The Atlanta Open is a really fun event, but I think it's known more for its excellence in dancing and quality in detail, rather than focusing on Atlanta as a destination. The event is purely Dancesport and has no local flavor. The only thing that is uniquely local for this event, is the peach that they use on the logo, the rest is strictly hotly-contested dancing.
Upon our arrival in Atlanta, we visited the home studio of Christjohn Batters and Mona Maerz, at the Ballroom Dance Club of Atlanta. It was one of the most romantic studios that I've ever visited, the studio is full of beautiful dance themed artwork by Emmy Art, and it is within a renovated Plow Factory, on the NationalRegister of historic places. It was nice having an evening to practice before heading to the hotel. We had an early turn in and a smooth checkin the following morning.
Sophia and I had hoped to win the Bronze Smooth Best of the Best qualifier at this event, but finished 4th in the lineup. Sophia danced really well and we definitely improved over last year in terms of performance and ranking, but it just wasn't enough to secure the leading position.
On the Rhythm Day Sophia danced very well, and we had a fun go at her first stab at Full Silver Rhythm. She also placed 4th in her Silver Rhythm Best of the Best round. We had a fun time dancing and Sophia was wonderfully patient with me, as I tried to take my mind off all the stress at home.
The Atlanta Open offered a casual package dinner session where we enjoyed spending time with fellow dancers. It was nice to enjoy such a well organized dinner session, and as an added bonus, we had the opportunity for some star studded dance celebrity siting during the dinner, as Sam Sadano and John DePalma were seated at the officials table, just across from us!
The fun in Atlanta ended all too soon, but at least I got to visit a local spot outside the hotel this year! Now that I've been to Atlanta on two occasions, I've left the hotel only once, so I'm still left in wondering what Atlanta has to offer (other than The Real Housewives). Here's for hoping that we stay longer next year, and a big thanks to Debbie Avalos Kusimi for hosting us.