Monday, June 29, 2009

A New Dancing Adventure Begins... Mini Match!

Hi gang! Wow.. I'm still overwhelmed with all the outpouring of support for me and my routine... THANK YOU again! Words cannot describe what that meant to me! Just as that adventure comes to a close a new one is on the horizon!

The Chicago Region of Fred Astaire is having their first annual Mini Match! Let me explain what I know about it and then I'll tell you how I got involved. This Mini Match is a Team Match amongst all the Fred Astaire Studio's in the Region, it is only open to Newcomers and people who have never really competed before (like me). In this Team Match each student dances with their instructors or an amateur couple that doesn't compete together can dance too. These dances are graded on a proficiency scale (just like testing). Each student or couple's scores are not for themselves but to be entered in for the studio as a TEAM. The team with the highest scores wins. So it's like a competition, in fact I know of some very large independent competitions that have Team Matches as part of their event schedule, but it's not every couple for themselves it's every studio working together for the best result.

Now, I am still unemployed (I don't want to talk about it) so of course I figured this would just be another one of those things I'd turn down under the ever present "I don't compete" or "I don't have the finances" reasons. Then one day about two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader that stated simply that it would be really good if I'd be able to compete in this Mini Match. This reader was SOOO emphatic about my being able to do it that they, while asking to remain anonymous, would be willing to pay for one of my entries. (at a cost of $39, this was nothing short of AMAZING!) I quickly but politely declined the offer, knowing that I couldn't put up the rest of the money needed to be a part of this event (4 entries are required, with a maximum of 10 allowed).

However, you know this set my brain into overdrive trying to crunch numbers and figure out how I could maybe do it. If I were employed...I'd be in.. done deal. I'm sick and tired of having to turn everything that's not a lesson down, but I also know that I can't possibly put the money out for this, and the deadline for payment of July 15th was too close even if I were to get hired someplace tomorrow. So even as I was talking myself into and out of wanting to do this Mini Match about every five minutes, it just wasn't a possibility so it didn't matter. I was however so INCREDIBLY touched by the idea that I have a fan that was so wanting me to further my dancing that, still honoring their anonymity I shared this tale with my friends last Friday, including but not limited to, Captain and Jem.

Here's where I get overwhelmed and touched again, I am telling you I have the most WONDERFUL support system in my life! Just as soon as I'm telling of this anonymous donor and how I had turned down their kind offer... Captain pipes up "I'll sponsor you for an entry!" and then next to her Jem chimes in "I'll do one too!" Oh my goodness I was virtually speechless! The mere thought that they would help me on this was unreal! I politely declined, because I am not the type to take offers of this nature. Yet, the thoughts of a possible chance at this seemed within my grasp, ran circles in my head.

I thought on all of this for nearly a week, (in fact one of my friends gets a big thank you for listening to me rant back and forth for and against this all day every THANK YOU). Then last Thursday I was at lunch with my dance friend Ellen, where as we were catching up, I was telling her about how amazing people are being about this Mini Match thing, and how everyone is coming out of the woodwork in wanting me to do it, but that I couldn't and wouldn't take them up on it because it's not that important. Before I could even fully understand what was going on... I had a check in my hand, and a fourth sponsor! I was AGAIN touched and overwhelmed by the kindness...if I was the type of girl to cry I would have busted out in tears all over the table.

So now, by the grace and generosity of my wonderful friends and fans I am going to be participating in the First Annual Mini Match! I have to tell you, I was able to tell RT and he's a bit floored by it all, because last we spoke about it I was completely shooting him down and giving him no chance at getting me to sign up! I cannot wait to see Largo's reaction! In fact..there are a lot of people that are probably going to have some kind of reaction about it! I don't even know what to expect yet... not really. I do know that it's very casual, no ballroom dresses or anything of that nature, which means the dancing is going to be that much more important! Still, I'm not doing this for me... I have sponsors I have to do proud! I may end up working harder for this, than I did that routine!
Mark your calendars kids! Mini-Match is on August 14th and will be held at the South Barrington Studio!

I will of course let you know all about it and what's going on in my head throughout it all... for right now though I'm still in shock!

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