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“Dancing Stars” 2022 Showcase Time!

Mary Serico and Georgi Kanev - Dancing Stars Showcase - 2020



If it’s June, it must be time for Dance A Lot’s big annual showcase! We’ve done this 11 times, and I and my dance teacher Georgi always prepare a special dance for each year’s showcase. We have a professional choreographer come to the studio and design the dance at least ten months before June, so we have enough time to prepare. This year my showcase was a high-level and very complicated (step-wise) Cha Cha Cha, done by the one and only Maxim Kozhevnikov. We started it in 2021 and have worked on it for several months, so I thought we should have everything under control and feel relaxed before the big stage performance. But life had other ideas for me.

When the 007 theme for the 2022 “Dancing Stars” showcase was decided, Adi and Georgi (the owners of Dance A Lot) had the great idea to resurrect my “Golden Eye” showcase…from 10 years ago! (Yes, I have been dancing for even longer than that!) In a moment of weakness, I agreed because it sounded like a great idea since it was a perfect fit for the theme of the show. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure my new Cha Cha dance was stage-ready yet. “Golden Eye” was a fairly easy routine and had a gorgeous black dress, specially designed for me by Jordy International, with a very appropriate James Bond outfit for Georgi. So, I thought 2 months should be enough time to be ready for June. Of course, “Golden Eye” was revamped by both Maxim and Adriana to be more dynamic (more difficult) as far as choreography goes.

But now I needed to find the original dress and all the props since they were put away in storage. The dress was easy to find, and it actually fit.

As far as the two props, they went MIA during our move 3 years ago; all I needed was a quick Amazon order to replace them.

Along with my showcase preparation, I also help get my husband Joe, the show’s Master of Ceremonies, who is also known as “The voice of Dance A Lot”, ready. It had been 3 years since his tuxedo saw the light of day and somehow the cummerbund, tie, and suspenders joined the missing “Golden Eye” props. The items were quickly replaced (I imagine, as it often happens, the originals will all pop up when we don’t need them. 🙂 Or hopefully they’ll show up when we prep for the Winter Gala Holiday Ball in December.)

I must have checked our packing list a dozen times to make sure we had everything. Fortunately, the extensive preparation paid off, and nothing was forgotten.

Mary Serico’s checklist is ready — the dress, the shoes, the garter, all the jewelry, and props are all ready for the 12th Annual Ballroom Dance Showcase “Dancing Stars 2022”
Joe Serico’s checklist is ready

The June annual showcase is the only time, except at competitions when I have my hair and makeup professionally done. Scheduling the appointments, driving to Wayne from the Jersey shore, checking into the hotel, and having lunch before dress rehearsal, seemed like a planning nightmare, but we pulled it off and even had a chance to relax and have our favorite lunch with Joe. After all, we must keep the voice of Dance A Lot in peak performance for his very important emcee duties. 🙂

Joe Serico (The Voice of Dance A Lot) is ready to gulp up his favorite sandwich

In the past (minus years 2020 and 2021), all showcases were held at the George Frey Theater at the Fair Lawn Community Center. This year, for the first time, Dance A Lot held its showcase at the Rosen Performing Arts Center in Wayne, and quite frankly we didn’t know what to expect at the new venue. While the Wayne theater had some advantages over Fair Lawn, I missed the Fair Lawn stage floor, back area for the children, and being able to walk backstage from each side of the stage.

The dress rehearsal was the usual controlled chaos. I don’t know how Adi and Georgi kept it together with all the interruptions and questions.

The children from Dance A Lot Ballroom Studio are watching the live stage performances on a TV during the “Dancing Stars 2022” Annual Showcase at the Rosen Performing Arts Center in Wayne, NJ

Everyone backstage was watching their fellow dancers and cheering them on. After the dress rehearsal, we were talking about how mature and experienced the young dancers were. We remember many of them when they just started their dance lessons (remember, I have been dancing for 15 years).

Of course, there were a few hiccups during the show, but I think they were the result of being away from the stage for 2 years and the new venue.

Dancing on stage is such a unique experience from dancing in the studio, or at a dance competition, and you can’t fully prepare yourself for it. The stage can be intimidating when the lights blind your eyes and you worry that you will fall off the stage, but the stage performance always seems to elevate my showcase to another level.

Each of the dances was unique, creative, and emphasized the students’ personalities and achievements. Of course, Adi and Georgi performed a professional dance number, a mixture of Argentine Tango and Cha Cha on Michael Buble’s new song “Higher”, which was the highlight of the show.

I am so appreciative of the support and encouragement of my husband, fellow dancers, friends, and Adi and Georgi.

Now I need to start planning for the Christmas showcase in December and have found the perfect Christmas song. It’s a funny one and can’t wait to have Adriana choreograph my new routine.

That’s it from me for now. Thanks for reading. Now, I need to go practice and keep dancing…a lot. 🙂

In the meantime, have a great summer, and hope to see you on the dance floor soon.

Mary and Joe Serico posing for the cameras behind the stage of “Dancing Stars 2022” Annual Showcase at the Rosen Performing Arts Center in Wayne, NJ

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