Eastern Aftermath

February 24, 2009 at 9:40 PM (Dance, Goals, Happenings) (, , , , )

As you may recall, I had a competition this weekend.  For me, a competition typically entails a week of tanning, three (or more) weeks of stress, and months of practise.  This time I just opted for the week of tanning.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a premeditated decision.

Johnny and I decided to dance on Tuesday.  Our events were on Friday.  Frankly, I didn’t have time to stress, and you can imagine that we didn’t squeeze months of practise into three days.  Given the circumstances, though, I can’t complain too much about our results.  I won’t get into specifics, but I will say that I managed to bring a few blue ribbons home, and that my video from the event didn’t totally nauseate me.  The weekend was successful and fun, but that’s not to say that I’m satisfied with my dancing.  Nope, not by a long shot.  I’ll be competing with Johnny later this year (either Tri-State in March or Yankee in June), and percentages of blue ribbons I acquire aside, I have a lot to do before then.

Overall, Balera had a great weekend.  In Pro-Am, Russell’s students took first in Bronze Standard and Silver Rhythm, Vivian’s students took first in Silver Rhythm, and of course Johnny and I had sported some blue ribbons in the Silver Standard category.  In the amateur ranks, Balera occupied three fifths of the Open Rhythm final, earning second, third and fourth positions.

Today’s Tunes
“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” Seal
“Shadows,” Blue Man Group
“Brown Derby Jump,” Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
“Cream,” Prince
“Politik,” Coldplay
“Can I Tico Tico You,” Lou Bega


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And Suddenly, I’m Competing At the Eastern

February 18, 2009 at 5:40 AM (Dance, Happenings) (, , )

Oh well, I was never one for advance planning, anyway.  This semester, I decided to take a break from competitive dancing in order to focus on my classes and job search, but I’ll still take the occasional dance class, and I attend Balera’s Friday night shindigs religiously.  I’m not totally deprived of rug-cutting.  Today, Johnny and I decided to practise for a little bit, which we haven’t really done since November.

After maybe an hour of serious work on Waltz, Johnny was ecstatic.  We were moving smoothly, traveling far, and I was shaping decently, if I do say so myself.  Eager to show me off, Johnny caught Russell’s attention: “Hey Russ, check this girl out.” ::looks at me:: “Do what you just did,” he instructed as he led me into promenade position.  No pressure, now.  I only have my two coaches who are also the studio owners scrutinising me.  Somehow I still managed to repeat the long wall with Johnny, and it was clear that he was still thrilled with me.  Admittedly, I was feeling a bit better about my dancing, but Johnny has been the most positive coach I have ever had, and I do my best not to let his praise get to my head.  Russell, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in sugar-coating.  Getting a compliment from him is about as productive as prying the ring from Smeagle’s hands (Lord of the Rings reference).  Johnny looked at his business partner with glee.  “Isn’t she great?”

“Yeah, she looks good.”  I struggled not to collapse then and there.  “So why aren’t you competing this weekend!?”

Johnny looked at me.  “Well, I dunno . . . did you want to?”

Now it was my turn to beam.  This weekend is the Eastern United States Dancesport Championships, which, as far as dance competitions go, is down the street from my apartment.  I originally hadn’t expressed an interest because of my aforementioned priorities, but that didn’t mean that I’d miss competing terribly.  The Eastern is one of four major Boston area competitions throughout the year, and one of its organisers is Billy Morganti, who you may recall from an earlier post this year about my Superbowl adventures.  This one’s possibly the largest of the four, and is the only one that actually takes place in Boston (Dancing a la Carte takes place in Chicopee in May, Yankee Classic resides in Cambridge in May, and the Commonwealth Classic is a Lowell comp in November).  If nothing else, it was frustrating to think that I’d be skipping on a local competition.  Once my head had cleared itself of competition anticipation, I had my second thought of the minute:

Oh, (expletive), now I need to tan.

(For those of you who don’t ballroom dance, tanning is a vile, yet necessary part of the preparation for competition and performance.  I won’t get into it now, but I know what I’ll be blogging about tomorrow!)

Tanning aside, I’m pretty psyched for this weekend.  I have to admit that part of the initial allure of ballroom dancing for me was to get all prettied up and to perform for an audience.  As much as I love zipping around with Johnny on Friday nights, it’s not the same as the high that accompanies a rehearsed performance.

For those of you who have any interest at spectating at the Eastern, tickets are available for purchase here (and for those of you who have any interest in watching ME dance, I’ll be competing in Silver Pro-Am Standard in the A2 division on Friday afternoon at 2.30 and 4.00 P.M. in a sparkly, flourescent red-orange gown).

Eastern United States Dancesport Championships
The tradition comes to Boston!
February 19-22, 2009
The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers
50 Park Plaza at Arlington St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 426-2000

Tonight’s Tunes
“The Ballad of John and Yoko,” The Beatles
“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” The Beatles
“Here (In Your Arms),” Hellogoodbye
“All of Your Love,” Hellogoodbye
“Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” Billy Joel
“She’s Always a Woman To Me,” Billy Joel
“Your Every Color,” Train
“Following Rita,” Train
“Last Beautiful Girl,” Matchbox Twenty
“Kody,” Matchbox Twenty
“Every Breath You Take,” The Police
“Murder By Numbers,” The Police
“Can’t Stop,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Californication,” Red Hot Chili Peppers

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