The YESSS!! Dance Convention – For All Dancers, Beginner to Advanced. A Better Dancer In One Weekend!

Well, they did it again! Another great country dance convention is in the books! Adia Dance along with fellow partners and founders Country Nomads and Dirt Road Dancing have pulled off another fun dance convention!

The YESSS!! Dance Convention, held in Scottsdale, AZ was a huge success. I was happy to sign up for this and attend after also attending The Edge in Temecula, last spring.

YESSS!! (Yearly Epic Summer Step & Swing) is a National 3-day dance convention and competition. At the YESSS!! Convention, there is a focus on Country Swing and Line dance, but really it is a fusion of so many dance styles. There are classes for Two Step, West Coast Swing, Brazilian Zouk, Barcoast, Lifts & Technique, and so much more!

One thing that so impresses me about both these conventions is how many different things are packed into the weekend. It is really just as much about the competitions as it is about the classes. The classes take up the bulk of the day-time activity, with the evening turning toward some time for social dancing, with line dancing and partner dancing, but then let the competition begin!

The competitions cover both line dance and partner dancing, and the organizers do a great job with including many different categories. Competitors participate in line dance and “Jack & Jill” type partner dance competitions. The line dance portion judges both choreography as well as line dance skill.

Also wedged into the evening and to really kick off the evening each night is both social dancing and a great show where the convention instructors perform for the crowd as well as some surprise guest dancers.

There were so many different things going on during the weekend! I would say there was something for everyone, whether you were interested in line dancing or partner dancing, a beginner or seasoned dancer. Read on to see my attempt to unpack it all and paint a picture of what it was all about!

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What is the YESSS!! Dance Convention?

The YESSS!! National Dance Convention and Competition is an annual 3-day, 2-night dance convention, featuring both line dance & partner dance workshops, open dancing, dance competitions with prizes, Friday and Saturday night shows, and lots more!

It was held again at The Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas in Scottsdale, AZ. This year it was held July 22-24. The workshops were spread over 6 dedicated rooms with wood dance floors.

Adia Dance with Arizona-based Country Nomads and Idaho-based Dirt Road Dancing are the workhorse and energy, that organizes and runs the huge YESSS!! National Dance Convention and Competition. There’s also a great admin team that supports and keeps things going. Like at The Edge they have a great emcee for the weekend in Philip Victor of “BootScootin’.”

Each day began with a Welcome and Class Demo in the YESSS!! ballroom. The instructors or instructor duos have about a minute to demo the dance or dance patterns they were going to teach. The video below is just one of 5 demos throughout the weekend!

Check out the Saturday morning demos!

The demo sessions are common practice at dance workshops and are an opportunity for the instructors to quickly show what is in store for those considering their class.

Since I went to The Edge in the spring, I had a good idea of what this dance convention would be like, but it actually is an even bigger weekend with even more classes. These just keep getting better and better!


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My YESSS!! Experience

Since I was driving out from California, I was limited in how much of YESSS!! I was able to take in. I definitely wanted to check it out. So, all in all, I just slipped in Friday late afternoon and then Saturday. I ended up leaving Saturday afternoon so as not to drive too late into the night to get back.

Classes I attended:
Line Dancing – 1
Country Two Step – 2
Country Swing – 1
Waltz – 1

But that being said, I was still happy I drove out and got in on what I could. I enjoyed taking in Country Swing “Learning To Use Your Whole Body” with Sarah Stokes, and Joel Bartlett. I only got in on one line dance class, but it was Trevor Thornton teaching Cyber Drop, so at least it was a challenging advanced dance to finally get.

And then, honestly, I was a little star-struck to see Robert Royston in the lineup! I ended up taking 3 of his classes, 2 Two Step classes, and his intro to Country Waltz. This made my long drive and quick stop-in on YESSS!! totally worth it! Robert Royston is a World Champion Dancer/Choreographer/Director/Producer and also the creator of the Royston Method check it out for what he has to offer!

It was cool to be in a class with someone of his depth and caliber. There were some nuances and tips included that you just don’t get in your typical Two Step lesson.

I really like that at every workshop you take at these events, the instructors take a moment and say: “Okay everyone, get out your phones to video the recap.” I really feel like this is such added value. Everyone always wants to record it, but we can’t–we’re dancing! But, at the end, there’s a moment where it happens and you go away with a recording. The trick is to review it later! Here are a couple of these recaps below:

Robert Royston’s recaps of Two Step lessons and Intro to Country Waltz lesson.
Trevor Thornton recaps with a walkthrough of his line dance Preach.

