Saturday, April 4, 2009

Will Smith got jiggy with it in Philly. And so will I.

Just made it to Philadelphia and settled in the hostel where I'm staying for the week. It seems like a nice place, and the other travelers are from around the world. Seeing as I'm here for Worlds, it seems appropriate that the theme of this week is international.

Had my first Irish dancer sighting at the 30th Street train station. Cute mom and daughter duo from Ireland. They're not dancing--decided to head over to the states to cheer on friends from their dance team back home and maybe sell a few out-grown solo dresses. I asked them how they feel about having Worlds a world away. Mom replied that it seems fair to bring the competition over here, considering Irish dance's popularity continues to snowball here in the states. Besides, she said, it's expensive for Americans to travel to Europe annually for the competition. 

Tomorrow is day one of the anticipated competition. I had the chance to visit the Johnston dancers of Syracuse, NY a few days ago. Four of their girls have been practicing like crazy. Check out the video on the web site for The Syracuse Post-Standard. I wrote a story that will run in tomorrow's paper. I'll link to that when it goes live online.

As a total Worlds newbie, I've been studying the schedule and desperately trying to figure how to catch all my favorite dancers. As a Syracuse reporter, I'm obviously following the dancers from that area. But, I'm a retired Rince na Tiarna dancer (of Buffalo, NY), so I'm really excited to see the girls from RNT. 

And, of course, there's OPERATION: Dean.

That's right. It's a personal--I guess professional, too--goal to find Dean Crouch and get an interview with him. What a fascinating and talented guy. 

Anyway, I better get prepped for tomorrow. For regular updates between blog posts, follow me on Twitter (sjvelasquez).


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