New York Dance Festival
I’m keeping the content of this post strictly factual, because if I try to convey the emotional/mental roller coaster ride, the ups and downs and darks and lights, the absolute craziness, we’d be here until …. ????
I’ve been doing this competition since I first started dancing, back when it was a single day venue. It is now a 5-day event, and I feel that this year has it at the top of the list for being one of the most challenging comps I’ve ever participated in, both in terms of number of competitors and quality of the dancing.
Not to mention that in addition to Rhythm, I’d also be dancing American Smooth, after a 2-year hiatus.
It’s been hard to put aside my disbelief and misconceptions, face reality and accept that the results in my last 3 competitions were not flukes or accidents or drunk judges.
As The Icon and I walked out onto the floor for the first of our 10 heats (two levels of what I call the “core” dances – ChaCha, Rumba, EC Swing, Bolero and Mambo), I saw our images projected on the huge screen at the far end of the ballroom and something clicked inside my head. Because what I saw was a “real” rhythm dancer, someone who had actually started feeling and dancing like one, and not someone who felt like a clumsy poseur who had no right being out there on the floor.
And that changed everything.
We danced against 8 other couples in our first 5 heats, placing 3rd in all five dances.
The next 5 heats were semi-finals. We made the callbacks in all and placed 4th across the board against 7 other couples.
Believe me when I tell you that when I went down to the ballroom for my Smooth heats (2 levels of Waltz, Tango, FoxTrot and Viennese Waltz) what I saw out on the floor almost made me fold my tent and slink off into the dark night (actually, it was 9am …. LOL).
But I stayed.
All 8 heats were semi-finals.
We actually made callbacks to the finals in … (would you believe) … FoxTrot and Viennese Waltz!
No, we didn’t place in the top 3, but WE MADE THE FINALS. After a 2-year break. And only 1-1/2 months of prep time.
And believe me when I tell you this was no walk in the park. We were up against top-notch talent. Advanced Open Gold couples using the Silver levels as their warm up dances.
Well, that’s enough crowing for now … let’s see if my new attitude holds strong in the Tri-State Challenge coming up on March 22nd.
I’ll only be doing Rhythm. Should be a piece of cake, eh ?!?!?!?!