Well folks. It’s the night before the big event. I’m settled and fed and after some last minute tanning touch-ups, organizing myself, and a practice I’m as ready as I’m going to be for the adventure ahead.
Ivan and I drove from Phoenix around noon and made it to Vegas around 4pm Vegas time. Man does he like to talk! lol. Marieta had a test today and had to stay in town until later so she should be arriving any minute, and thank goodness, I need her to do my hair and makeup! She and Ivan will be dancing Saturday night.
We were lucky enough to get to practice in the ballroom tonight before the competition began. It’s mostly already decorated, very festive with poinsettias and pine trees. The lights were dim and there were few other couples, and one of the few couples was from Phoenix. It’s always nice to see a familiar face and they let us dance along with their music. I really appreciated the experience since at all the other comps I’ve been to the’ve kept the ballroom completely locked. So I got to feel the floor, which is a little slippery for my liking, but not too bad, and have a little sweat.
Also a change from previous competitions is that I see more and more familiar faces, more and more people know me and I feel more comfortable in the environment. This is a big plus because I’m feeling pretty relaxed tonight and nerves have been a weakness of mine at past comps, though the more I get out on the floor, the less of a hinderance they become. Fake it until you make it, I guess!
Tomorrow looks to be pretty intense. I’ve got a whole lot of heats in a row, start with the open routines (rather than closed bronze), and will dance in my first quarter-final. I dance from about noon to 2pm or so and then again just for the closed bronze scholarship at 6:55pm. I’m going to have to be focused and paying attention. Not only do I have 3 new routines, but there is the new format of quarter-final heats to navigate – I’ve only ever had like 2 semi-finals. Also it’s the biggest comp I’ve been to, I hear about 12,000 entries. If nothing else it will be good experience and exposure.
So for the past week I’ve gotten in as much practice as I could with Mr. Ivan. And we had some fun. He’s always giving funny ways to remember our moves. For instance, one step in the Bolero has been dubbed the “dog pee.” Then when Ivan was explaining a pivot step to me he told me to think of cracking a nut between my thighs. Ironically enough he was trying out some alternatives on this one step in which I point forward while lunging to the side, about crotch-level. You can guess what happened next. Ivan told me that this was not “The Nutcracker” he was thinking of and made sure to assume a safer position in later variations.
Then tonight when we were driving I asked him to please pull out my lip balm from my purse. My lips were so chapped they hurt but I didn’t want to rummage around in my purse while driving so I asked for his assistance. What did he pull out? A tampon. Oh My! He did get it on the second try, though, and we had a big belly laugh about it.
Then tonight at dinner I discovered that Ivan has a hidden talent. We went to an Italian restaurant where you could draw with crayons on the paper tablecloth. He started to make a squiggle that turned into Fred Flinstone. What an artist!
So it’s been a good 24 hours. I’m in bed reflecting on the coming day and feeling as calm as I’ve ever felt the night before a comp. I’m going to review my routines mentally as I drift off to sleep tonight, and get a good 9 hours. I’m a bit apprehensive of the cardio situation with so many heats in a row, but then I’m also probably in the best cardiovascular shape I’ve ever been in thus far, even if my weight loss has stalled.
Speaking of that, I’ve made a new pact with my nutritionist for higher accountability. And I stayed up late last night to make sure I got my food prep completed and ready so I can jump right back into the process Monday morning. All my muffins are made and frozen and most of my veggies are cooked. I will just need to thaw everything and cook my meat when I get back on Sunday. Anyhow, the saga continues. But right now I must place my focus elsewhere. I will eat to fuel my body as best as I can while I am here, but other than that I’m going to enjoy every second of this experience.
So good luck to me! Of course I want to do well, I really do, but more important than that is that hopefully Ivan and I will feel good about our dancing. If any mishaps occur, that we just let them go and be present for the next thing. That we enjoy the experience. That we let go of expectations and outcomes and be fully present. I am so incredibly blessed just to be here and I recognize that.