Melissa Erin Strain was one of the five dancers in the June 2014 Known Mass show, though I first met her on a totally different dance circuit, ie., through an O.G. attendee of my DJ night. Melissa’s a Northshore native and alum of Bloomington’s dance program. She’s got all kinds of chops (Studied Gaga in Israel? Check. Gigging as an aerialist? Check. Judging the competition dance circuit? Check. Working the commercial dance angle? Check.) and is both super warm and super pro. She asked me to jump on this last-minute gig dancing for Southwest Airline’s annual marketing conference. I love Southwest, dance gigs, and Melissa, so this one was easy. The choreography was spoofing on this popular 2014 Southwest commercial involving a bridesmaid rocking the dance floor, the Southwest crew was extremely kind and accommodating, and the other women on the gig were so lovely that we all wondered aloud, while working each other’s hair and makeup in the dressing room, why we couldn’t spend every day just like that. I left with glitter polish on my nails. God bless Melissa Erin Strain.
We rang in 2015 to Guy Lombardo’s “Auld Lang Syne” off a 1953 Decca 45 passed down from my grandfather to my father to me. A happy new year to all yall, and many happy returns.
Close of the second set, Hannibal Buress at the Civic Theater, December 5, 2014. Two of my favorite local dancers, Emily Conelly and Brieze Levy, to my left. Hannibal hired a slew of local comedians to open the first and second sets and closed the last show (post-Gibberish Rap) with Treme Brass Band. I thought it was righteous of him to bring in (and pay) so much local support.