Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week One No Dancing.... and The FADS Regional Comp

I got the worst cold I've had in 4 years on the Monday of my first week "off". So I actually can't say that I missed dancing too much, I was too busy trying to get better so I could attend the Chicagoland FADS DanceSport Challenge, which is the fall regional competition. These competitions begin on Friday night, and go all day Saturday... Saturday night is saved for a semi-formal dinner and a show or dance party of some kind. This particular competition was going to feature a Salsa "party" after the dinner so I had always planned on attending that. Then I found out that some dance friends were competing so I decided to also attend the Saturday session too.
Actually, I attended the Saturday session to catch ETP's solo... he had a Cha Cha choreographed by Jesse DeSoto some months ago and has been working on it and talking about it to the point where I couldn't miss it. Combine that with the fact that I knew this was going to be one of the few dance events I'd be attending where I could run into most of the dance people I know and nothing was going to stop me from being there....

So the plan was set... Solo's and Showcases usually happen on Saturday morning... personally I believe that it's a crime to ask people to be fully ready to dance that early in the morning... but I brought my professional spectator self to the hotel at 9:30am. Making a quick stop at the coffee station before entering the ballroom of course. Low and behold Jem and another dance friend also there to catch ETP's solo were already there and cheering. I was impressed. I chatted with them for a bit and caught up with a few other folks. I was having a nice relaxing morning actually! Per the schedule, Solos and Showcases were to start at 11am.

11am came and the announcer started calling for the music, each performer had to give their music to the DJ...and the announcer called again... no one came forward. THIS was the great race to NOT go first... as it happens no one who goes first wins. So, no one wanted to give up their music. Personally I think they should just go in the order listed in the program and be done with it, but that's just me. So we all waited a bit and I saw ETP give his music over to the DJ... this was all before I knew about the great race to not go first... had I known what was going on, I would have tried to talk him out of it. As soon as ETP handed his disc over, magically so did everyone else. :-)

So ETP went first... it was a good routine... really solid and performed well. I know all too well how hard it was worked on and the thought that went into the costuming, it was worth the wait. I honestly thought after seeing it that he had a shot at getting top solo, but unfortunately tradition came into play and not only did he not win, but I think he was judged rather harshly... but he knew that was going to happen going into it... He's the one that told me about the great race to not go first. :-)

The rest of the day was spent chatting, and cheering. One of my favorite ways to spend the afternoon. The Competition wrapped up about an hour earlier than the program indicated, which was craziness... Some friends and I decided to go to a restaurant for dinner outside the hotel, instead of doing the semi-formal thing. That was nice, and we had a lot of time to kill since the competition ended so early.

We arrived back at the hotel in time to freshen up and get ready for some Salsa dancing... the theme of the evening was Havana Nights and they hired a band I actually see around quite a bit Rica Obsesion. They play some pretty good Latin music, I've never had a bad time when they're around.

Dances were a bit few and far between for me, which is what happens all the time... but there were a couple of highlights... Got part of a song in with RT, which only reminds me how much I'm going to miss dancing with him....still had fun. Michael picked me up for a really fun Salsa too... he's getting really good at this! Then I got a whole song in with RTS' partner from the Michigan Avenue studio (I had previously made him promise to ask me for a dance...but I ended up kind of stalking him for one instead... :-) ) That salsa was actually the highlight of my evening because I've only danced with him one other time and I was very impressed that I was following so well... way too much fun! After a bit CWS picked me up for a club style Cha Cha... or "lazy cha cha" as he called it... very accurate description! Finally the evening was ended at 10pm...and about 30 seconds before the end of that last song I got a few quick steps in with Largo...

After I actually picked a different exit from the ballroom... I didn't want to say goodbye to anyone... I don't know exactly when I'm going to see them again... so I just ducked out.....and into the bar to chill with a couple of dance students I talk to regularly for a bit. Then off to home...

I did enjoy my day and evening... congratulations to all the students, well done!

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