Unless otherwise noted - Photos, Text by Mike Strong. All code is original by Mike Strong. Copyright © Mike Strong All rights reserved
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Link to 2016 KCDC page on this site\
Camelot entrance, the south side - 6635 West 151st Street (about 3-4 blocks east of Metcalf), Overland Park, Kansas 66223
This year I was invited to shoot the full event as the official photog. Not that there are not plenty of good cameras there, just that this meant that this time I have to be there the full time (8:30 am to 11 pm) and shoot everything I can get to.
It was a lot. 217 heats, some for single dance and some heats with multiple dances as well as additional heats to complete the finals for earlier heats. So, my aim was to try to get everyone at least once in each event. It wasn't totally possible but I came pretty close. Nearly 10,000 individual exposures. All shot as JPG + NEF (raw). That is a lot of RAW processing, starting with organizing them by file name to reflect the heat number, sometimes with the type of dance or dances in that heat. Other files were named for open dancing, awards and a miscellaneous category (un-named).
You can see a more extensive set of pictures at the link above (repeated here) where you can get a page of hundreds of images to pick through if you were a dancer here. As of the friday after the event (Sep 15th) there were more than 600 images and there are now more than 1700 with more that 200 "slates" (shots of the program information). The file display page was programmed by me to show any image files and list other files in any folder. This marked an opportunity to set up an event-picture page.
My aim in shooting dance is not merely technique. I can always shoot that although early in my shooting of dance I concentrated on technical details of the dance itself, especially in ballet and modern. As I managed to meet my goals there I returned to my earlier journalistic roots of shooting the scene itself as a community. People with people doing what they love. So you will see a variety of types of shots from close to wide but all within a context of the dance community.
If you've seen my work you will realize I almost never, ever use flash. Sometimes with some headshots although I also use continous lighting for that. This time I figured I would bring my old studio strobes (about 30-years old), last used to light a full room in 2004 at the Jazz Museum for KC 2-Steppin' and and before than in 1998 to light the old Grande Emporium when all I had was film at ISO-400 max. Somewhere in the middle of those dates I also used them to light Tony and Jessica's wedding reception in The Madrid. Well, I set them up on Wednesday before and they certainly lit up the room - brightly. That meant I had enough light to keep using zooms with handly focal lengths but middling f-stops. This way I also had crisp 1/1000-th second detail with good color and great tonal scale. I left the strobes in place until Saturday and waited until the light outside started dying down, about 7pm or so.
I tried a couple test shots to get my exposure and started shooting. The picture at top is one of those flash shots. But one of the judges said it bothered her eyes so I decided to kill the strobes after about 10 minutes and switched to two prime lenses, a 50mm and a 35mm so I could use F/2, not as flexible as a zoom but a far better f-stop. My zooms were either too long or didn't have a wide enought aperture. A little bit after I stopped I found that the video guy also had problems with my strobes. His cameras were all on auto settings, auto focus, auto color balance and auto exposure. The flash messed with all three settings at once. So, after all that trouble of getting familiar again with strobes last used for a full room some 13 years before, I was back to my usual ways, no flash.
Matt and Ellen Pansing are the organizers of this event. Their program notes that the Kansas City Dance Classic (KCDC) is a USA Dance registered event. So far this is the fifth annual KCDC.
The next Kansas City Dance Classic (the 6th) is set for September 8, 2018.
 Swing with Margaret Roberts and John Francoviglia
 International Tango - Mei Hwei Holsclaw and David Holsclaw
 International Foxtrot - Stefan Easter and Judith Adams
Open dancing, Thomas Johnston and Jocelyn Johnston
Open Dancing, Mark Reinsager and Angela Babb-Reinsinger
 Rhythm (CR) John Francoviglia and Nancy Basinski
 Am. V. Waltz - Ryan Tierney and Olivia Styron
Judith Adams and Stephanie Kong
 Smooth (WTFV) Yuko Taniguchi and Jeremy Anderson
 Smooth (WTFV) Cody Roth and McKenzie van der Hagen
An alternate view
pre-teen and junior smooth, Am Waltz - Connor Morris and Abby Morris
 International Cha Cha
 International Rumba
A proud mom, her son is in the picture above
 Am. Bolero - Janet Bierlein and Byron Doss
 Am. Swing - Christopher Trabold and Anh Le
 A. Swing - Scott Skultety and Alice Skultety
 Lee Oswalt and Charles Garrett
 Greg Warner and Jill Smith
 Am. Swing - Shelley Judd and Ed Fukunaga
 Am. Mambo - Corry Eggert and Patricia Thompson (front), Judith Adams and Stefan Easter (left back), Jon Hamilton and Wanda Gimlin (center back)
 Am. Swing - John Francoviglia and Rene Francoviglia
 Am. Mambo - Patricia Thompson and Corry Eggert
 Cha Cha - Allen Grabowski and Cicylia Hernandez
 V. Waltz - Ilya Vernikov and Gabriella Jordanova
 Richard Fu and Helenna Shcherbinin
 Am. Swing - Krista Derington and Alexander Hoffman
 - International Samba - Romeo Bagunu and Liliane Pintar
Bridget and Wade
Related Links to Camelot Ballroom:
Their site: http://www.camelotballroom.com
Other pages on this site:
Camelot Tuesday evening 11 November 2021
Heart of America Belly Dance Show 9 October 2021
Benefit for Kim Turner Sunday 10 Sept 2017
Kansas City Dance Classic Saturday 9 Sept 2017
Kansas City Dance Classic Saturday 10 Sept 2016
Camelot Tuesday evening 1 Mar 2016 with Abel Ramirez Big Band
Camelot Sunday afternoon 28 Feb 2016 with KC Jazz Band
Camelot 8 Aug 2015
A Sunday at Camelot (June 2006)
The Birthday Club at Camelot
Camelot's name was formerly Flamingo Ballroom
Flamingo June 2000
Flamingo Oct 1999
Flamingo Sept 1997