We got back yesterday afternoon from Augusta, GA and the Garden City Dance Challenge, where we had a lot of fun. My lack of self-tanner skills apparently wasn’t obvious, Daniel did not get busted for having gum in his mouth on the dance floor, we danced 15 heats (including our first-ever solo showcase) and I didn’t die even though I had a cold, and–best of all–my parents had a really good time. Dad is old enough to remember when social dancing was actually social in the sense that everyone learned how to do it, so he was quite intrigued by the difference between that and competitive dancesport. And my mom is–well, she’s a girl, so she took an avid interest in everyone’s costumes and hairstyles as well as the dancing itself. I was glad they could come just to see what a competition is like. Now, when we talk about it, they will have some context. When my dad asked me over dinner Friday night “What typically happens during a ‘heat’?” I realized that a ballroom competition is much easier to observe than it is to explain. So they had fun and got to meet some of the people we’re always talking about. The atmosphere in the ballroom was very energetic all day, which is helpful because competition days are so long. I had my false eyelashes on for something like 15 hours! All honor and glory to the organizers at Ballroom in Motion for making that magic happen.
The showcase performance went well, I think. I say “I think” because I haven’t quite dared to look at the video yet. Daniel said he could feel in my body how nervous I was. While I’m never conscious of being nervous, I do get a big hit of adrenaline when I perform, and I haven’t quite mastered how to use that to make me both aggressive and controlled. Clearly I was in a bit of a fugue state: after it was over I had to ask Daniel if he’d had his fedora on through the entire performance, because I couldn’t remember.
Our results were good, if not spectacular: this was a pro-am competition so only a few of our heats were contested and even those were only 2-3 couples. Nevertheless, we got a 1st for the very last heat of the day, Closed Silver American Rhythm. The couple we were up against had been beating us all day and I totally biffed the choreography in our new rumba routine, so I don’t set much store by that placement, but it was gratifying anyway. Mom & Dad left after we danced that last heat so we got to brag about our 1st place over breakfast with them the next morning. Since we were staying for the awards we also got to see the pro heats–only one round each of Smooth and Rhythm but they were so exciting to watch. I don’t actually want to be a professional but I’d like to dance like one!
Who’s ready for pictures?
Speaking of pictures, I have to give props to Stephen Marino, or “The Silent Photographer,” as he is known in my head. This man tirelessly took photos on Saturday for as many hours as I wore eyelashes (maybe more), and the pictures are GORGEOUS. I spoke to him in the evening and soon recognized that he was not responding verbally. At first I thought it was some artsy shtick but then he whispered that he had lost his voice on a trip to Bermuda. (Bermuda: poor guy!) It turns out that a photographer doesn’t have to talk very much. In this case, at least, his pictures speak for him very well.
And for those of you who like your pictures to move around, videos will be up soon. Special thanks to my mom for serving as videographer all day!