Monday, November 22, 2010

Ohio Star Ball.. Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Oh wow... ok if I could have gotten the whole weekend to feel like the competition on Sunday felt... I probably would have died with glee!

Sunday was the day I absolutely wanted to be at Ohio for the professionals that I know, because Sunday is when the Rising Star events happen, and at the time of my reservation last year it was going to look like Largo/TNT and TSD/FAF were going to be in it to win to speak.... Wellll... this past year has been very kind to "my" pros and their competition results where Largo/TNT actually qualified out of Rising Star by becoming National Champions of Rising Star Rhythm at USDC back in September. So.. that meant that Sunday was all about supporting TSD/FAF. Which I love to do...because I have always believed that their dancing has moments of being absolute poetry in motion and I already had a good feeling about this competition for them.

BUT.. before all that was to happen at 5:00pm I had another engagement to attend in the ballroom at 9:15am. :-) The founder of EliseDance was dancing with her partner in World Senior Pre-Champ Standard and I wanted to cheer them on. I arrived in the ballroom at approximately 9am but couldn't find Elise, so I grabbed a muffin and some water from the in ballroom breakfast set up, found a seat and watched the Standard dancers before me. I am endlessly curious about Standard and how the mechanics of dancing in that style works.... perhaps Largo and I will have to give it a try sometime.

EliseDance showing 'em how it's done (in Blue)
Suddenly as time approaches, I hear the announcer call for couple 695 to check in! Well for heaven's sake that's EliseDance and her partner!! Just as the heat is standing on the floor Elise and her partner come running in! Woo! Just in the nick of time! Turns out this very first heat was more of a warm up for them anyway, but I'm glad they made it! A little later the Pre-Champ heat semi-final was called, and thankfully ETP and Spicy joined me for the fun. It was a three dance multi (meaning the couples dance three dances as opposed to the usual 5 for professionals) and EliseDance + partner looked fantastic! It was such a joy to watch! Also as a professional spectator, and often the one that starts the room cheering for their favorite couple, it was such an treat to be thanked by EliseDance for being there! Bonus they placed 2nd! Woo hoo! Congratulations EliseDance and partner!!!

After the morning events we decided as a group to grab lunch and wander the convention center. Turns out there was a whole other side to the building where a huge youth cheerleading competition was being held, along with the collegate ballroom portion of OSB. We ran into FAF and TSD wished them luck and I told FAF they were going to do well tonight, and I wouldn't leave until she agreed. The idea being that regardless of how she felt about how they were going to do, I had at least firmly planted the seed that they were going to do well in her mind too.

Endearing is a bit of a late riser and joined up with us for lunch, shortly after lunch Endearing and I decided to wander amongst the vendors and see in greater detail what wares were to be had. We then relaxed with some much needed caffeine and waited until the agreed upon time where we would all collect in the ballroom to cheer on our favorite couple.

 Real men wear pink..and then WIN Rising Star Latin :-)
4pm... Endearing proving that she is a bit more observant than me, noticed outside the ballroom that table 51 had been reserved for our studio during the comp so we promptly found "our" table and set up camp to cheer for the Rising Stars. During the Rising Star Smooth there was also Rising Star Latin. So we promptly began discussing costumes and dancers from Dance Forums etc. We cheered for FAF and TSD couple 212 during their events, and found a Latin couple where he was from Dance Forums, and wearing a fuchsia Latin outfit WITH matching Fuchsia shoes! We knew without a doubt just based on observing alone that TSD and FAF made it into the Semis so we focused a bit more on the Latin couple. At one point the announcer said "Who's your favorite couple!" and I couldn't help but say (not nearly as loudly as I would for a real cheer) "The Pink One!" Well it was a bit louder than I thought because spectators in the immediate vicinity heard me, and cracked up, ETP and Endearing ended up laughing... and I promptly made a note to mention the interaction in this post. :-)

Semi Finals for American Smooth were danced... and we cheered!!! TSD and FAF were clearly in their element, floor craft was excellent, form was spot on, and the energy in the room began to build for us at table 51. We made it through the Latin semis, trying not to get too excited. TSD and FAF had not yet made the finals in Rising Star here at Ohio, and we knew they had made it... but we didn't want to talk about it too loudly...we watched the rest of the in-between events, I kept up my texting of about 8 people back at home to report results. Then... the finals were called... in no particular order..but...but... the first couple called back tot he floor was 212!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! Already....already you could feel the positive energy... The three of us cheered and cheered like I don't think we had cheered before.... and I was thinking we had to... we had to cheer for the HUGE support system TSD and FAF have back at home, but no one was able to stay and see Rising Star... we had to cheer for their families and students waiting on pins and needles for their results! They danced... oh did they dance... like Cinderella and Prince Charming they floated across the floor in waltz.. they channeled Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers directly for the Tango and Fox Trot and their Viennese Waltz was a dream. ETP and I couldn't take it... as soon as the Finals were over we needed a break from the tension... Already we knew that our couple had made it further than ever before in this particular event, then we KNEW of the 7 couple final that they were not 7th!!!! On our way out of the ballroom ETP and I did a quick knock on the wood doors so that we wouldn't jinx anything we had thought or said at the table..and quickly agreed to not tempt fate and say anything else!!

"I've got a good feeling about this [ETP]!"

"Shut up! Don't say it!"

"I won't I promise, I won't even text it I promise!" ....ooooooo..but I was excited!

ETP and I met up on the way back to the ballroom about ten minutes later...and again I couldn't contain my excitement!

"ETP!...I'm excited!"

ETP then shook his finger at me as an exaddurated shut up gesture.

"I know I know! Ok.. but I have to say this... We're in the finals!!! and We're NOT SEVENTH!!!!"

I got an excited "I know!!!" kind of look from ETP...this is a feeling we have felt before....and boy did we hope we were right....

Endearing who had stayed in the ballroom to watch the other events shot me a text that the Latin Rising Star final had begun.... we left Spicy at the bar where she had decided to wait us out.... this was her first comp and being a tad burned out is understandable especially at THIS comp!

We ran in and resumed our positions at table 51.

The awards started and every couple in the final for smooth lined up...

The announcer started.....

"And in 7th place.... " Woo! Not from Illinois!

"In 6th Place".... YAY!!!! (see the thing is people aplaud at these results just as much for the couple that gets it as for the couple that's still waiting for their names to be called)

Congrats! (pay attention to the camera next time! sheesh!) Photo: Creative Portraiture
"In 5th Place"... OMG! NO WAY!!! We're still in it!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!

"In 4th Place....From Illinios...Couple 212...." WAH HOOO! FOURTH PLACE BABY!!!! Table 51 was on their feet and cheering!

THAT was amazing.. the best placement they've ever had... at the biggest comp ever!

L-R Endearing, FAF, TSD, ETP, Me Photo: Creative Portraiture
And now I'm off to catch my plane...Amazing comp, amazing weekend, amazing friends and dance professionals... can we do it again next weekend?!?!

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