Dancesport or The Verve Ballroom
6344 NE 74th St OR 19820 40th Ave W,
Seattle or Lynnwood, WA 98115
United States

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Crystal Ball review

Lynn Offutt
Date Published:
October 7, 2005

A big thank you goes out to our very capable staff. Our prestigious panel of judges were, from Australia, Marita Withers, Byron Johnson and his lovely wife Lioudmila Popov, retired US Champion Olga Foraponova, Swing celebrity Jackie Hursey, and of course our featured guests from California, Buddy & Laurie Schwimmer.

Our DJ was the wonderful Mr. Terry West of Cut-a-Rug Productions, who just keep getting better and better with each event! Out Mistress of Ceremonies for the day was the informative and energetic Shannon Knauss. Our valuable Scrutineer was Mr. Michael Wachal accompanied by his assistant Alannah Sinclaire. Bettye Riggs handled the demanding job of Registrar and the door personnel were Marvin and Lynn Wheeler during the day and Jewdi Alonso during the evening. Thanks to the efforts of Joanne Love the Program turned out beautiful.

It is because of all of you that the Crystal Ball ran so smoothly, and we applaude your efforts! Thank you for a great event!!!

Wow! What excitement there was at this years Crystal Ball! Dancing to a sold out audience, the entire Schwimmer Family (expanded) were back in Seattle for a return engagement. This time it was Mom, Dad and six kids all dancing up a storm for us!

They put on two complete shows for the Seattle audience. There was Buddy dancing Hustle and Nightclub Two Step with Laurie. There was Benji dancing Swing with sister Lacey. There was Lacey dancing Latin with Jared Murillo. There was Torri dancing Swing with Josh Mosier and Latin with Seattle native Connor Zion. They were exciting numbers full of colorful costumes, great tricks and an energy level that was indicative of their youth. Truly candy for the eyes! For many the favorite part of the evening was their Grand Finale' number which was choreographed for all eight of them. What a production!

Many thanks to the Schwimmer Family for a great evening of dance entertainment!

Special thanks for the Professional demonstrations also enjoyed by this years audience. An exciting International Rumba routine was performed by Seattle Rising Star Latin Champions Egor Novikov and Ekaterina Zakharova and a lovely Foxtrot was performed by Sarosh Ahmad and Natasha Thayer. Thank you for making the evening complete!
This is a special thank you to Marita Withers for the outstanding Latin workshop she taught in the afternoon at the Ball. Marita, who traveled all the way from Australia, is a World class Latin coach and we were very fortunate indeed to not only have her on the judging panel, but to also get the chance to work on our dancing with her. And best of all it was FREE to anyone attending the Ball! What a great opportunity!

Thank you Marita for sharing your knowledge with us! You are a peach!

Scholarship Awards at this year's Crystal Ball were many thanks to the 34 advertising sponsors as well as those individuals who made personal donations to the Scholarship Fund. These individuals deserve special recognition. They were Suzanne Hittman, who whole heartedly supports the kid's Scholorship Awards, Joanne Love who has donated to the Scholarship Fund in her Father's name for many years, Kay Scheller who helped offset the huge airfare expense of bringing the Schwimmer Family in, as well as Mitsuru & Kumiko Kurosaka and Jon & Jan Wong who donated their Scholarship winnings right back into the Fund! Without the advertisers and the generosity of these individuals there would be no Scholarship Awards and we thank you so very much for supporting our NW Dancers!

All the children dancing at this year's Crystal Ball went home with scholarship checks. That's always so nice to be able to do! In addition, Scholarship Awards were given for:

TOP LATIN COUPLE: Helmut Zarbl & Wendy Luo
SENIOR STANDARD: Thio & Fanny Budiman

PRO/AM CLOSED SMOOTH: Kumiko Kurosaka (1st) & Rainer Burgdorfer (2nd)
PRO/AM CLOSED LATIN: Mike Wells (1st) & Galina Furman (2nd)
PRO/AM CLOSED RHYTHM: Debbie Burgdorfer

PRO/AM OPEN RHYTHM: Charla Jennings
PRO/AM OPEN SMOOTH: Debbie Burgdorfer

Congratulations to all of you!

Specialty Awards went to those most talented individuals at this year's Crystal Ball. These awards went to students who displayed exceptional ability in their dancing.

TOP STUDENT: Charla Jennings
SUPREME AWARDED SOLO ROUTINE: Gail Sherman dancing a Gold Foxtrot with teacher Egor Novikov

What fun we had with Buddy and Benji in their workshops the day after the Ball! And who would expect otherwise with these crazy boys? They sure did make learning fun!

We started the day with three outstanding West Coast Swing classes with Benji. Man is he good! Dad followed with a syncopations class and two Nightclub Two Step classes. Buddy truly is the Master of this dance!

A big thank you to Christina Singletary and Marcus Rodriguez for allowing us to hold classes in their beautiful studio! FYI their studio, Olympic Dancesport, holds open to the public dances every Saturday night. Go check them out!

Please be sure to mark your dance calendars for Saturday, April 8, 2006 when we will be celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of the Northwest's longest running Ballroom dance competition event, the NW Dance Extravaganza!!!

For those of you who wish to keep your memories of this year's Crystal Ball, you can purchase a tape or DVD of the evening performances through SMAK Productions. To purchase online go to Or you can e-mail Susan at Or just give her a call at (425) 787-6036.

This tape is a complete reproduction of all the evening events. It includes both the Dinner Show and the Finale' Show with the talented Schwimmer Family. A must have addition to your video library!

Jack n Jill Contest Results

Jack n Jill Swing
1st Pete Green & Barbara Zito 2nd Chris Orr & Susan Kraemer
3rd Ham Granlund & Christine Traicoff

Jack n Jill Salsa
1st Roger Douglas & Josie Kelley
2nd Chris Orr & Barbara Zito
3rd Pete Green & Riitta Anderson

Jack n Jill Hustle
1st Bill Jones & Barbara Zito
2nd Reimer Nielsen & Connie Flores
3rd Fred Ednie & Josie Kelley

Jack n Jill Cha-Cha
1st Mike Chen & Susan Nieswander
2nd Mike Kheriaty & Wendy Huntington
3rd Abel Hewitt & Gayle Ghiotto

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