WORKSHOP REPORTS


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MIDNIGHT RODEO and JO THOMPSON SZYMANSKI
WINTER WORKSHOP 2010

SPECIAL BULLETIN: All those people you did not see on the dance-floor are part of the incredible staff that makes these workshops happen. Ray and I want to thank them FIRST and express our deepest gratitude to the following friends and family:

Nancy & Steve, Diane, David & Judy, Karen, Carol, my daughters Carla and Michele, Don, Bill, George, granddaughters Katlyn and Breanna, Gabe and Kimmy.

Our thanks also to Rosie and Bruno, who provided extras hands everywhere needed.

Extra thanks go to Steve, for putting all those great photos on the TV over the bar. I forgot to announce this, and a few other things too, but know from your comments, that many of you saw them. Steve also keeps the power going when I blow fuses. Without these people, absolutely nothing would happen! We have received many emails about our staff’s smiling faces and gracious attitudes all day during this workshop. This team transforms Midnight Rodeo from a Friday night bar, to a party room for the workshop. Some lay the extra dance-floor, some clean, some help with lunch, some with the coffee bar, some with the decorations. They all work very hard.

It’s a HUGE feat to do all this an hour before the doors open while coping with my anxieties, and if any of you ever tell………………..(I can see you nodding your heads)! When you leave, in less that 30 minutes they break it down, pack it up and load it, to be ready for Saturday night. We are so grateful for each one of you.

FRIDAY NIGHT – Welcome party with a full floor of dancers and so many happy people, just glad to actually meet the incredible Jo Thompson in a close setting! She taught the crowd one of her oldies and also a mixer dance to kick off the workshop! Just a little bonus to get us even MORE excited!

THE WORKSHOP - Sold out a long time ago with a maximum crowd of 235!
Our special take-home gift to all of you was a keepsake signature wristband that said “COME DANCE WITH ME” and we hope you add it to your memories of this weekend!
I think I’ll wear mine every day!

Here’s the list of dances Jo taught us somewhere between Friday night and Sunday morning, plus those in the book we didn’t have time for. After all, this is only a One-Day event! All were in the booklet and if you stayed all weekend, you danced most of these plus the spontaneous “extras” and SHOULD be worn out!

In alphabetical order:
Baby Once I Get You (1995)
Crazy Melody (2008)
Dance Ranch Romp (1994)
Dancing in the Dark (2000)
Dixie Lullaby (2002)
Have I Told You Lately (2009)
It Had to be You (Denise Boyle)
Just For Grins (1996)
Just Your Size (2007)
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Once Upon a December (1999) Pa-Leeze (1999)
Por Ti Sere
September (2003)
Shoes of Another Man (2009)
Sing a New Song (2008)
Swinging Back to Louisiana (2008)
Years From Now Waltz

We also paid tribute to Jo with many of her other hits like Tango Cha, Hideaway Cha, Cinco De Mayo, Why Did You Lie, Jo n’Jo Tango, Dizzy, MJ Moves Enchantment, Rose Garden, Splish Splash, and on and on. I think she’d still be teaching if we’d had another day! Her energy level is off the charts!

Our DJ Day-0 was absolutely GREAT on both nights and at the workshop. He remembered Jo from her TV shows and was so happy to meet her!

LUNCH – Delicious! Our Winter Workshop is always Ray’s special barbecue with ALL the trimmings. We also had a specially designed cake for Jo – pictures will be on our website.

SATURDAY NIGHT – the door count was 132 returning with their souvenir wristbands, plus others who could not attend the workshop. It was fabulous and the best Saturday night ever. It was continuous dancing. Jo reviewed everything and even taught 2 more! We mixed in lots of current favorites, and it was exciting for everyone to be dancing with her. Many just watched in admiration of her energy and beauty on the floor.

We danced until 11PM, relaxed with a bottle of wine and snacks at home until very late, got a little sleep – but it was already Sunday morning!

SUNDAY BREAKFAST - 72 came for breakfast in the Barn. Jo taught September, Por Ti Sere, a couple I missed, and reviewed a few from Saturday. Ray and David cooked us eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, biscuits and fruit salad. I love men who can cook!

