With the US Open fast approaching, we talk about what it takes to put together a routine – from picking a song and getting choreography to working with coaches and practicing. Deborah talks about how she’s working on her routine with PJ Turner, and Eric reflects on what he’s learned from his past experiences. We discuss the Rising Star division, what we like about good routines, and the trends we’re seeing in routines today. Whether you’re doing a routine, thinking about a routine, or just enjoy watching them, we hope you find something interesting to take away from our conversation.

Correction: At BbB this year, there were 11 Rising Star couples, 7 Showcase couples, and 7 Classic couples.
Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin – US Open 2017 (Tennessee Whiskey)
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman – SwingDiego 2007 (Pump It)
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman – US Open 2013 (Mind Heist)
Angel & Debbie Figueroa – Boogie by the Bay 2002 (Sometimes)
Angel & Debbie Figueroa – Grand Nationals 2001 (Le Ballet)
Michael Norris & Kellese Key – US Open 2007 (The Continental Stroll)
Brent & Kellese Key – US Open 2003 (Blues Power)
Kyle Redd & Sarah Vann Drake – US Open 2002 (Jonny B. Goode)
Kyle Redd & Sarah Vann Drake – Grand Nationals 2002 (How Long Can A Fool Go Wrong?)
Jason Colacino & Katie Boyle – Boogie by the Bay 2004 (Soul Serenade)


Whether you’re a competitor, a professional, an event director, or someone who just enjoys watching dance videos online, judging has a big impact on you – and the dance we all love. In this episode, we discuss the skills it takes to judge, what judging looks like in practice, and how judging influences what constitutes “good” dancing. Listen to how we each go about judging, what we think about the quality of judging these days, and what we think is needed to raise the standard and provide greater accountability for judging. (Also, Eric has an encounter of the eight-legged kind…)

Reinventing Performance Management
(Eric misspoke when he said 80% of variance in managers’ ratings was due to the managers’ perception; the study found it was only 62%. Read more about the study and performance ratings in the article above.)

Boogie by the Bay

After a fantastic weekend at Boogie by the Bay, we discuss what makes it such a great event, and what other events can learn from its example. From hiring top-notch staff to creating a relaxed atmosphere to keeping things running on time, Boogie sets the bar for a quality experience for everyone who attends – competitors, social dancers, and even the pros themselves. Later in the show, we’re joined by Co-Event Director Andy Bouman, who gives us a look at how he and the Boogie by the Bay Committee plan, organize, and run the event. Listen and learn about what it takes to produce a successful event that appeals to a wide variety of attendees.

Boogie by the Bay


In this episode, we discuss professionalism – and the lack thereof – among our dance professionals. We talk about the ways event directors can mistreat the instructors they hire, how instructors can be unresponsive and unreliable, and why being a dance professional can be challenging. Listen as we explore the need for more emphasis on relationships in business, more respect and mutual support, and higher standards for how professionals should behave and treat one another.

The Trust Equation
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Robert Royston

The legendary Robert Royston joins us to discuss his early days in West Coast Swing, what he did to become a dance professional, and how the dance scene has changed over the last thirty years. We talked about the problems of judging, how to balance the past and future of the dance, and what excites him about what is happening in our community right now. He also shared with us his personal insecurities, why he dislikes “Facebook petting,” and what’s next for him as he thinks about his own legacy. Listen to find out why humility and a dose of arrogance are important for success in the dance world, and why we shouldn’t give every dance a standing ovation.

Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery by Eric Franklin
The Thinking Body by Mabel Elsworth Todd
Human Movement Potential: Its Ideokinetic Facilitation by Lulu E. Sweigard
Taking Root to Fly: Articles on Functional Anatomy by Irene Dowd
Thinking Sensing and Doing in Latin American Dancing by Ruud Vermey