, the event organizer, to volunteer and be the videographer for the event. So a free weekend pass and some good times were soon ahead. I drove up Friday afternoon w/ Karen, Augie, and his wife Delphine. Thanks for the lift guys! And it was a good thing I did go up early with them because I ended up having to teach a beginning Shag class later that evening. It actually was a great experience and a fun class. I have to thank Karen for teaching with me, she was great! Friday night there was an awesome Django inspired band called Goucho. I had never heard of them, but they kept the dance floor packed and the feet moving for a good hour or so. Saturday Night they brought back Stompy Jones to the stage and Sunday the California Honeydrops played a great set of early blues, jump swing, and rock 'n roll.I shot all the contests and helped with the class recaps for the DVD. I was able to stay with some friendly locals in their awesome new townhouse with 2 others. Thanks Jeff and Rachel for a fab pad for the weekend! There were contests all weekend long in everything from Balboa, Charleston, Shag, Blues, Lindy Hop and of course being that it was held in SF, a same sex partner contest. For the full list of winners and tickets to next years event please check out

My personal highlights of the event were being able to watch the class recaps and gain some knowledge on many new moves and techniques that I hadn't thought about before. It helps when most of the instructors are also your close friends :) Also just being able to fellowship with of many of my favorite people and catch up on their lives was a blast. Philip took Karen, Marissa and myself on a really cool afterdark tour of the city and we got some amazing views of the cityscape and some sweet shots of our own. All and all it was a great weekend in the friendly city. Thanks again to Burnie Gibson for an always interesting event. Here's some pics from the trip.


Typical SF Neighborhood

Beautiful Cityscape

Huddled up to stay warm and peep the views

Bay Bridge

Our guide Phil

Awesome Shadow Fighters inspired by Karen.

Exploratorium (built for the Worlds Fair in the 20's)

See ya next year SF!

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