Let me tell you the important things that I learned from competing this weekend:
1) I am not as elegant as I believed myself to be.
The morning was the ballroom dances. We had two routines for that – Slow Waltz and Foxtrot. First off, out of all the people we met that were competing during the day, there were really only three couples that did not have a dance instructor as one half of the pairing. Even with all the professionals on the floor, we still ended up running in to people. I felt like a complete tool. The ballroom class of dances is really my weak point, and based on the experience this weekend, I am going to have to heel-step up my game if I ever want to compete again.
2) West Coast Swing is not a widely studied dance in the Dance Kingdom.
As we had prepared for our showcase dance months ago (which was an East Coast Swing routine), I had asked one weekend what the difference was between the two coasts of swing dancing, since I had never seen the other done before. Based on that conversation, Sir Steven had bribed us, offering to teach us the basics of West Coast Swing if my dance partner and I really practiced our showcase routine during the week. Well, we met that challenge, and that’s what filled us with love for that style. One of the routines we learned for this competition was for the West Coast Swing. We were signed up for two heats for that, and when we did them… we were the only ones on the floor. I’d have to say, I feel like we may have firmly gotten third place in those heats – maybe even second, if they grade us on the Bronze II scale.
3) When you compete against professionals, you are bound to lose.
At the end of the day, our last heat was the three-dance rhythm competition round. My dance partner and I were the only couple competing in that round (out of a total of six couples) that did not have a professional dancing with us. Needless to say, when they announced the results at the end of the day, we came in 6th place. Really, looking at our competition, I would not have expected us to do any different. We have not been dancing together that long (or dancing at all for that long, for that matter), so there’s just no way we would be expected to do better than a female led by a male instructor. There were no female instructor/male student pairs either, which would have been a slightly more even pairing, since the non-professional is expected to lead.
All in all, it was a good time. It will be interesting to see the notes from the celebrity judge when we get the actual numeric scores for all the heats on this coming Saturday. We can use that to determine what we need to work harder on in practice, and maybe see where Sir Steven thinks we should move in our dance journey. When we saw him tonight for a group class, he told us to come prepared for a new learning experience at our next private lesson together… I don’t know what that means, but hopefully it is a good thing.
As an aside – that outfit that I ordered for the rhythm section of the competition that hadn’t arrived in time to use? Well, they called me while I was at work Monday morning to complain that I wasn’t home to sign for the package when they attempted to deliver it. Two days too late. That figures, doesn’t it?