If I attend next year, I’ll just bite the bullet and stay the whole time I think. But I love a road trip, so it was fun just getting out and driving to Scottsdale, AZ to check it all out!


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The YESSS!! Dance Convention by the Numbers!

Here are some quick numbers, just to give an idea of what the weekend was like.

3 Days of Workshops, 2 Nights of Open Dancing, and/or Special Events, Show & Competitions
6 Dance Floors
30+ Instructors
2 DJs (1 instructor also serving as a DJ)
100+ Workshops
19 Line Dance Workshops in which 30 line dances were taught
30 Different Line Dances (click to see the list)
81 Partner Dance Workshops
2 Great Shows (Friday & Saturday Night)


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Instructors & DJs

The YESSS!! Dance Event featured 30 great instructors. See the list below and click on the instructor’s name or team (or their photo) to pop down to the summary of what workshops they each taught at YESSS!! this year.

Adia Dance
Country Nomads
Troy & Elise (Dirt Road Dancing)
Robert Royston and Mia Pastor
Robert Campos Jr. &
Brigitte Campos
Russ Bradchulis
Trevor Thornton
Brunno Cezar Theororo (Instructor & DJ)
Yana Trubin
Deenie Tusalem
Jacob Reding &
Sydnie Dillard
(Reding Dance)
Philip Victor (Bootscootin’)
Jung Won Choe
Travis Swartzlander (White Rabbit Society/The Bridge WCS)
Tina French (AZ West Coast Swing)
Souraya Lorenz
Jordan Wagner & Alec Street (Country KickUp)
Sarah Stokes
Danya Svir
Juan Aguirre
Tim Perez

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Adia Dance

Dance or Style Level Choreographer
Don’t Call Me Baby ADV Jose Miguel Belloque Vane
Gives Me Shivers BEG Brandon Zahorsky
Salt, Lime, & Tequila BEG
Top Shelf Whiskey (YouTube) BEG/INT Trevor Thorton & Adia Nuno

Adia Dance, Russ Bradchulis & Sarah Stokes

Dance or Style Level
Two Step “Fun with Body Parts” ALL LEVEL
Two Step “Playing with Rhythm” ALL LEVEL

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Adia Dance & Gabriel Dubois

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Nomads Method Footwork” BEG

Adia Dance, Kacee Crandall, Sydnie Dillard

Dance or Style Level
Technique: Follow Focus ALL LEVEL

Joel Bartlett & Sarah Stokes

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Learning To Use Your Whole Body” INT

Joel Bartlett & Kacee Crandall

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Basic 3, Spin & Dip” FUNDAMENTALS
Country Swing “Spin Hacks” BEG

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Joel Barlett, Gabriel Dubois & Kacee Crandall

Dance or Style
Country Swing Instructor ADD ON Intensive Learn how to TEACH Country Swing. Using the Nomads Method.

Gabriel Dubois, Joel Bartlett, & Sarah Stokes

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Frame & Connection” FUNDAMENTALS

Gabriel Dubois & Kacee Crandall

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing“Prep Step, What you see vs what you feel” INT

Gabriel Dubois, Gabriel Sebastian, & Kacee Crandall


Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Baseball Throw Moves” ADV

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Gabriel Sebastian, Joel Bartlett & Burgundy

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “How to Play With Frame for Smooth Styling” ADV

Gabriel Sebastian and Cami

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Fancy Feet & Styling” ADV
Country Swing “How to Tie Music Into Your Country Swing” INT

Gabriel Sebastian & Danya

Dance or Style Level
Country Swing “Basic 3, Spin & Dip” FUNDAMENTALS
Country Swing“Spin Hacks” BEG

Dirt Road Dancing

Dance or Style Level Choreographer
Country Swing “I’m Here, Now What?” BEG
Country Swing “I Was Dragged Here Against My Will” BEG
Country Swing “Bring it & Swing It” ALL LEVEL
Country Swing “Dip Your Lady” INT
Chill Factor INT/ADV Daniel Whittaker & Hayley Westhead
Dirt Road Dollars INT Jessi Brown
Draggin’ Your Boots BEG/INT Adia Nuno, Alexis Chavez & Burgundy Weathersbee
South of the Border (YouTube) INT DJ Keahi

