My day started with a 3 hour drive from Virginia Beach to D.C. going 80 mph with the beautiful sunshine beaming through the sunroof, music blaring and arm out the window.
I arrived at the hotel, immediately gota room, and overheard a conversation about black shoes. Apparently black shoes should NEVER be worn with nude stockings or bare legs. Oops. I do that ALL the time and while I love my nude shoes, I think the black pump and black pencil skirt with a crisp white shirt is quite stunning. That’s just one gal's opinion though.
My room was awesome! I rarely stay at nice hotels for budget purposes, so I felt like I was living it up this weekend! The chairs were black and white striped with pull out foot rests that matched!! When I have a lot of money, I will have chairs like these. For now, I’ll just enjoy lounging and typing in them while sipping on my afternoon coffee. Ahh!
I unloaded my huge suitcase and multiple dresses then headed down to the lobby where I found my first familiar face…TARAS! Yay! He provided me with a hug, my registration packet and schedule and guest passes for my parents. That was a nice surprise! Thank you very much! It was really nice to see someone I knew among tons of people with insane amounts of makeup on that I didn’t know. I quickly became one of those individuals with an insane amount of makeup on. My eyes were smoky with fake lashes which were kind of odd feeling and really challenging to put on without having any issues. I imagine that if I had contacts or wore eyeliner that they would be easier to put on because I’d at least be comfortable touching my eyes. My hair was pulled to the side and tucked up in curls. My diamond earrings were on and I was starting to feel a bit sassy and a tinge sexy! Ooo La La!
4:30PM quickly came around, so I headed down to the ballroom to get used to the floor...I don't know that it mattered much for me, but it was still nice to feel part of the team and like one of the experienced dancers. My thoughts while walking down to "test the floor" were something along the lines of I’m not sure thatthis won’t actually freak me out more, but I’m going to do it because it’s I think it’s what dancers do! I survived and actually felt really comfortable thanks to Taras, Eric, Suzie and Amber! You all rock!
Friday was rhythm night with a random newcomer foxtrot thrown in. Eric and I practiced rhythm in the hallway and he was super cool, calm and collected which is exactly what this lady needed. I think I appeared fairly calm, but on the inside I was a bunch of knots. Standing in line to enter the dance floor was a hard part...my legs shook, I couldn't remember steps...it was a true case of getting in my head. Once I was on the floor, my smile took over and I danced. I felt really strong in the hustle, east coast swing, and west coast swing. Taras and I went out for what we thought was the West Coast, but in fact was the merengue... We quickly merengued off the floor. Oopsies! There were quite a few dress malfunctions...loops getting caught on Eric's buttons, Eric's hand getting tangled in my loops...never ever wearing that dress again. I kept smiling and dancing the entire time just like I was told to do if anything went wrong.
I felt HORRIBLE during the Foxtrot. I was on the floor for east coast with Eric, didn't leave the floor, but switched partners and danced the Forxtrot with Taras. Lord, that was difficult. I generally enjoy the foxtrot, but not when my legs are in east coast mode and still shaking I pretty much stumble and get mad at myself...I'm sorry Taras. Instantly switching between different dances is hands down the most challenging aspect of competing for me. I can smile, I can follow, I just have a hard time switching dance styles at the snap of a finger. Oh and the music…if it isn’t good, God help me. I need a good beat.
It's odd because you can feel like you did really well, but you have no idea how anyone else did, so in the end, you are still at a loss. I'm anxious to see my individual dance scores at my lesson this week.
Eric is super sweet. I adore dancing with him. He is very encouraging, understands me and how my brain works…or is really good at pretending he understands me…and his smile and little hand squeeze before walking onto the floor instantly calm me. Friday night, my nerves weren’t present in any danceswith Eric aside from the merengue…I will never do that dance again for a competition...I'm sure with a bit more practice I can be swayed...
Taras is on the ball, very aware of what is going on and in game mode, which is awesome! He kept me focused and in the zone. I had a blast dancing west coast and smooth with him. His smile when I was done and actually did well was all I needed to start breathing again. It was a neat experience having two partners.
Observation: There are some wonderful dancers and some wonderful outfits, but there are also some horrible outfits. Most of the dancers are quite talented, but the ones smiling draw your eye for sure. We have some great looking competitors…Susie, Amber and myself with the ever so handsome Taras and Eric! We are small in number, but mighty in talent and support for each other. I barely knew Susie and Amber, but I instantly felt extremely comfortable with them. It was nice to have an experienced female competitor and a newbee like myself. The Virginia Beach Arthur Murray studio is very special, that’s for sure. I had an absolutely wonderful weekend!!
Here are some rhythm photos...none of me because I can't dance and take photos...I promise to get some from others soon though.
Above: Susie and Taras
Below: Amber and Taras
Above and Below: Susie and Taras
Stay tuned for Saturday's Edition.