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Marilynn Larkin
Dance Classes
Crowne Plaza Valley Forge
United States
King of Prussia, PA

Disco America: Raring to Go with More Social Dancing — Great Comps, Workshops

by Marilynn Larkin
April 21, 2009
Crowne Plaza Valley Forge
260 Mall Boulevard
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Disco America 2009 — to be held June 26-28, 2009 at the Crown Plaza Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania — will be high energy, but also "cozy and friendly," according to event co-director Donna Boyle. Boyle and co-director Joyce Szili aim to make the event newcomer-friendly, while offering plenty of comps and social dancing for participants at all levels.

"People were happy with last year's event — especially the fact that everything we did ran on time," Boyle says. "This year, we're changing the schedule a bit to allow more social dancing between the competitions, and an earlier start to the late-night party." The schedule also includes a wide range of workshops for beginners as well as more advanced dancers.

The Saturday night dinner show will feature performances by, among others, Billy Fajardo and Katie Marlow, Kelvin Roche and LoriAnn Greenhouse, Tybaldt and Hazel Ulrich, and a HipHop team. The show will conclude with a special tribute to dance luminary Arte Phillips, who choreographed the event's dinner show for eight years and received Disco America's Lifetime Achievement award in 2008. Funds will be donated to the Arte Phillips Dance, Inc., an organization developed to help dancers in need, contributing dance scholarships and other forms of support in keeping with Arte's vision.

Although there has been much discussion in the hustle community about ways of keeping hustle "alive," Boyle and Szili see no signs of waning interest in Pennsylvania or the Washington, DC area. "New people are coming in all the time," Szili says. "It doesn't matter if they're 20-year-olds or 50-year-olds, they're new to the dance and eager to learn." Boyle also gets new students — some in their teens — when she teaches in various venues throughout Pennsylvania. That's why more workshops for beginners will be on the schedule at Disco America than in previous years. And, the social dances will include a mix so that newcomers to hustle "don't just stand around" until they feel more comfortable with the dance.

Music selections will also reflect a mix — not only of styles, but of eras. Yes, there will be plenty classic hustle songs, but also current hits being played at clubs. "You can dance hustle to a lot of today's music, and you have to play that music if you want to draw in young people," Boyle says. "They'll pick the dance up quickly — but they won't pick it up if they don't like the music."

For more information on Disco America and to register, go to www.discoamerica.com.
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