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Burgundy Weathersbee

Dance or Style Level Choreographer
Goin’ Hamm BEG Trevor Thornton
Tush Push BEG Jim Ferrazzano
Yeehaw IMP Adia Dance & Glenn Ball

Robert Royston

Dance or Style Level Choreographer
Two Step ALL LEVEL
INTRO TO Country Waltz BEG
West Coast Swing ALL LEVEL
West Coast Swing ADV
Two Step INT/ADV
Technique ALL LEVEL
Add On Intensive
Yippe Kai Yay BEG/INT Robert Royston, Mia Pastor & Jo Thompson Szymanski

Robert & Brigette Campos

Dance or Style Level
Two Step BEG
Two Step FUNDAMENTALS
Two Step INT
Two Step “Spins and Sass” INT
Country Waltz BEG
West Coast Swing BEG
West Coast Swing “Syncopations & Connection” ADV
West Coast Swing “Body Connection” INT

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Brigette Campos

Dance or Style Level
Blue Jeans On BEG/INT Rick Dominguez
Burlesque BEG
Samba BEG/INT
You Look Good BEG/INT Rick Dominguez

Trevor Thornton

Dance or Style Level
Can’t Stop Us ADV Kelly Cavallaro & Trevor Thornton
Cyber Drop ADV Fred Whitehouse & Shane McKeever
Don’t Overthink It INT Chris Jacques
For the Rest of Your Life BEG Trevor Thornton
Let Me Do My Thang INT Trevor Thornton & Jason Turner
Off the Chain ADV Fred Whitehouse
Preach BEG/IMP Trevor Thornton & Branden Swift
The Vibe INT
Zillionaire INT/ADV Guyton Mundy, Trevor Thornton & Will Craig

Brunno Theodoro & Yana Trubin

Dance or Style Level
BRAZILIAN ZOUK INTRO
Cross Over Brazilian Zouk “Premovement: How to Initiate a Pattern” ALL LEVEL
BRAZILIAN ZOUK & CS Cross Over “Cambres” INT
BRAZILIAN ZOUK “Changing Directions” INTRO
Brazilian Zouk “YoYo Variations” ALL LEVEL
Brazilian Zouk “Intro to Head Movement” BEG/INTER

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Brunno Theodoro

Dance or Style Level
Technique ALL LEVEL

Brunno Theodoro & Deenie Tusalem

Dance or Style Level
Brazilian Zouk “Combo Application” BEG/INTER

Brunno & Travis & Jung

Dance or Style Level
Technique: Masculine Styling ALL LEVEL

Deenie Tusalem & Yana Trubin

Dance or Style Level
Brazilian Zouk Follows INTER/ADV

Dance or Style
Brazilian Zouk ADD ON Intensive

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Reding Dance

Dance or Style Level
Lifts & Aerials 101 “Drop It, Drop It LOW, Girl!” BEG
Lifts & Aerials “Spurs over Stetson & Head Over Heels” “201” (ADV)
Lifts & Aerials “I’m Like a Bird, I wanna FLY Away!” “301” (ADV)

Philip Victor (BootScootin’)

Dance or Style Level Choreographer
AZ Staple Line Dance BEG
Groovy Love BEG/IMP Fred Whitehouse, Daniel Trepat & Jonas Dahlgren
Handle Me (YouTube) INT/ADV Mikayla Wieser (The Edge Choreo. Comp. Winner)
High Class INTER/ADV Jessica Short & Kerry Kick
More Dessert INT/ADV Guyton Mundy & Klara Wallman

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Jung Won Choe

Dance or Style Level
WCS “Use Your Foot” ALL LEVEL
West Coast Swing “Space & Connection” ADV
WCS All Level
Partner Dancing Spinning and Styling All Level

Travis Swartzlander

Dance or Style Level
West Coast Swing “Walk, Compress & Connect” BEG
West Coast Swing and Country Swing Crossover “Intro to Music Theory” ALL LEVEL
West Coast Swing “Ninja Moves” INT
West Coast Swing “Lets Get it Started” INT
West Coast Swing “Dance Math Hacks” ALL LEVEL

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Travis and Danya Svir

Dance or Style Level
Technique   ALL LEVEL

Danya Svir & Juan Aguirre

Dance or Style Level
Bar Coast “Linear vs. Rotational Energy” ALL LEVEL
Bar Coast “Pattern” ALL LEVEL
Bar Coast “Understanding the Slot” ALL LEVEL

