Showcase – Initial Impressions

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My knee hurts.  My feet hurt.  My shoulders ache.  Dancing ain’t easy.  Was it worth it???  Oh yeah, I had a blast.  I won’t get any critiques until Tuesday when I have my first coaching lesson so we’ll see what the judges saw.

At 2:45 AM, the morning of, one of our dogs woke me up.  For a whole host of reasons, she sleeps in a crate in a different room so when she barks in the middle of the night, it is normally not a good thing.  And, yes, she had an accident in the crate so I had to let her out and clean up the crate and floor.  Quite a nice start to the day, don’t you think?

Most of our previous Showcases have been held at a hotel where they turn a room into a ballroom.  For this one, they actually rented the one real ballroom.  While I could describe it, the following two paragraphs from the website do a far better job.

Dreamed up in 1926 by Edgar O. Hunter and Preston Rubush, the Roof first opened in September of 1927. Designed to appear as if you were in a European village, no detail was forgotten. Painted grapevines creep up plaster columns and the stucco facades, doorways and balconies contain exquisite details and even the staircase railings have ornate woodwork. The domed ceiling resembles a starry night sky, with soft clouds and a crescent moon.

The 8,700 square foot circular dance floor began with one small square in the center of the floor and from there, it was expanded with small boards to create the 100 foot wide floor that is still used today. The floor, which famous performer Lawrence Welk termed “the most comfortable dancing surface in the world,” due to two subfloors and a cushion layer, was well-used by people in the ‘30s and ’40s who came to enjoy big bands.

This was also a special event because it marked the last professional performance for Z and OwnerGuy.  They have decided to quite competitive dancing to focus on the studio and other matters.  So they did a pro show along with the two judges who were brought in.  Double the pros, double the fun.  But, that coupled with the fact that this was a big event meant that several studios from outside our area decided to attend which made this a much bigger event than a typical Showcase.  They actually had to divide the floor into two (which was OK because there was certainly space) and run heats side by side which required an additional pair of judges.

There were two downsides to the venue.  First, they have precise time block you can book and not a minute longer.  To get things done on time, we had to start at 11 AM but the facility didn’t open until 10:30 so not a lot of time to warm up or practice.  The other thing that was interesting is they only had one dressing room.  When I first got there, they had a partial screen up which divided most, but not all of the room.  They did eventually install another curtain but you could hear the conversations on the other side which was interesting.  I thought it was too hot in the ballroom but that was after doing about 12 smooth heats in a row.  Everyone who wasn’t dancing was cold.

Did everything go perfectly?  No, of course not.  Am I upset about that??  Well, I always want perfection so there is that little part of me that wishes things could have gone better.  But take the forest view and it went really well.  This was the first time we did nothing but the open routines and had to do them with multiple people around.  We only got bound up a couple of times but they all went well.  Oh, I forgot to mention that Z was having some serious allergy problems which meant she was really congested, tired and perhaps a bit loopy from the medication. So she kept trying to do the routine she does with OwnerGuy during our Viennese Waltz and so the beginning was a little rough.  But that’s OK because I left out a step from the Waltz the first three times I did it until she reminded me and I added it back in.  Amazing how well that worked.

The solos were interesting.  Little glitches in both the Quickstep and Shuffle but we had so much entertainment value in them that nobody really noticed.  The Hustle was the cleanest but they were all fun.

For some reason, there was one of the outside studios that took it upon themselves to become my cheering section.  I know it was because I was dancing with Z most of the day and she and OwnerGuy have performed at that studio and they are good friends with the owner.  It started with one of the instructors in the on deck line yelling my name while we were in a heat and it just snowballed from there.  A couple of heats we ended up near their tables and they all joined in.  I suspect it was some top secret plan to see if I could stay focused but I really just found it humorous.  OK, did I attempt to add some extra flair?  Well, yes I did.  Not sure if it worked or not but, hey, if they were going to be cheering, I might as well give them something to cheer about.

Oh, and remember the guy who challenged me at the last Showcase.  Turns out, he backed out of doing the Two-Step. He wanted to do a Paso routine and the Two-Step fell by the way.  He didn’t think I’d actually end up doing the Bachata.  So I won by default.  At the end of the night, as he was leaving, he actually said he liked our Bachata.

I got lots of positive feedback during the day which gave me all kinds of practice in the “just say thanks” rather than pointing out all the obvious flaws that they missed.  One of the instructors from another studio who has seen me develop through the various Showcases said he could see that I’ve really made a lot of progress.  I ran into one of the judges randomly during the day and he said it looked like I was having fun out there which was true and I’m glad that came through.  There was a guy from one of the other outside studios who sought me out after dinner to tell me how much he enjoyed my dancing and we chatted about dancing for a bit.  Even as I was walking through the parking garage to get to my car, a random lady walking in the other direction gave me a “nice job out there” as we passed.  So I’m tired and glad I took today off but yesterday was clearly worth it.

The only sad news of the evening was finding out that 3 of 3 is leaving the studio.  I wasn’t supposed to know but it slipped out during dinner.  Her husband took a new job back in more familiar territory (don’t think he really adapted to life in our little part of the world).  He’s actually been gone for about a month but she stayed through Showcase to not mess anyone up.  I will miss working with her.  I think she got me to tap more into the entertainment part of dancing – even OwnerGuy said the same thing.  And, without her, I don’t think the country dancing will continue.  I believe she is going to continue her work in the Famous Franchise universe at her new location so there is certainly the chance of seeing her somewhere down the road.

Showcase is behind me now.  What is the next adventure?  You’ll just have to wait and see.  (Oh, and once I get the critiques, you can expect another post about Showcase)

3 comments

  1. “I suspect it was some top secret plan to see if I could stay focused but I really just found it humorous.” Maybe they were cheering you on just to cheer you on! 😛 Accepting that is the next step after just saying thank you to compliments. 🙂 Love that you enjoyed yourself! Congratulations!

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