Showcase

Well, where to start?

Last night was the showcase.  It was a great experience and completely different than dancing in a competition.  My parents came to come watch along with their dear friends the Watsons.  I got to watch Katie and Mavis dance with Ivan as well as a bunch of other teacher and student couples.  At the end, Ivan and Marietta danced a Cha Cha and a Mambo.  Ivan also made a friend during the evening, a 3-year-old, who he pulled onto the dance floor during one of the heats, which was adorable and entertaining.  Videos of these will be forthcoming but I’m having technical difficulties getting them off my phone at the moment.

Lucky (or not?) for you, I had a friend video my performance on a flip video camera and that came off easy enough so I will include it in the post for your viewing pleasure (or discomfrot…I’m not sure).

The way they set this event up at Dance Starz was that they had little heats in Smooth dancing and then the showcase numbers and then more dancing heats in the American Rhythm category.  They had judges who didn’t just rank the competitors but rather provided specific feedback on their performance, how they could improve, what they did well, and all that.

I didn’t participate in the dancing heats but it was entertaining to watch nonetheless.  I also found out that there were over 120 people present for the event on the Dance Starz page update!  That means about 240 eyes were on me at one time.

You know, I never get that nervous at competitions.  But last night I was very nervous, about ready to pee my pants a few times, before the showcase number.  It is a completely different thing to be the only couple on the floor, all attention focused upon me, and doing a choreographed number that we’ve worked on for a while.  Plus, never at a competition in the divisions in which I compete are there that many people spectating.

In any case, finally it was my turn to dance.  I just watched the video and my feelings are mixed.  When I performed, I felt pretty good about the whole thing.  Maybe not an earth-shattering performance, but pretty solid.  It felt a bit weird dancing it though because usually Ivan and I were pretty solid during the dancing in rehearsals but then shaky toward the end of the number especially on the last move.  But last night the reverse was true.  We were both antsy and shaky during the number but we pretty much nailed the final pose.  As you will see on the video, Ivan was so happy that he actually kissed my belly at the end.  I didn’t even feel it.  I was staring at the upside down audience.

So anyways,  When I got into my starting position, the music began pretty abruptly.  You’ll see in the video that I was a little unsure in my first few steps.  Ivan and Katie also experienced some music problems with the song cutting in and out during their number.  I had the disadvantage of being choreographed with the first note of music, no introductory notes providing time to take a breath and then move.  Anyways, I wobble a little bit in the beginning but then just kept going.

Also as the dance progresses, my top comes up revealing my belly a few times.  I had no idea this was happening during the dancing.  For a slim person this might not be bothersome, but I was pretty much cringing while watching the recording.  But hey, I’m all about the whole authentic truth, you know, so here’s how it was.  Note to self: next time use safety pins!

Also, I’m glad I wore some swimming trunks under my skirt.  It raised up higher than I’d prefer a few times, especially during a few turns.  Why did I choose to do ballroom dancing when I have so many body issues already?  Aargh!

Okay, enough griping.  I’m pretty pleased with the passion I put into the number.  I think it shows on my a face a few times.  And, I got lots of compliments on the number, such as, “lovely,” “fantastic,” “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and got chills,” “You were my favorite.”  Ivonne’s congratulations were the best.  She gave me a big hug and didn’t let go.  She almost had tears in her eyes and said how proud she was of me.  All this felt really good to be sure, however, seeing myself on film, I’m not 100% pleased.  I find it really difficult to watch myself, especially when I don’t love my body in its current state.  But if the choice is to dance or not to dance, I’m going to choose dancing, no matter how I look.  Life is too short, you know?

Ivan said that we danced about 70% of what we could do, and upon reflection, think I agree with him.  The nerves didn’t help but hopefully there will be other opportunities to improve this number and dance it again.  Losing some more weight wouldn’t hurt either, that’s for sure!  Once again, I was the biggest girl in the ballroom. Sigh.

But one of the most magical moments actually came from a fellow dancer.  She did a fantastic number to the Austin Powers theme song with her instructor that was very entertaining and completely in 60’s character.  In any case, she came up to me at one point and told me that she reads the blog.  I was so excited but didn’t really know how to respond.  She said to me, “You know that line in Jerry Maguire, ‘You complete me?’ Well you express me.”  Like when she reads about my experiences dancing she is reading by extension about herself and how she feels about the process.  I guess I’m doing something right with the blog and that it is providing some value to people and for that bit of feedback I am truly, truly grateful.  It’s nice to know there are more people out there like me and that I am not alone.

Alright, enough “talking.”  Without further ado, here is the dang video so you can judge it for yourself.  Please be gentle!

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8 thoughts on “Showcase

  1. Ivonne says:

    Stef, I don’t see any of the things you gripe about. I just see a strong, beautiful dancer, full of passion and joy. I know.. whatever. Roll your eyes. But I hope at least a little piece of you believes that and sees it too. I believe it with my whole heart.

  2. lalatina says:

    That was SO BEAUTIFUL! I loved it and I mean it 🙂 You look amazing and Ivan too, great music choice, the choreo was so nice 🙂 Well done!!! Keep up the good work! You look stunning.

    • loveablestef says:

      Thanks so much lalatina! I really appreciate it. I can be so insecure about myself and my dancing but hey, according to you I was “stunning!” I’ll take it. Thanks for the boost. Now…when do I get to see a video of YOU dancing? Hmmmm???? 🙂

  3. cc says:

    Stunning is right. You were breathtaking. You exuded passion and joy with every step. Tremendous choreography, entertaining and technically impressive. You go girl! CC

  4. Alaina says:

    Heh, I had my volume all the way up, and the music startled me at the beginning there.

    Ah, there’s the tigress! Now, who’s having trouble letting the sexy out? 😉 Not you! I looked at this from as technical perspective as I could, and I couldn’t find anything off. You made very beautiful lines and had great extension. Your spotting was nice as well. Most important of all, you maintained that smile.

    Just a personal reaction from someone who’s only used to dancing for ninety minutes at a time, man, that’s a long routine! I’m glad it was a nice, slow dance like the Rumba. Imagine if it was something more fast-paced like Swing!

    • loveablestef says:

      Alaina, you are right! If that was a swing or a Cha Cha I’d never had made it through. But the Rumba wasn’t so bad. Dancing full out for just two minutes can be a challenge. If we do one of those faster dances in the future for a showcase piece, I will need to be in better shape and we will probably make the song short! And from my inner tigress to yours, Rarrrrrrr!

  5. bravo! you did a wonderful job 🙂

  6. Swan Lake says:

    This is my raw model, whether she likes it or not! This is inspiration!

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