Danya Svir & Elise Lorcher

Dance or Style Level
Technique: Follow Focus ALL LEVEL

Tina French

Dance or Style Level
West Coast Swing “Basic Foundations” BEG
WCS “The Art of Lead & Follow”
WCS “All About the Whip”

Souraya Lorenz

Dance or Style Level
Technique: Turns ALL LEVEL

Country Kickup

Dance or Style Level
Colorado Cha Cha BEG

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Tim Perez

Dance or Style
Two Step

Tim Perez & Mona Brandt

Dance or Style
Two Step

Red Dirt Dancing, Hardwood Hearts, Mike M, Reding Dance

Dance or Style
“Pro-Feedback: Texas Edition”

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Line Dancing at YESSS!! – Lessons & Levels

Like with The Edge, line dancers were not forgotten! There were a total of 19 line dance classes to attend, in which 8 instructors taught about 30 different line dances. The line dance instructors were Adia Dance, Trevor Thornton, Troy & Elise of Dirt Road Dancing, Robert Royston, Philip Victor, Burgandy Weathersbee, and Brigette Campos.

Below is the full list of the line dance classes taught at YESSS!!, listed alphabetically.
Click on the dance name to go to the Copperknob web page or YouTube video for the dance.

Line Dance Teacher Level Choreographer
AZ Staple Line Dance Philip Victor BEG
Blue Jeans On Brigette Campos BEG/INT Rick Dominguez
Burlesque Brigette Campos BEG
Can’t Stop Us Trevor Thornton ADV Kelly Cavallaro & Trevor Thornton
Chill Factor Dirt Road Dancing INT/ADV Daniel Whittaker & Hayley Westhead
Cyber Drop Trevor Thornton ADV Fred Whitehouse & Shane McKeever
Dirt Road Dollars Dirt Road Dancing INT Jessi Brown
Don’t Call Me Baby Adia Dance ADV Jose Miguel Belloque Vane
Don’t Overthink It Trevor Thornton INT Chris Jacques
Draggin’ Your Boots Dirt Road Dancing BEG/INT Adia Nuno, Alexis Chavez & Burgundy Weathersbee
For the Rest of Your Life Trevor Thornton BEG Trevor Thornton
Gives Me Shivers Adia Dance BEG Brandon Zahorsky
Goin’ Hamm Burgundy Weathersbee BEG Trevor Thornton
Groovy Love Philip Victor BEG/IMP Fred Whitehouse , Daniel Trepat & Jonas Dahlgren
Handle Me (YouTube) Philip Victor INT/ADV Mikayla Wieser (The Edge Choreo. Comp. Winner)
High Class Philip Victor INTER/ADV Jessica Short & Kerry Kick
More Dessert Philip Victor INT/ADV Guyton Mundy & Klara Wallman
Let Me Do My Thang Trevor Thornton INT Trevor Thornton & Jason Turner
Off the Chain Trevor Thornton ADV Fred Whitehouse
Preach Trevor Thornton BEG/IMP Trevor Thornton & Branden Swift
Salt, Lime, & Tequila Adia Dance BEG Adia Nuno
Samba Brigette Campos BEG/INT
South of the Border (YouTube) Dirt Road Dancing INT DJ Keahi
Top Shelf Whiskey (YouTube) Adia Dance BEG/INT Trevor Thorton & Adia Nuno
Tush Push Burgundy Weathersbee BEG Jim Ferrazzano
The Vibe Trevor Thornton INT
Yeehaw Burgundy Weathersbee IMP Adia Dance & Glenn Ball
Yippe Kai Yay Robert Royston BEG/INT Robert Royston, Mia Pastor & Jo Thompson Szymanski
You Look Good Brigette Campos BEG/INT Rick Dominguez
Zillionaire Trevor Thornton INT/ADV Guyton Mundy, Trevor Thornton & Will Craig

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Partner Dancing at YESSS!! All Skill Levels Included!

An event like the YESSS!! Dance Convention draws many really great dancers. But it is not just for experienced dancers. YESSS!! is a very inclusive dance environment, offering classes for very first-time dancers to advanced, competition-level as well.

YESSS!! Has something for everyone! In this vein, I love the title of some of Dirt Road Dancing’s classes: “I’m Here, Now What?” and “I Was Dragged Here Against My Will.” I started wondering if someone was actually dragged there! Well if they were there was a class for them!

