Friday, January 29, 2010

The Highs and Lows of the Past 3 Months...

The roller coaster ride has been bumpy to say the least. One week prior to the US Open we performed and taught at the Ritz Carlton in Singapore, and then on an Asian Salsa Cruise. We were hesitant in accepting this gig, being so close to our biggest competition of the year. All we can say is we made the right choice!!! The trip was one of our most memorable, being exposed to different dance styles we had never heard of, and exploring many new cultures. We made friendships that will last a lifetime, and we look forward to seeing all of them again some day. The cruise started in Singapore, next Malaysia, and finally Thailand, before heading back. It was wonderful exposing so many new dancers to West Coast Swing, which has become one of the most satisfying parts of our job. To see people experiencing the feeling... you know the one we've all had before... when you know you're hooked on West Coast Swing, and you can't get enough. It takes us back to when we were kids.

This cruise became a good way to not stress about the Open. We were literally too busy. Instead of sitting around at home, practicing day and night, we were performing throughout the trip. Practicing for the shows became such a habit, that flying in from Singapore on Friday afternoon felt like we were at the next port, and it was time to perform. We literally landed at 1 PM Friday, stopped by the house, switched suitcases, and walked on to the Open floor to dance Strictly Swing. It was the first time in 14 years of dancing at the Open that we didn't have that sick, nervous feeling in our stomachs.

Classic Prelims were Saturday afternoon where we danced "How to Save a Life" for the last time on the competition floor. The performance felt like a great way to end a routine that we truly loved. Later that night, we danced Viva la Vida in the finals. We felt honored to be a part of a Classic Finals that some said was the best yet at the Open. We drew an early number, which seems to always happen to us at this event. Dancing what we feel was our best performance of Viva, we thankfully took first place. We truly appreciate all the support of our friends and fans out there. You're the reason we still love what we do! It was also great having our friend and Champion Ballroom Dancer, Maxim Kozhevnikov, there to show his support.

After being on such a high from The Open, we knew we had some hurdles approaching. I have always had a knee condition, and had planned to get it checked out in December. I spoke with the doctor before the exploratory procedure and the plan was to do a minor scope, putting me out for 2 weeks, and then planning the surgery for the following year. That way we could schedule around it. I woke up hearing that the extensive procedure had to be performed, or my dance career could be over. That was one of the hardest things I've ever faced. The doctor was amazed how long I had been dancing on my knee in that condition, and said he had no other options but to go through with it. My doctor is the main surgeon for the San Diego Chargers, along with many other athletes, so I knew I was in good hands. The bad news - a 3 month recovery, when we were supposed to be in Paris in early January and Australia for 3 weeks in January/February. The stress of my career and passion being threatened, but also having to re-schedule or find replacements was horrible. My lifestyle went from traveling over 250,000 miles last year to spending 8 hours a day in a CPM machine bending my leg up and down. I was now using crutches, and spending most of my days on the couch. This is the longest break I've had from dance since I was 11 years old. You have no idea how much you take for granted just walking, let alone running or dancing. I went for my 6 week check-up at the doctor's this week and was told that everything so far looks great. Thank GOD!! I am now able to walk slowly without a brace, swim and use the stationary bicycle. I think that is why I'm able to start back on the blog. Life is getting better.

Thanks so much for the kind words from so many of you. We are sorry we cannot be out there for a while, but we promise to be back as soon as possible. A new routine is coming SOON! I want to thank Jessica and my Mom for the countless hours of care, and Tatiana, who this has affected so much, but has been 100% SUPPORTIVE.


  1. your passion for dance and your caring for people and teaching and making friends comes through so well on your blog - and dont forget that tough times make you realize what you are really made of, if you didnt already know, and build character too, as well as empathy - and you find out just how helpful and loving othes can be and how supportive of you - you have all my support and i will never forget meeting both of you in stamford, ct at summer hummer when you were about 19, and telling you how impressed i was with your teaching - and you were so polite and nice to me and i was no one at all, and hardly even a wcs dancer! i felt so much happier after talking with you - i began to better understand the dance world - i have not been dancind much at all for the past 4 years for several reasons, but will get back to it - i so love the music, and the form of dance - i just wish i were better - and that i could have started learning years and years ago - let me tell you it is a tough one for us older folk to learn how to spin, never mind have good posture, when we dont really off the dance floor - it takes courage! so get well soon, and my love to both of you - you guys are the best in so many ways! mary norton :)

  2. Thanks for all the great moments you shared with us and i hope your recovery will go smoothly and you can get back in those dance shoes as fast as possible :) . Enjoy your forced break :D. You 2 are the best!!!!!

  3. Oh and the picture with Magna kicks ass !!! Best dancers ever(love her too)

  4. I'm glad to hear that you are recovering well.

  5. my name is john Viktory live in Brazil I'm only 17 voces sao idol for me and one day I know I did not have much opportunity for the conditions of money but one day I will surely end of the year I live in the United States of America really want to and learn from voces all wish you a jordan Recovering the bottom of my heart and that you will be born to shine and that light will never fade I pray for you and I buy some dvds tbem ja go ahead for a special kiss everything good