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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nashville Starz

In January, Sophia and I traveled to Nashville for Nashville Starz Dancesport, hosted by David Hamilton. This was our first year attending, and my first ever trip to Nashville. I really wasn't prepared for the cold weather. Nashville was unseasonably cold during our stay, but still lots of fun.

The event was held in the Sheraton Nashville, which had a gorgeous lobby and vintage 1970's era scenic glass elevators. The lobby elevators reminded me of the movie Towering Inferno, one of Fred Astaire's last full length featured movies. In fact, when compared to the films original shooting location, the Hyatt in San Diego, one can barely tell the difference.

On our first evening in Nashville we checked in with David and his event staff, and we got to meet his little dog, Elvis. Elvis had his own entourage, clothing, and play pen. He may be the first pooch I have ever met who might be more pampered than Chimi Choo.

Dancing at Nashville went well. The judging panel was packed full of celebrities and champions, which made it a bit intimidating, but the distractions quickly wore off as the music set to play.
Sophia and I enjoyed several packed rounds in both the freestyles and multi dance divisions. There were many talented Pro/am couples in attendance at this event, many of them high profile.

Between rounds of dancing Sophia got to meet with a reporter from Dancebeat. The reporter's first comment to me was " I hear that you are married". At first I wasn't sure where the reporter got this misconception from, but later I was lead to believe that it was from a fellow competitor.

Aside from that one comment, I feel that I was removed from any drama and gossip that circulated at this event, but I did feel there was a lot more drama than usual. As a result I spent most of my Nashville evenings retreated in my hotel room.

One of the most exciting parts of the Nashville Starz event was its Country Western flavor. The ballroom was fully decorated in a Country Western theme, complete with hay stacks, Cowboy boots, barns, roosters, guitars and fiddles. Half way through the event, the decoration theme changed,with a crew working overnight to change the set completely.

Our second day at Nashville closed with a country western cookout and dance party. It was fun to see all the judging panel appear at the party in country western attire. Several of those attending wore blue jeans, flannel and even cowboy hats. I tired on a few cowboy hats in anticipation of the party, but decided that the look just wasn't for me.

The party was a great way to end our stay in Nashville. The DJ played a lot of country two steps and west coast swing, and the floor was open for general dancing . It was fun getting to social dance with fellow dancers. I had the chance to dance a west coast swing with Lauren LaPointe while Sophia danced with Lauren's instructor, Louis. A short time after the party started, we were greeted by Daria and Kirill, who had won the rising star smooth division earlier in the evening. After I congratulated Daria on her win, I asked her to social dance with me, she is still one of my very best friends. We had time for some pleasant conversation. It was nice to see them both so happy, and later to see the all their photos from the event on their Facebook Fanpage.

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