In the beginning of this year, I set as my ultimate goal, that I must compete in OSB this November. I said to myself that everything, including choreographies and techniques, has to be Perfect before OSB! How ambitious I was but I truly believe that if there is a will, there is a way!
Few months before the comp, I pushed poor Elmar to the impossible limit, to get all the open rhythm routines done (at this point, we only practiced minimally on open Rumba, ChaChaCha and little of Bolero) and add more contents to our open smooth routines.
Yes, I did tell Irene Not to have coaching lessons day before the comp…but I did worse myself! I asked our coach Greg Fidurski to come 2 weeks before OSB to change our routines. What was I thinking? In addition, due to courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, I lost a week of lessons. To add fuel to the fire, I was told that I couldn’t dance single heats on both closed and open routines. Being a perfectionist, I just couldn’t bear the thought of not fully preparing myself for the competition I’ve been so looking forward to. Thus I took a very risky step! I stopped all my lessons one week before the comp. Basically, I gave up the thought of Perfect Ten and I just wanted to go there to enjoy the ultimate dancing and the atmosphere of a great competition.
Let me tell you! What an awesome comp!! Everyone looked marvelous and everyone was ready to win! Looking at these amazing C-level ladies dancing on the floor, both Irene and I were impressed by their level of dance skills and of course their incredibly in-shape bodies! One championship starts with either quarter final or even first round, ie the one before quarter final. Twenty to thirty couples were competiting against each other and I believe the biggest champ heat had 42 couples competiting! When you didn’t make the cut, it truly didn’t mean you weren’t good. Indeed, you really were competiting against the world’s best Pro-ams! Of course it’s a nice feeling to move onto the next round and of course to win, but just being there to experience this exceptional dancing event, I truly think it’s worth every penny.
With the “winning” burden off my shoulder and going back to the closed steps that Elmar and I were familiar in dancing, I did well and we managed to get into both closed and open rhythm finals. I did my very best in the closed smooth championship and was happy to be placed second. The open smooth champ was the one I heavily invested the time and effort on but due to the last minute change of steps and lack of single heat “practice”, I did horribly in the first round. People were bumping each other like bumper cars. I danced on crowded floor before but nothing like this one. You really had to know your steps and improvise with your dance partner as you went along; obviously, I lacked that preparation.
After the first round, Elmar told me to go back to the closed smooth steps (told ya I was bad), in case we were lucky enough to get to the next round. I said no: First, I was tired of dancing the same steps over and over again; Second, that was my last champ and I really had nothing to lose; Third, I was always told that open smooth should tell a story. How can I tell a story when two of us constantly face away from each other to keep the frame?! Therefore, I insisted in keeping on doing our new open steps regardless of the high chance of bumping out. Keeping in mind that I needed to improvise and go with the flow, I did OK and “survived” after the quarterfinal. At the semifinal, I thought I did really well and I knew I could make it to the final round. Despite a little wardrobe malfunction and a big time screw up in V.Waltz, I was placed 4th
A message for all of us who always say to ourselves, “I am not ready for competition…”, “I don’t know my steps…”, ditch all the worries and just go out there and have fun!! That’s what ballroom dancing should be….