Life in Littleton is good. I have the first draft of my second book done, had a successful writer’s workshop last Saturday, and am ready for a short break–with ballroom dance.
You heard me right. I love to ballroom dance. I love the music, the movement, the people and the bigness of it all. Ballroom dance is also a great exercise for people of all ages and skill sets. I like that “all skill sets” part because I’m not normally what you’d call dance “gifted.” Not like my friend, Uni, who has moves you wouldn’t believe, and the attitude to go with them.
But I’ll be dancing with Uni and nine other friends in a Ladies Performance routine Saturday afternoon. Good luck to Melissa, Sandy, Barb, Debbie, Benedetta, Beth, Carol, and Stephanie. Thank you, Lindsey, for another great routine. And Diane in Houston, we’ll be missing you!
I’m not gifted in dance like my teachers at Colorado DanceSport. They dance for about 12 hours a day, six days a week. These young people start their routines by working out at a gym. Then they have staff meetings, warm-ups, and stretches. By the time the first students enter the dance studio, my teachers have already put in a few hours of uncompensated time to improve their physical well-being and professional skill sets. When other professional dancers come into town, my teachers take lessons individually as well as with the students who invest in extra coaching. This is an impressive group of people who maintain up-to-date dance moves, make dance fun, and help you keep in shape at the same time.
I’m not gifted either, like my husband, who takes lessons five days a week and goes to several competitions each year. Did I mention that ballroom dance has a lot of opportunity to make the most of your vacation time?
I am very excited to be heading off to the one competition I enjoy each year–Colorado Star Ball. This event, held in Westminster, Colorado (smack in between Boulder and Denver), is amazing, with dancers from all over the world and of every level of skill. Do you know Jonathon Roberts and Anna Treybunskaya (hint: think Dancing With The Stars)? Yep. They’ll be at Star Ball this year.
And, rumor has it that TLC will be filming for a new television show at the event.
But more important than all that is the DAZZLE! You should see the dresses, the make-up, the hairdos, the spray-on suntans! Everything is over-the-top and breath-taking. For a few days you get to play dress-up to your heart’s content in Swarovski crystals, feathers and every color combo to catch the eye. Who cares if you know the steps? “Winners” only get stickers, or glasses, sometimes a trophy you could buy for yourself at any trophy shop. No, winning isn’t determined by the things you get at one of these events.
Winning is hearing your friends shout out your name or dance number in wild abandon as the music swirls around you. Winning is taking yourself out of your comfort zone and flying across the floor with all of your heart–remembering to keep the shoulders down and the head up. Winning is the smile that forms somewhere deep inside you and doesn’t stop the entire length of the competition. Winning is watching the pros inspire awe and admiration throughout the Saturday evening competition. They dance so close you could reach out and touch them, but you don’t. But sometimes, because they’re pros, they see you and wink at you with a smile that says “come join the fun.” And, of course, you get all mushy inside and promise yourself to practice harder in the year ahead.
Ballroom dance. It’s another world. But it’s well worth exploring.
No time or energy for this exercise? No problem! Check out Ella Barrick’s Ballroom Dance Mysteries. Great fun with a little more blood than you’d usually find at a dance studio–no matter how “cutthroat” the competition. I’ll be bringing my copy of Dead Man Waltzing with me to Westminster this weekend.
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Please cross your fingers for my success with terrific dance partners–Mitch and Jay– at Colorado Star Ball.