Hello Dancing Friends,
The comp is over and it was a lovely time. I arrived just in time and followed fellow blogger, DWALL’s, advice about parking. I just pulled my little old car up to the front of Grove Park Inn, got out with confidence, and promptly got into a silly conversation with the valet about my car and parking it. In the end, I actually valet parked for the whole time I was there … yes, I did, in spite of my anxiety. 🙂
Tuesday evening was open bronze single dance before the bronze scholarships. I didn’t really have any competition in my age division, but it was a good warm-up for the scholarships. And … drum roll, please: I actually took 3rd place in the rhythm scholarships! Last year, I didn’t make finals, so you can imagine I was ecstatic. When I found out I was in the finals, I just was all smiles. And then when they called each number and it wasn’t Teach’s till 3rd place, I just couldn’t believe it! I’m not sure anyone on the floor had as a big a smile on their face than me! As you can see in the picture, I was big smiles for the rest of the evening!! (I think my Teach was happy for me too! I’ve worked really hard for this!)
Wednesday was single dance events in rhythm. I did really well and got all firsts and second places! In the evening we had lots of fun watching the gold and then rising star professionals compete.
Thursday was all smooth day. I got one third and the rest firsts and seconds in the single dance events. In the semi-finals for smooth scholarships I just danced my heart out, hoping to make finals, but I didn’t feel confident about it. I made it to semis last time, but that was as far as I got — and there were some really good dancers from silver who were dancing down in my division. So, when Teach came and told me I had made finals, I was so surprised, I didn’t know what to say — but, I definitely was smiling! Well, I got 5th place in smooth scholarships! Again, I couldn’t believe I made it that far!! All that hard work definitely paid off!
Thursday evening was a fun dinner and dance and then watching professionals compete again. I stayed up ridiculously late sitting by the massive fireplace and day dreaming. I got lots of good feedback from other dancers and teachers during the comp. I know I’m not the best technical dancer, but I have a lot of heart when I dance and I think that speaks to people. Honestly, this competition is the first time that I’ve really “felt” validated as a dancer. It’s hard to explain, but I always kinda felt I was on the outskirts looking on — a bit of a poser. But this last week was different. I believed that I belonged — that I could hold my own and that I had something valuable to offer as well. It was a really good feeling.
Friday morning was check out time. I had to get back home as I was teaching an afternoon class. And … voila, my car wouldn’t start. Apparently, the valet didn’t shut my car door and my battery died — of course, that happened to me! 😉 HA! Being a classy joint, security jumped my car and they offered me all kinds of beverages while I waited.
Well, I actually had a lesson Friday evening with Teach (no water getting under this bridge) and he, true to his word, starting focusing on creating new silver routines. But, first were drills. These body contorting drills around the room done completely on the balls of my feet. So cool — and so difficult!
Ah … this week: It was worth every penny, every drop of sweat and blood, every frustrating moment in lessons, and every bit of joy in movement. It turned out better than I could have hoped and I already feel it’s benefits in my lessons since. I feel stronger, more confident. I feel ready for the next step. I find myself just soaking up the new things from Teach — not frantic, just eager to learn, eager to change and grow my dancing. The owner of the studio where I dance once told me that competing at a good comp was the equivalent of 30 lessons. I laughed when he said that, but I understand now. It pushes you to dance hard — always growing. You get to watch and learn from others on the floor. You are inspired. You do change.
If only it didn’t take me months to save up enough money to do one of these things. I’m sure I’ll share more about the other dancers I met while there and funny anecdotes, but I wanted to share the gist of it. So, there you go. See you on the dance floor, friends!