Status Update and Time Out

Wow, you guys,  I can’t believe we are at the middle of August.  Where has this summer gone so suddenly?  Everywhere you look there’s talk of ” back to school”,  and I’m just now ready for some vacation and summertime fun.  You know why—I’ve been preparing myself for a Ballroom dance competition and it’s been a lot of work.    Well it’s over!!!  The competition was held this past weekend and  today I’m doing the “happy dance”.  I  did quite well over all with enough first-place awards to satisfy me and the rest of my entries were high placements that indicated an improvement in my performance over previous competitions.

This is me and my partner.

This is me and my partner.

It was a combination of lots of fun, nervous tension, and little sleep, but well worth it.  It’s always rewarding to compete and see the difference–improvement–in yourself over time.

Another shot of us.

Another shot of us.

This was the biggest competition ever held in this region;  over 3000 entries (not number of folks dancing, but number of times they went onto the dance floor to compete in a heat.)   Of that number I danced 25 times, all in one day, Saturday.  And I danced all smooth dances i.e.., waltz, foxtrot, tango, and Viennese waltz.  Even though these are slow(er) dances than rhythm dances, they are more strenuous to dance because they require muscle strength and control.  So I have been conditioning myself since this spring.

Below are some photos of dancers on the floor to give you some idea of what a competition looks like.  The theme for this competition was “Once Upon a Fairy Tale”, thus the “Magic Kingdom” backdrop behind the judges.  Each heat lasts about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, and in that time the judges make a determination for placements from first to sixth.  As those dancers are leaving the floor the next group of dancers are walking onto the floor for the next heat; so you see, events move along quickly.  On Saturday we began dancing at 9:00am and the heats continued non-stop until 6:00pm.  Then a banquet and dancing follows that includes a wonderful performance by a professional couple.  The weekend flies by and when it’s over you are exhausted but ready to sign up to do it again.  MAYBE!

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Oh, the potted plants in the middle of the floor?  They were used to divide the floor into Ballroom”A” and Ballroom “B”, to accommodate more dancers–all dancing to the same music,  but in different categories, i.e.,  beginner, advanced, etc.  So while you were dancing you needed to careful that you didn’t fall into a planter.  Just another challenge thrown into the mix!!

Now that it’s all over I will be spending some time with my family who are visiting here from North Carolina for a week.   While I am thus occupied the blog will continue with posts that I have prepared in advance to run in my absence.  A week with house guests will require some cooking on my part so I expect to have some goodies to share with you all when I get back on track.

In the meantime, have a great week, and I’ll be back at my keyboard real soon.

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