What a day! A very long and tiring day but nothing compares to it! The mere chance of dancing in such an elegant ballroom proves to me I have the best hobby!
After finally getting to sleep around 1am, the alarm at 7 was not particularly welcome, but unlike on a work day, I didn’t hit snooze….straight out of bed, shower and prep for the day.
The hotel is only a 10 minute walk from the Winter Gardens, loaded up with dress bags, shoe bags and a heap of makeup it seems longer!
Arriving at the Ballroom an hour ahead of my dance time allowed me time to find my seat, calmly get changed into my new ballroom dress and just breathe for a minute! Taking in the atmosphere of the Empress Ballroom with its impressively high and ornate ceiling, beautiful chandeliers and general feeling of excitement as the music plays and dancers start their initial rounds. Amazing!
10.04am….my turn…..I have to say, looking back, it was a bit of an ‘Out of body’ experience. I really hoped that how I had been dancing in my more recent lessons was going to be portrayed in how I danced now….I do think some of it did but as always, it could have been better. To me however it felt like it was one of my better dance competitions and it was my chance to dance in my new bright ballroom dress made by a friend Lindy. I gave her a bag of materials and she returned it as a beautiful dress which stood out brilliantly.
Unfortunately it wasn’t my day in ballroom and I was not recalled into the final.
Blackpool is such a busy event with many categories and age groups that the wait between rounds can be over an hour! I only had about 30minutes to wait but once eliminated, I then had almost 6 hours until Latin!
Being part of a dance school is great at times like this because there’s always someone cheering you on, coaches and friends! DanceRite is actually more like being part of a big family than a ‘school’ and everyone is so supportive and lovely.
Time passed watching my husband being recalled in his ballroom events, and taking pictures and videos and cheering on friends.
3pm, time to get changed ready for Latin….Paso Doble! Yes! Character and resting bitch face…..I was completely ready for this! Anticipation builds, music starts and thats it, showtime! After dancing, I came off the floor feeling like whatever happens, I really really enjoyed that! Same as foxtrot, I’ve put the work in and no I didn’t do everything just as I had in my lessons, I could have shaped more, feet weren’t as into the floor as they should be but there’s nothing I could do to change that at that point in time!
Recalls….listening out for my number as they list, 71,73,78…….yes!! Finally! I hitch the side of my skirt to my hip and aim for attitude! I can do this! Again, I loved it!
As I left the floor and walked back to where the rest of the school were, I suddenly felt extremely overwhelmed! I’ve struggled this year and in fact the last couple of years, I haven’t managed to make many finals so to make a final at Blackpool, in the silver/gold section and in the under 35’s – my last dance in that age category after 7 years of dancing, it just hit me as I walked off the floor!
Results time was an even longer wait! Almost 4 and a half hours! Watching the video that had been taken on my iPad trying to figure out what the judges might have thought and looking at the other competitors to see how I thought I did in comparison. I called it pretty well as I saw two girls, one with lots of shaping and another whose feet looked a bit stronger than mine but apart from that, I thought I could do well! 3rd place was mine….and it was! Chuffed with myself is an understatement!
Years ago I used to walk onto the floor looking around at who else was dancing and potentially increasing my own nerves to see people who are always in the final etc, but I don’t see the need to do that now and haven’t for the last couple of years. I don’t care who else is on the floor, I am there to show what I can do! My coaches say ‘You can’t control what anyone else does, you can only control what you do’ and its true.
I saw an inspirational quote on Facebook on the ISTD page:
‘A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.’
To summarise the day….emotional, tiring, crazy, nerve-wracking, exciting but overall fun! The support, encouragement and work my teachers give all year is something I am always truly grateful for.
This was the last competition of the year….the best one for me personally.
Here’s to next year, new age category, new people to dance against, the next part of my ever-evolving dance journey!
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments box below or on my facebook page. Follow me on Instagram: beautyandtheballroom and Twitter: @Mazzo7 xx