Last weekend played host to the rescheduled Maryland Dancesport Championships. Thanks to all of my students for making such a fun weekend possible. Dance Bethesda entered 14 dancers in the competition, along with 42 spectators who participated in the Saturday night event. A good time was had by all, with 7 of our students placing in scholarships. I had the privelidge of dancing with Ms. Alice Williams, Ms. Sara Brown, and Mrs. Sheila Johnson. Everyone did a fantastic job. This was my first time dancing at Maryland. I had heard rumors that the event had lost many freestyle entries due to rescheduling; the event was small but ran very smoothly. There were many highlights throughout weekend. Perhaps the best feeling was that our studio attended as a team. The studio had a noticeable strength in numbers, with the whole gang in attendance to spectate and cheer on their friends. Another highlight of our weekend was the Peabody heat during Thursday's Smooth Free styles session. The Peabody is one of my favorite dances. Following the weekend it has become my personal mission to encourage studio-wide participation in competitive Peabody... because it's FUN!
The Maryland Dancesport experience was a lively one. It was an opportunity to make several new friends, and a nice way of reconnecting with dancers I haven't seen in years. Speaking of old familiar faces, I ran into Brent Dunn upon checking in. He was an instructor at International Dance Studios in Virginia Beach, back when I was a enrolled as a student there. Roxi and I also got to catch up with Mike Nichols and Sara Davis who competed on Friday and Saturday evenings in the professional divisions. It was my first time seeing them since our return home from Delaware. It was so good to see them outside of the Blue Ballroom!
With that said there was a lot to see and take in over the weekend. While off the floor, I had fun in spectating freestyles, especially watching Michael Rye, Dimitri Dolgopolov, Kirill, Olga, and Roxi, all with their students, respectively. Roxi had two students dancing in Smooth and Rhythm freestyles. It was a weekend with many first time occurrences. For Roxi, this event marked her professional debut with her students in pro/am freestlyes. I was beaming with pride when I saw them all dancing. Several of our coaches and peers congratulated Roxi on her decision to turn professional. She danced with two of our most dedicated male amateurs, Jon Woodruff and Bill Ziesel. For all of them, it was their very first event together in pro/am's, and they were up against some heavy competition. Jon and Bill looked great. They were both apprehensive about their last minute Peabody entry, but our studio director, Michael Rye, was very pleased by their performances. The championships round were more of a challenge to them, but I feel they both danced solidly and held their own. Everyone enjoyed the Maryland Dancesport Championships, it was quite noticebale that most of the par silver level dancers had danced down several levels, which is unfortunate for those who belong in the pre-bronze and intermediate bronze levels. Despite the intimidation factor, the dancing was still enjoyable. I feel that all of our bronze level dancers performed quite well in their respective categories. Michael Rye also competed in the American Smooth scholarships with Ann Marlow. The two of them danced beautifully and placed 2nd in scholarships. I can't help but think that they ought to have won it... but there's always next time. Anna Boyd also appeared in both Rhyhtm and Smooth with her pro, Michael Simms. By omitting Roxi due to her professional status, I can say confidently that Anna Boyd was the best dressed amateur competitor that I saw this weeekend, hands down. She looked fabulous throughout the entire weekend.
By Saturday evening I had to depart the Marriott in North Bethesda for outside commitments. Roxi remained at the hotel to spectate the open professional competitions with the Dance Bethesda Team. It was hard to leave all the fun, but it made catching up afterwards all the more enjoyable! I arrived back around 1am for a late night debrief with the gang at the luxurious North Bethesda McDonalds.