Open Letter to All – DDR Storm: 10th Anniversary

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If you did not catch the opening ceremony, here are 2 performances posted on Youtube:

DDR Storm 10th Anniversary Intro
Move Ova For Supernova (Storm Remix)

It has been over 5 years since my last largely-attended DDR Storm, which was DDR Storm X. Both XI and XII showed such a decrease in attendance that I almost came to accept it’s demise. Around this time, I created Project Storm in order to give myself hope in continuing to run dance game tournaments, except with the added bonus of more video games to play. Project Storm was to take over and DDR Storm would slowly disappear.

Sometime last year, I received a message from Amanda Roth telling me that 2013 would be 10 years since my first DDR Storm. And from that specific moment I read that line from her, I absolutely knew that there was no other choice and no turning back. It was mandatory for myself to host that 10th Anniversary event. I had tons of ideas and haven’t felt this passionate about DDR Storm in a long time. I actually felt like this would work even though the last 2 DDR Storms flopped a bit. Of course with the help of the Project Storm tournaments, the spark was still there. It just had to be ignited…

This past weekend, that spark became a burning flame as I saw many familiar faces from the past and brand new faces that have never attended a DDR Storm, but always knew about it. Also, having friends that came and supported the event, even though they never played DDR a day in their life was amazing to see as well.

This DDR Storm was an experience unlike any other.

We had over 150 attendees from all over Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio and Illinois! It was a pleasure to meet those new faces and see those familiar faces again. Just wanted to give my thanks to where it’s necessary.

Thanks to Monica at LaPlaya Resort for being the easiest and best Sales Manager I have ever worked with. Also, thanks to the staff of LaPlaya for being a very friendly and helpful group of people. I hope everyone else felt the same about them. Thanks so much to Tiffany Denty, Conrad Hardin, and my beebee, Lynnsey Norris for taking care of the registration table for a huge majority of the weekend. Thanks to Steven Lo, Lucas Loman, Andrew Cook, and Joe Ledesma for being the main organizers for the dance games. A huge thanks to Justin Denning, Brett Beatty, James Albright, and A.J. Howard for putting in that physical labor to loan their dance machines for the DDR Storm event. Thanks to Kevin Boddy, Tiffany Denty, Nick Denty, Andrew Cook, Elias Gonzalez and the other individuals I cannot think of who booked a roundtrip flight solely for my event. Thanks to Matt Harris and his girl who took a flight here and got lucky the event was the same weekend, lol! Thanks to Aldo, Anthony Conner, and all others who made those long drives from hours away just for this event! Thanks to Antonio Del Valle, Keith Kelly, Steve Rosa, Jon Pittenger, dot Alexxx, John Meisburg, Anjelica Williams, Darrin O’Brady, Will Dorsch, and  Levi O’Rear for helping to organize and run the side tournaments. Thanks to Anthony Perfetti and Kenny Holliday for controlling the lights during the intro to help create a bit of an entertaining atmostphere, lol. Thanks to the vendors: Dance Mart, Macky Designs, and Mochi’s Sketchbook for providing raffle prizes and selling your items! Thanks to SHIRTPIGGYPIG for the towels given away in the raffle! Thanks to Precision Dance Pads for providing their custom DDR/PIU pads as prizes! Thank you to Charlene Valerio and Darrin O’Brady for the creation and implementation of the shirt designs and logos! Thanks to Brennan Link for providing his computer setup for the Precision Dance Pad demo. Thanks to Anthony Conner for driving down from Tennessee and helping to provide the Precision Dance Pads and taking care of all the sponsorship responsibilities that needed to be fulfilled. Thank you to Ben Whitlock (http://bwhitlockphoto.com) for the photobooth setup and taking the group photo! A huge thanks to anyone else I missed that provided their equipment or assistance! And thanks to each and every person that attended from 1  to 1,000 miles away. Once again, I emphasize that this was no one-man show and without the help of all of you, this event would have never been possible.

And one more thing, thank you to Amanda Roth and any other person that helped her with the DDR Storm Memories book that was given to me. This book will be a prized possession to me and I will definitely cherish it for the rest of my life.

With the 10th anniversary event finally over, a main question on everyone’s mind is if I’ll have another DDR Storm. With the success of this rebirth, I’d absolutely love to make this an annual event. Since a large majority was happy with the venue, I will be in contact with LaPlaya to see what we could work out for an event next year. Please feel free to give me any feedback or suggestions of how this event can be improved upon.

The opening ceremony was created a few weeks before the event. After playing the game Fortune Street for so long, I loved the music in the game. I always imagined myself dancing and singing to the title song for an opening of a tournament, but I didn’t have any lyrics. So I wrote some. 🙂 With this, I also wrote additional lyrics to the tune for Move Ova for Supernova, which sparked the idea for the remix. I spoke with John about the idea and he created lyrics for it as well. We combined efforts and the remix was created. I was very afraid of performing, as I’ve never done anything like this before. Since I was afraid, I made myself go through with it. A good feeling in life is getting over something you fear. I was proud to have accomplished that for myself and for you guys’ entertainment.

The streaming of the event was sort of in the experimental stage. Apparently, the only option we had for streaming was either the PIU or ITG machine given that the video outputs for DDR don’t have a streaming option available (as far as we know). We will see if we can improve upon this for future events.

As far as other events I will be hosting, I will continue to move forward working with Antonio Del Valle on the SparkStorm events which is similar to DDR Storm, only that it focuses on fighting games with a good deal of side tournaments to be planned as well. I’m also working with a person in Jacksonville on hosting a charity video gaming event in Jacksonville. As information is gathered, I will be updating through Facebook (http://facebook.com/stormunity) and Twitter (@StormUnity).

I’ve had people ask about Project Storm. That ‘project’ is currently on hold. Project Storm was created in order to experiment with new ideas. Once I have some new ideas to experiment with, you may see it rise from the ashes.

If anyone still wants to purchase any merchandise, you can check the Storm Unity Shop and order from there. Or you can just contact me and we can work something out. I’m low on the ‘Keep Calm’ shirts but I still have plenty of 10th Anniversary merch left.

Results from this event will be coming very soon. Hopefully, it will be posted before the weekend.

This is my open letter to you all. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments in regards to DDR Storm, Project Storm, SparkStorm or anything upcoming, please feel free to contact me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/tygerstyle) or Twitter (@StormUnity / @tygerstyle). Once again, thanks to everyone who attended, helped, and supported. Til next time…

And speaking of time… WHAT IS IT?

-Tyger

One thought on “Open Letter to All – DDR Storm: 10th Anniversary

  1. You are the best Josh. Easily my favorite tournament I have attended. So many things for everyone to do. That was so key, you made everyone felt included and that they could participate instead of just spectating. I was happy to help run the tournaments. I love this community and would do anything I can to help it stay strong. I will be back next time.

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