The quick answer is, Ivan Dishliev.
Here’s the longer version:
So, if you’ve read my story, you know that I’m going to compete at the Desert Classic DanceSport Competition. It’s coming up in July, the 11th through the 14th to be exact. And today I wrote the check. I kissed a nice sum of money goodbye and also made it official. I’m REALLY going. It’s REALLY going to happen.
So when we started talking about the competition, I thought I’d maybe do like 75 entries. That’s still no small number, maybe averaging out to be around 25 per day of the 3 days of the competition. I’m going to do Latin (minus Paso Doble, but plus Jive, which I haven’t worked on one iota), and Smooth, and American Rhythm. We’ll also throw in a Hustle or two and some West Coast Swings just for fun, just to relax and enjoy. I thought this would be enough dancing that I’d feel like I was doing something while I was there, but not so much that I’d kill myself.
If you read more of my blog, you’d know that last June I did 150 heats at the San Diego DanceSport Competition, and that was in two days time. I had to ice my feet between heats, and had 30 in a row right off the bat which about killed me. It was a Herculean feat, one I didn’t know if I could do, but I did, and even earned Top Student in the Bronze category. So anyways, I’ve done a marathon. I’ve done pushing my limits past what I thought I could do. So I thought I wouldn’t do that this time around and 75 seemed like the reasonable number.
But not to Ivan.
“Why only 75?”
“Ivan! That’s a lot! That’s plenty!”
I suppose to someone who once did 600 heats in a competition I’m small potatoes. But I’m no pro. I’m just me. And I’m not in the best dancer’s shape either! 75 sounded like a good challenge.
“How about 100?”
“I might consider 100. But I want to try doing a scholarship round this time. I’ve never done one of those. I’d like to see how I’d do.”
“Okay, okay. It’s fine. You think about it. Maybe if you doing 100 you can be Top Student.”
To be honest, that would be cool. I would be thrilled to achieve that again. But with the 150 heats I did last time, that was my clear intent. I wanted to prove to myself that I could actually do it. And I made sure to enter enough heats that I had a fighting chance. Not a lot of people do that many heats, I don’t think. But since I already did that, it’s actually about having more dance time this go-around. I want to be out on the floor showing off what Ivan and I have worked on for the last 8 months. I want to have time to really express myself. I want enjoy my time dancing.
So the prospect of going for Top Student hasn’t really been a driving force in my decision. But I know that I would rather be dancing than sitting so since I can afford it right now, I thought, well, if Ivan wants to dance with me that much, then I will say yes.
But the negotiations didn’t end there, it seems.
Today I showed up on my lesson and wrote out the check for 100 heats. I thought that was it. But Ivan had another surprise in store for me.
Around 10am I got a call. Somehow Ivan had a way for me to dance in 20 more heats for the cost of only 2 more. How could I say no to an opportunity like that? Suddenly I was dancing in 120 heats instead of 75. So I guess that’s how you get from 75 to 120!
“Now you maybe can be Top Student.”
“Maybe Ivan. We’ll see.”
“Yes. You have to doing all the expression, and melt the ice, and energy, and breathing, and all that. Me too. Me too. It depending. But maybe we can do it.”
It’s actually kind of exciting. I think it is a longer shot and would mean more if I actually made Top Student in this upcoming competition. For one thing, it would be at a larger competition. For another, I’d have to place really well in most heats to earn enough points to win. In the other competition I had 30 more heats which meant more opportunities for points, even if I placed last. We’ll see.
I’m actually more psyched about the scholarship rounds. I’m excited about being introduced on the dance floor like they do with the professionals (assuming I make it to the final! Just making the final would be a huge accomplishment for me!). I want to put myself out there and see what happens. I figure it will be some great feedback no matter what the outcome and great experience as well.
Anyways, that’s what’s going on in my world right now. We moved this weekend and I’m dancing. I’ve been going in at 6:30 am before work. I think it’s a good thing and I’m excited to see how far I can get in terms of fitness and cardiovascular endurance with a final concerted effort in this last month before the competition. Today I did 2 minutes on most dances we did and over 3 minutes of Waltz. It’s brutal, but great! Progress!
And one final thing. I’d like to share something that made me smile. I get spam links on my blog all the time. Luckily I have a program that identifies them and I can look through them, purge them, etc. But every once in a while one comes along that isn’t trash. There was a bona fide comment in there once, and today, it probably was spam, but I clicked the link because it had dance in the title and it turned out to be a fun thing. It also made me think, if this guy can go out there and shake it in a tiny sequin speedo, I can go out there and shake it in my bedazzled ballroom dress. I have to admit, I was a little worried for him doing the open-legged handstands…that could have gone very wrong, but I love his energy, and cool, calm confidence. Hopefully I’ll be like that at Desert Classic…but don’t expect to see me in a sequined speedo any time soon! Enjoy!