As promised, I’ll use this post to fill you guys in on my experience competing this past month ! I started Ballroom dancing in May and on December 2nd, 2017 I had my first “big” competition.
I had competed before but those few opportunities had been local and against students of sister studios. This time around, it was a regional competition, meaning that we had to dance against students of other studios¹ from the region and it was in a more formal setting, including rhinestone dresses and fancy hairstyles.
I have to confess that I do not care much about competing, I participate for the pleasure of dancing and the opportunity to share the floor with other passionate dancers sharing the same love and excitement for the discipline. However, the nerves were consuming me because I did not know what to expect.
I had been training for three months straight learning five different Open² routines (Cha cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo) and I only knew that, in a professional competition, they are danced one after the other. I was not sure if that was going to be the case for us, and I didn’t even know how many entries I had. There are different heats and you dance the amount of times you registered for in a random order. Also, because we are regular students, we dance with our instructors (Pro-am couples).
I had to arrive to the hotel the competition was being held at 5:30 am for hair and make-up. The event started and 8:00 a.m. and I did not have my first dance up until 9:22 a.m. The fact that I had some time before I had to start dancing put me at ease. I danced my first Closed³ entries from 9:22 a.m. until 10 something a.m. and then my Open routines started at around 11:30 a.m. until sometime around 12 p.m. I danced my final heats from 1 to 2p.m. I was a little nervous before getting my heat list, because I did not know if I was going to have enough stamina to endure the entire day dancing; however, when I realized that I had a couple of minutes before hitting the dance floor again, I calmed down. I kind of wished I danced even more because once you get there, the adrenaline and the excitement is such that you just feel like dancing and having fun !
The first couple of dances were in the Newcomers category, where the judges judge you based on your skills and level of dancing and the scores are individual. The second portion was in the Championship category, where you had to compete against the ones on the dance floor regardless of the level dispariety; I danced both my open and closed routines.
The experience was amazing and I had a lot of fun ! There was even a heat where my partner and I were the only ones on the dance floor and I felt that we had a mini Dancing the Stars situation going on there ! I placed second place in the Closed Championship and first place on three open routines and second place on the other two. (I do not know which ones were the ones I placed 1st or 2nd because I honestly did not understand at the moment what was going on, oops !) I absolutely enjoyed dancing at this event and sharing this experience with my studio mates and family members; we’ll see what will happen next, but for now… Pj’s and pizza !
Thank you for taking a moment of your day to read this post, I know it has little to do with the thematic of the blog, but I really wanted to share this experience with you guys.
¹Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
²Partners apart of each other with minimum dance hold and in choreographed routines.
³Partners hold and face each other. Constant body contact and support.