Louisville has long been famous for its Kentucky Derby. Now there's a talented dancer who is jockeying to make it a major 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 Saturday night.



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 community.



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 Louisville.



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 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!



Visit www.usaswingnet.com/louisville for a quick preview of this event.