Louisville has long been
famous for its Kentucky Derby. Now there's a talented dancer who is
jockeying to make it a destination for West Coast Swing.
Meet Brian Barakauskas,
professional dance instructor and event director for Derby City Swing.
He plans to attract lots of thoroughbred dancers who hope to finish
Win, Place or Show in the competitions offered at his dance
convention. Here's Brian to tell you more.
USASN: Tell us about your event.
BB: Well, broadly speaking, we are looking to support the WCS
community in the Midwest. Specifically we are trying to do two things.
First, to create a fun laid-back event with great instructors, great
workshops and plenty of social dancing. Second, to create some fun
competition opportunities. I don't want the competition to over take
the social appeal of Derby City Swing but I want to provide to
opportunity for those who choose.
USASN: Who are some of
the Top Pros attending?
BB: Really fun, personable people! Robert & Nicola Royston,
Doug & Lori Rousar, Jason Miklic & Sophy Kdep, Jim & Kelly Rainey, and
Louis Schreiber, who will be teaching our Beginner Track. These are
all Pros who will hang out in the ballroom with the dancers.
USASN: Tell us about
your Special Features.
BB: Thursday PreParty, Opening ceremonies Friday night, lots of
social dancing day and night, West Coast Swing, Nightclub and Two-Step
workshops, and an "audience judged" $500 Rising Star competition
USASN: What is the
state of West Coast Swing in the Louisville area?
BB: Its really growing! Louisville brought over 50 dancers to
Jason & Sophy's Swing dance party each of the past 2 years where we
won the "Team Spirit" award for being the friendliest group. I'm very
proud to say that we have great community dancers of all ages who are
excited to host a great event in our city. Specifically, I'm proud of
some of our younger dancers. They have really learned to be not only
good dancers but great representatives of WCS and the Midwest dance
USASN: Share your dance
resume with us.
BB: I'm a 5-time UCWDC Superstar World Champion and I'm a
United States Rising Star Professional American Rhythm semi-finalist.
I've been a top Pro-Am teacher in Swing, Country and Ballroom. I have
teaching, judging and performing experience in over 20 countries
world-wide. Locally, my studio, Dance Louisville, has been open for 8
years and has been the driving force for the growth of WCS in
USASN: What are your
long-term plans for this event?
BB: I want it to grow in to become "the event people talk
about" in the Midwest. I want to continue to support the social dance
audience while brining in a little "flavor" through the support of the
Rising Star Division, Pro Am Routine Division and the Jack & Jill and
Strictly Swing audience. It will be a Party Weekend - I promise!
USASN: Give us a
2-sentence "commercial" for your event to encourage our USA Swing Net
dancers to attend.
BB: Come to Louisville, Kentucky from January 30th to February
2nd for a first-class weekend of West Coast Swing. Social dancing,
great workshops and fun competitions are all on the menu for the
Midwest's new favorite West Coast Swing Weekend!
www.usaswingnet.com/louisville for a quick preview of this event.