Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday Regional Competiton... Dancing the Night Away
Sunday was the Fred Astaire regional competition. The event started with Smooth dances at 9:30 am. I, knowing that just watching the dancing can get a little tiresome and frustrating when you can't just run out there and do it yourself, I didn't arrive until around 4pm when the Rhythm heats were in full swing. I brought snacks because I know these dancing people don't eat all day... Something I would totally do myself, but being that I was just a spectator I wanted to be as much help as I could. I'm very envious of those that can compete (my reasons for not, are way too varied and complicated to post here). I do love to support my friends though and I was very excited to see them out there strutting their best stuff in sparkley dresses, spray on tans and pounds of makeup... all part of the fun!
This, for one of my friends was her last competition, and she did wonderfully! All first and second places... gold and sliver that's what we like to see! She was absolutely rocking this asymmetrical black and blue bedazzled dress that just flattered her figure... she was awesome to see out on the floor with her instructors.
Around 6:30pm after a quick wardrobe change by all, we sat down and enjoyed a lovely dinner followed by some general dancing, which I of course had to be a part of... my two-stepping fellow student picked me up for a Cha Cha, I pulled one of my other favorite student leads out for an East Coast Swing (one of the few dances I'll actually hunt for a partner on instead of waiting to be asked), and the Riddler from the studio party on Friday settled on me as his partner for a rather amusing Mambo (So happy I finally figured out how to go On2!)
I also met a couple of lovely ladies from Latin Rhythms, a studio in the city that focuses on more Latin based "street/club" dancing and performing... I may have to check them out for a party sometime, it will give me a chance to pick up my Bachata and Cumbia again... I'm always on the prowl for fun places to dance. It was great to meet other dance professionals, I loved to hear their opinions on the ballroom scene they were witnessing. I look forward to seeing what their studio is all about.
Later in the evening I found someone I really wanted to dance with... he's a family member to my favorite female instructor at the studio, and he just happened to be in town this weekend with his girlfriend. This instructor and her relative used to compete in ballroom when they were younger and to watch them dance is SO cool... What I forget is that when I'm excited about something I can be a little overwhelming and intimidating especially for folks from other places on the globe. But, I asked anyway... now this gentleman doesn't dance anymore... so he was a little shy...and again... I'm a spazz... I did manage to pull him on the floor for a Waltz and he thought, being a former competitor and all, that I meant Viennese Waltz which I don't even know the basic on, so we fumbled back and forth before we finally, albeit off music, got a few steps of my terrible basic waltz in... hopefully my charming personality and undying laughter made it more bearable for him... but being that he's a former champion, how could I pass up the opportunity? There's the SLIGHTEST chance he and his girlfriend may visiting the studio when I'm in for my lesson with Buddy... hopefully I'll have the chance to redeem myself.
The evening ended with a truly awesome 5 dance performance from Jesse DeSoto and Jackie Josephs (Co-managers to the studio I dance at) I know a few of my friends had to miss it, and if you did too... you can see some video clips on their website here. As anticipated they are consummate performers and the show was fantastic to see live. There was even a really fun group number put on by a lot of the staff members, it's great to see new and different aspects of the dancing profession!
As always the competitions are a blast even if you're just in attendance, my only regret is that every time I see a showcase or exhibition dance (a much more theatrical version of ballroom in this case) my heart just breaks because I know I can DO that... I would love more than anything to get out there and rock the crowd to a choreographed piece even just once... but there are extenuating circumstances that keep me out of that aspect of this hobby, and I again decide to make myself happy with my one lesson a week. It is better learn dancing once a week, and practice on one's own than to not dance at all.
Next week some of the staff will be out for the Fred Astaire National Competition in Florida, so it will be a super busy week at the studio again... Wish I could attend that one too...but that's just a commute I can't make... if any of you out there are going to be at this event, do let me know how it goes!
The evening as a whole was a bit of a personal celebration for me as well, but THAT I'll have to write about in another post... :)