And arrive they did Friday night was a massive dance party with a break for a couple of the first events of the comp. I love to dance but I also enjoy watching the advanced dancers so breaking for the showcase and swaps and steals events was a pleasure. For the non-dancers out there, swaps and steals is where there are three dancers but only two dance at one time the third must swap out with or steal from one of the two already dancing. If you followed that you too deserve a medal. Anyway it is great fun to watch and the competitors dancing where all fun to watch in different ways.
It was a brilliant night and a great start to my first comp despite the slight excitement right at the beginning. Typically of me I was out of the room and missed the fact that the venue was almost set on fire. Thanks to some quick reactions it was put out very quickly and no-one was hurt. The event was able to continue with only the usual excitement of dancing, dancing and some more dancing.
As well as becoming familiar with the venue I was also glad I had offered to volunteer since between the chair moving and the dancing by the time I got home I was knackered. This meant that I actually slept the night before I had to compete, which in turn meant when the alarm when off at 8am I was very uninclined to get up! But get up I did and by 8:30am I was back at the venue. By 9:30am I had my lucky dip partner, a very nice man from Auckland who seemed complete be a laid back kind of guy. Then it was on to the dancing. Apart from my team event I had entered 6 other categories and sadly I got knocked out at the first round for five of them. This is what happens when you dance above your level I think. My partner was intermediate, I’m not. I would like to give him a massive shout out here for putting up with having his feet stood repeatedly and still managing to dance, sorry mate. On one event though I made it to the semi final and I was delighted. I had hoped to make it that far in at least one event and I thought that Dancing with a Stranger (DWAS) would be my best shot and I was right. The semis were in the afternoon and after a furious morning of dancing and marsheling I was happy to get a bit of a break. Too quickly though the semi’s arrived and I was back on the dance floor.
By this point I was resting my feet more than I was dancing but still getting in the odd freestyle for fun and as practice for my last round. The day was a delicate balance between resting my poor feet and not cramping up. I think I managed it quite well though I would have loved it if I could have fitted in a nana nap somewhere. Of course as well as the brilliant people I was dancing with the day wouldn’t have been complete without my friends who showed up to support me and bring me food. Thanks girls, you know who you are.
Sadly I was the only girl from our routine to make it to the final (the grinning like an idiot thing is my not-so-secret weapon I think) but a couple of the guys made it. One of them was with me in the DWAS final and the other was in the freestyle. Once we had all finished our rounds we all met up and it was time for a quick team run through and pep talk. Then it was back to the comp to see the advance dancers and master show us how it’s really done. One word. Wow. Ok more than one. If only I could do what they could do. But mostly, WOW.
Then it was time. After two months of practices we were on. Everyone cheered us on, we got in place and then the music started. I couldn’t believe we were finally dancing our routine, and neither could my feet apparently since they took a while to catch on. Joking aside I think we did an excellent job. I know we were all nervous and tired but we went out there and we smiled and mostly we were pretty much on time. Basically, we rocked. We were the only beginners team so we names ourselves the Wellington Winners and at the end of the routine I felt like one. Then we got to sit down and enjoy the advance teams. There were two big groups and two small ones and each were good in their own way. Knowing how hard it was to get for couples in time I have infinite respect for the larger teams. Having said that I also thought the smaller teams took excellent advantage of their smaller numbers and I am glad no-one made me choose between them.
Then it was all over. There was some freestyle whilst we all relaxed and then it was time for the prizes. I already felt like a winner, such a cliché yet true. Our routine was pretty good and I’d made a final. Not only that our team choreographer complimented me on my final and said she thought I might place third or fourth. She isn’t the kind of person to give false praise so it really meant a lot. I also loved that she said though my styling wasn’t the best (not news) I had the most energy, well all those nerves had to go somewhere! Therefore when they got to my event and called someone elses name third I thought “Oh well, must’ve been fourth that’s not bad” only to hear my name called for second! I wasn’t sure but my friends screaming in my ear confirmed I had heard correctly, have I mentioned how much I love my friends?! So first comp and second place, wow. I didn’t quite believe it and half expected to find out I was wrong when I got to the stage but no, they gave me a trophy and certificate and took my photo. I really was second, and still in shock. Of course then I had to go back up for my team prize too which I hadn’t thought of so it absolutely was the most amazing end to and amazing day and I cannot believe I have to give it up when I leave. Please someone, anyone, tell me they love ceroc in Asia?! Oh and parentals, you know what I said about ceroc if we have time in Oz, yeah we’ll have time, right??