But of course, besides including all levels, the event includes so many different styles of partner dancing: Country Swing, Brazilian Zouk, Two Step, and West Coast Swing as well as Technique Classes that will apply to multiple or all styles of dance. I also noticed there were even classes for growing as a dance instructor. There is truly something for every dancer at YESSS!!


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The YESSS!! Competitions

There were line dance competitions, several Country Swing Competitions, Two Step as well as an All American WCS Competition. See below for the competition categories and also a video from one of the Country Swing competitions!

Categories

Line Dance Solo – Newcomer/Novice
Line Dance Solo – Intermediate/Advanced
Line Dance Choreography Solo

Country Swing/Stationary Beginner – Jack & Jill
Country Swing/Stationary Intermediate – Jack & Jill
Country Swing/Stationary Advanced – Jack & Jill
Country Swing/Stationary All-American

Country Freestyle Progressive All American
Two Step Beginner – Jack & Jill
Two Step Intermediate/Advanced – Jack & Jill

West Coast Swing All American – Jack & Jill

YESSS!! Country Swing Dance Competition.

Click here for the full results of the contests!


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Nightly Shows, Social Dancing, and More!

While both Friday and Saturday nights feature all those dance contests, the nights were first kicked off with great shows featuring the convention instructors and a special guest dance team local to the area. And some line dancing as well! Check out the brief video below for a taste of this.

Friday Show and Line Dancing at the YESSS!! Dance Convention.

But besides these things to cap the nights with, the YESSS!! convention weekend also sprinkles in so many other activities! There are many different things to experience.

At this year’s convention there was:

  • A pre-party at a local bar (captured below in a video)
  • A pool party that over 200 came out to.
  • A movie room where people watched Jaws together if they were just too tired to take another class
  • A game room to hang out together and play games.
The YESSS!! Dance Convention gets started a day early at the Whiskey Row in Scottsdale, AZ. Captured is the Final Round of the night’s competition.

And in addition to these add-ons, there was also “Two-Minute Tune-up” where people could meet with instructors and pros and get some feedback on their dancing. Lastly a beginner competition met specifically for new dancers where they received mentor feedback throughout the competition.

But that is not all!

Another thing worth mentioning about The Edge & YESSS!! is the fundraisers. The organizers are really careful to use the event to bring awareness to great causes and to fundraise for worthy causes. At YESSS!! this year was a great fundraiser for the Track organization.

Track is a Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids in Tucson that harnesses the power of the human-animal bond to bring smiles to the faces of those in need. To raise funds the Instructors competed against each other Jack and Jill style and the crowd voted for their favorite couple. The instructors who raised the most money by crowd votes was the winner. This was pretty fun and they were able to raise $1800 for TRAK!


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Final Thoughts on YESSS!!

Adia Dance originally co-created The Edge and YESSS!! with the goal of inspiring more people to confidently express themselves through dance in a variety of genres and styles on the social dance floor.
Additionally, the aim was to provide a safe space and outlet for mental health awareness and healing through movement, expression, and community.

After attending both of the events I would say “well done!” I think these events do this. The many line dance workshops, the opportunity to level up in so many different styles of partner dancing, and the challenge of the competitions for sure provide the opportunity to grow in confidence as a dancer. The lessons, competitions, and the pure fun of the social dancing all combine to make YESSS!! a very exciting and full weekend.

Now after reading this I know you might be sad if you missed YESSS!! this summer! But, never fear there’s more to come!

Plans for The Edge Dance Convention, 2023 are well underway. Sign up and make plans to come out to the beautiful wine country of Temecula, CA to enjoy a very unique 3 days & 2 nights of country dance emersion! Information below:

The Edge Dance Event NEWS!
REGISTRATION for The Edge Dance Event, 2023 is NOW OPEN
March 10-12, 2023 Friday-Sunday
In Temecula California!
3 DAYS, 2 NIGHTS OF WORKSHOPS AND OPEN DANCING!
Held at the beautiful California Ranch Company

See more information including registration online at www.theedegedancevent.com

If you are new to the whole dance convention craziness check out my other recaps on The Edge and the Vegas Dance Explosion!


Something Extra!

In addition to this blog post recapping the YESSS!! Dance Convention, Line Dance Association Magazine in Spain also wanted to highlight the event! Check out the article on it in the latest pdf issue here–written by, yours truly!


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Brian Sheridan

I'm the owner of CDT. I live in Fullerton, California, and enjoy country dancing with my friends at least once a week.

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