With another year's RDA festival wrapped up, I just wanted to comment on how pleasantly surprised I was at how smoothly an "all region" hosted event worked out. I suspect that the directors and Arizona members probably carried a lot of the load as we noted that many of the companies did not appear to have a large volunteer contingent. Despite the fact that we do not have a large company (I suspect we are by far the smallest), we literally had a 1-1 dancer/parent ratio, as every dancer's mom was in attendance, from performing company members down to the Juniors. Maybe because we are such a small company, it creates a tighter knit group, I don't know.
The faculty that I was able to observe were great. I especially liked Jerry Kokich, Nicholas Ade, and the darling Ms. Tchernova. The adjudicator, Rosine Bene put together a very nice, balanced program. My favorite numbers were Long Beach and the hilariously crafted piece that Amy London did for Marin Ballet. Although our company is a little like "David" going up against the "Goliath's" in the Pacific Region, I was very proud of our girls for pulling off a beautiful performance.
The Orpheum Theater was absolutely beautiful and ample enough to accomodate the first-come, first-serve open seating without having to line up an hour early or stampede in order to be able to get enough seats together. And, a nice, do-able two block walk from the hotel, even in heels!
My only peeve was the difficulty on the first day of trying to find my way around as the hotel map was basically useless as it did not indicate which floor the highlighted rooms were on, and the schedule room labels were very confusing. Studio #5 and Salon #5---not the same. And a show of hands please...how many people got lost trying to find the Pima room??
A small complaint, as overall, the hotel was very nice, well located close to shopping and LOTS of restaurants (and just a block from Starbucks!) with very friendly, accommodating staff and with complimentary water and apples available. A special shout out to the hotel staffer who snuck a group of us up the service elevator when we inquired about the location of the stairs rather than wait in the backlog of people in line for the elevators.
All in all, I give this year's festival an "A".