Saturday, March 31st
(Yup - I'm more than a month late... My excuse this time? I was the Competition Coordinator, which on top of being a PhD student was enough to pretty much drain me for a few weeks... but I've just about recovered and am finally getting all caught up!)
The competition ran unbelievably smoothly and I'm thrilled with how the whole weekend went.
I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to dance at all (yup... the whole back thing still not going so well) but given all the work I put into planning it, I begged and pleaded with my physical therapist to let me. I actually was fine the entire weekend and my back didn't lock up at all! (Well... until I tried to shampoo my hair the following Tuesday... that apparently was the straw that broke the camel's back?)
Matt and I weren't sure how we were going to do, overall given that I hadn't really danced at all the 2 weeks before the competition (and unfortunately haven't danced since, either...) but we survived!
Standard was first thing in the morning and we generally did pretty well! My back was really tight so by the time we got to Viennese Waltz I kind of wanted to cry, but as we warmed up and stretched it definitely improved.
For Gold Standard, we placed first for Waltz/Quickstep, first for Tango/Foxtrot, and second for Viennese Waltz.
More or less sweeping the morning? I'll take it!
P.S. I love this picture because it's super rare for Matt to smile like that during Smooth or Standard.
(Or just link to the video here: Gold American Waltz/Foxtrot/Tango/Viennese Waltz)
By the time we got to Rhythm, we kind of decided to just cut loose and go with whatever!
Kicking it off? Krista and I danced Silver Swing/Mambo together! I led Swing (shown here at the right) and then I quickly ripped off the black sweater with our number and gave it to her so she could lead the Mambo! No callback, but ridiculously fun and totally worth it...
And guess who else "brought it"??? MOM AND DAD! :)
As soon as the competitive dancing was finished, we packed up, changed, and headed out to the Crooked Lake House for the second annual Dancing at the Lake, co-hosed with our local chapter of USA Dance. We had some social dancing and a professional showcase by two of our judges - Ricardo Sopin and Iraida Volodina. (They are incredible dancers and super nice people!)
The icing on this cake? My sorority formal was happening - same time, same place! - in the other banquet room. The 6 of us that are on the dance team were thrilled that we were able to pop in and out of both. :) And we invite all of the girls over to see Ricardo and Iraida, which was pretty awesome...
The long day and late night didn't end the festivities - all day Sunday was some more dancing! Well... for some of us anyway. Ricardo, Iraida, and Jen Volpe (our regular professional coach) each held a workshop and then private lesson session for us. I think Matt and I ended up taking 4 lessons - and my back held up through it all!!
Was I exhausted? ummm... HELL YES.
Was it totally worth it? Again - hell yes.