The power went out in our whole neighborhood so we ate breakfast by candlelight, danced to a battery operated boom-box (like the old days) and no one worried about it, not even me! It was a beautiful morning to end a most perfect weekend. We hope y’all found your ways safely home.

ABOUT JO – It was a wish come true for me. I’ve been dancing and teaching dance for almost 20 years. Jo’s always been my role model, from afar. This experience confirms all that I imagined about her. She is an inspiration to everyone. Her professional qualities and flexibility made this workshop easy for us. Behind the scenes, much happens. This was a smooth operation, and everyone certainly received more than anticipated, including me. She was a lovely houseguest and we enjoyed every minute with her.

She dances like a willow in the wind, with the energy of a child. She saturates the day and night with dances and music. She is personal and invites conversation. She publicly states her appreciation of those who prayed for her recovery, and believes her recovery is a result of those prayers.

Her inner beauty matches her physical beauty, and when you are in the presence of one like that, you “see” the true person. Do not miss the opportunity to dance with her, learn from her, talk to her. It will be a moment in time that you will remember when you are no longer dancing.

To all that participated, our sincere thanks! You are the reason these wonderful experiences fill our lives, that for a short time we can set aside our worries and truly enjoy the moment.

Thank you Carol Craven for giving us the opportunity to network, sharing our thoughts, posting our events, finding dances and places to dance. You are an extra special gift to the dance community and I speak for all of us when I say THANK YOU!

Congratulations to Nettie Manzio, winner of the 50/50 pot of $282.00! Our share will be divided between three this time. With their permission, I’ll post that information in another report.

Congratulations to all those who won events passes too. My sincere thanks to all the event directors who donated passes to me. I appreciate all of you, I’m very proud to advertise these events, and encourage all dancers to support these Weekend Events:

Bill Robinson’s Peach State Event, Atlanta, March19-21, 2010
Jen and Jason’s Boston Showdown, April 8-11, 2010
Jean Garr’s JG Marathon in Raleigh, May 27-30, 2010
Jen and Jason’s Fun in the Sun, Orlando, July 22-25, 2010
Mark, Glenn & Eve’s Windy City, Chicago, October 7-10,2010
Arline Winerman’s Tampa Bay Line Dance Classic, November 4-7, 2010

Barry Durand also donated a weekend pass to WORLDS next year. It will be given at our Spring Workshop with Rachael in March.

Day workshops:
Maurice’s Roundup Workshop, Tampa, with Scott Blevins, Diane Hogan, Sandy Albano and Tom Clemmons, February 6-7, 2010
Jean Brewer’s Line Dance Luau in the Villages with Michael Barr and Michele Burton, March 6, 2010
Midnight Rodeo Spring Workshop with Rachael on March 27, 2010. The flyer is on our website at www.rhythm-in-my-soles.com
Janis Graves’ Barnanza at The Barn in Sanford with John Robinson and Junior Willis, August 7, 2010.

I also want to mention Judy Chen’s WOW in Shanghai (with tour afterwards), Sept. 3-5, 2010. The World Expo is in Shanghai this year and highly advertised by many organizations, including our own Chamber of Commerce. We’re excited to be going to both the dance event and on Judy’s special tour package following. It will be an exceptional trip to consider in your travel plans. Dance, tour, experience the World Expo!

Our special thanks go to photographer Jim Lynch. He took lots of pictures and we will post on our site as soon as possible. If you took pictures you would like to include, please send them to me with my thanks in advance.

To my husband, “my honey,” the one who keeps me grounded (all wrapped up in a man called Ray): You are a gift from God that I don’t deserve. I thank Him daily for sharing you with me. You have made my life complete in every way, as we still whisper, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

Next year’s Winter Workshop will be held on January 14 or January 21, depending on our guest instructor’s schedule. I will post it as soon as I know, but whoever it is, there are BIG shoes to fill to top THIS event! Maybe it will be a guy, kind of like SHOES OF ANOTHER MAN?

Thank you Jo, my wonderful staff, “my honey” and everyone who experienced this weekend in any way. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

My dream wish has been fulfilled!

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