australian salsa open

FINAL results for Spin City Dance from the Australian Salsa Open last weekend.

Now that I've finally emerged and had a moment to reflect after the roller coaster that has been the last few months...

The AUSTRALIAN SALSA OPEN 2013 was SUCH an incredible ride for Spin City Dance, and for me personally as a coach, judge, mentor, and friend to many of the dancers, colleagues and peers that I saw on the weekend. Thank you everyone who contributed to all its sensational aspects, and thank you Krin Bajough for bringing the Australian salsa scene together in such a special way.

Now for the epic open letter!

My MAMBO MANIA team. You guys only had one pro on the team, and yet managed to keep your nerves together to compete in the open category! Thank you for representing with pride and doing your absolute best!

JONATHAN, NAIDA, ASHISH, DREW, ALICIA. You guys did me speechlessly proud up there in your couples routines. You took your scant experience and transformed it into effortless stage presence, and ALL of you surpassed yourselves in terms of your performance - I can honestly say I have never seen you guys nail it like that. And isn't that the goal of competition training - to win yourself? Yes, yes it is, and you should be immensely proud.

SAM, ANGELA, JUANCA - my dearest friends, dance partners and colleagues. You guys were INCREDIBLE. I have never been so excited to see all 3 of you perform your finest, and bring home some bling. I LOVED it! I really really loved it! Thank you for being my peers and friends and for constantly inspiring me.

JAMES & DIANA - first time in professionals, and qualified through to finals up amongst the best of them. Training you for this routine was my immense joy and I loved that you represented in this new partnership so well! Further to that - James, your solo has come such a long way. I was so proud to call you a Spin City boy in the GOOD way. 

LINDA and LUCY. Speechless! Utterly speechless! Linda placing in a tough category, LUCY placing in PROFESSIONALS! OHMYGOODNESS I think my heart nearly failed hearing the announcements. Both of you... I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I loved assisting you through it.

CHRISTIAN & ELYSIA - my show ponies. From day 1 I knew you guys were going to be superstars. Your DOUBLE win this weekend just cements the 5 years of hard work, great attitudes, and constant striving for the best out of yourselves and your partnership. Thank you, thank you, thank you for staying loyal, for always appreciating my coaching, for being so damn respectful, and most wonderfully, for being great friends and team members.

ELYSIA - you were UNDOUBTEDLY the lady of the weekend, prancing home with 4 trophies under your belt. I am so proud of you. And best of all was all the feedback I kept getting about how amazing you were. All I could do was nod and agree and smile. 

Of course, all the trophies, congratulations, euphoria and happy celebrating was wonderful. But by far the best bit for me was seeing all the incredibly humbling posts about what the competition meant to all of you, and even your little voices of happiness to be part of SPIN CITY DANCE, or part of my community, or even your acknowledgements about any contribution I may have made in your dancing (like ANITA, CHARA & NIKKI for their pro-ams!)... I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love with people I care for genuinely, and stunned by the profusion of positive energy our community brings us. 

I love that we have positivity in everything we do, I love that we are genuinely caring, and I love most of all that we all have the attitude of constant excellence in our craft, our relationships, and our performance. The last 2 months have been very difficult for non-dancing related reasons, but this last weekend made me feel very alive all over again. Thank you everyone.

It was Father's Day on Sunday in Singapore, and I learnt the most about sports coaching from my Uncle Daddy, and the best about human coaching from my actual Papa. Everything we did up there last weekend, my 2 fathers, was for the both of you, my amazing role models in life, love and career. 


1ST PLACE - Christian & Elysia

1ST PLACE - Christian & Elysia

1ST PLACE - Elysia

2ND PLACE - Elysia
3RD PLACE - Lucy

4TH PLACE - James & 

3RD PLACE - LINDA (tied)

SPECIAL MENTIONS (non-SPIN CITY but super proud)
Sam Schlanger - 1ST place Men's professional latin solo, 3rd place Men's professional salsa solo!
Juan Carlos and Angela - 2nd place Professional Salsa Couples!

And now, we build a new trophy shelf. Or SIX! 


via Sharon Pakir