The Atlanta Open 2011 Dance Competition

A few months after I started Ballroom and Latin dancing, my instructor, Waylon Jones and I talked a lot about competition.  My first choice was to compete at Hotlanta Dance Challenge last October since it’s a local competition.  Unfortunately, because of the incident with my back, I was barely able to dance and had to put off competing for a little longer.

After my back was better and I was able to dance again, I was presented with several competition options.  Again, I decided to take advantage of a local competition and give myself enough time to learn and perfect my routines.  After much discussion, it was decided that I would compete Pro/Am, Rhythm, silver level at the Atlanta Open Dancesport Spectacular on May 6, 2011.

I had my doubts competing on a silver level mainly because I still didn’t feel that I was good enough; however, the thought of competing bronze level felt a little too comfortable and I wanted a challenge.  And a challenge is what I got.

At times during my practices, especially as it got closer to the competition, I felt like I was going backwards.  I felt that instead of getting better at dancing, I was getting worse.  I felt like a failure and I was an emotional wreck!  I was stressing myself out to the point of tears.  I was freaking out!  I felt as if I’ve been working so hard at the 5 dances (cha-cha, rumba, swing, bolero, and mambo), yet there’s still so much more to improve and not enough time before the competition! During these moments, I’ve relied heavily on an encouraging email I received to lift my spirits and give me something positive to focus on.

Competition day arrived what felt like too soon, but somehow I felt at peace for the most part and I was ready to dance.  My husband, Jessica (another student and a good friend at Jones Dance Ballroom Studios), my mom, my father-in-law and a few co-workers came out to support me and cheer me on.

My heart was pounding and I was clinging to my pro as he took me out on the dance floor for the first time.  I remember thinking, “What did I get myself into?”, but it was too late to walk away.  As the music started, I focused on the familiar face and remembered the email.  The first round was a little rough, but I didn’t care because something strange happened.  As nervous and unsure as I was, I felt like I belonged on that dance floor!  What I was feeling at that moment in time is something that words can not explain.  The only thing I can compare that feeling to is when I knew for sure that Travis was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  I got that similar feeling on the dance floor performing for everyone that was watching; I was sure that dancing is something that I can not live without. As the competition went on, I knew that this was only the beginning to a very long, exciting, challenging and incredible dancing journey.

I took home that night an amazing experience; an even greater appreciation of Waylon (all his instruction, coaching, patience, persistence, encouragement, and his belief in me); a huge reminder of how lucky I am to have such a supportive husband; and a burning desire to continue with my dancing.

The Atlanta Open Dancesport Spectacular was eye opening and a small glimpse of something great to come :)

2 Responses to “The Atlanta Open 2011 Dance Competition”

  1. TC 13. Jun, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Yayyy!! Glad you had a fantastic time! The dancefloor is your new home!

    Now…if you could get your husband to turnout his right foot just a teensy bit more… ;)

    BTW, I saw the Supershag result photos. There’s really quite a big height difference between you and your teacher (I’d suspected earlier but hadn’t been sure). All the more kudos for managing that difference so well during the tango performance!

  2. yana 14. Jun, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I absolutely loved it!!! Unfortunately, my next comp is not soon enough. I have a little over a year before I compete again. The good thing about it is that it gives me that much longer to improve.
    LOL, yes, my teacher is a lot taller than I am! I’m used to the height difference since my husband is 6’1″ and most of my other dance partners in the past have been a lot taller than me :)

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