Texas Area Team Match 2013


It is 8:00 am on Saturday, August 13th, 2013.  My alarm goes off and in the opposite fashion of my normal behavior, I bolt out of bed.  Team Match is today!  I wolf down a quick breakfast consisting of a banana and a protein shake, furiously brush my teeth, and stretch for about forty-five minutes.  Then, I put my hair up in its usual bun and mummify it with hair spray.  When one has extremely thin hair, one must use copious amounts of it.  Next, comes the make-up.  A studio about forty-five minutes away is hosting the competition this go-around, so I have to put on more make-up than usual.  Several layers of foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, liquid eyeliner, mascara, and obligatory eye glitter later, I peer into the mirror.  I feel like a clown, but all this glitz is necessary so that I do not look washed out in my pictures.  I still have about twenty minutes to spare before I have to drive to my studio before 11:15 a.m. to meet my carpool.  Eventually, Alvar, my carpool and good friend, arrives to pick me up.  We have to pick up another friend, Amy, too.  Together, we are the awesome “Triple A’s”!  About an hour and a quarter later, we arrive at the studio where people are already busy practicing.

Practice

In order, my dances were the Tango, Waltz, Lindy Hop, and Rumba.  American Smooth always comes first, so I have to get into my surprisingly heavy purple dress.  Despite the weight, I feel quite refined and beautiful when I wear it.

SmoothMe

It’s a good thing the bathroom wasn’t too crowded when I got dressed because my Tango was in the third heat.  Yikes!  It did not really help when the announcer failed to state my name as she was calling out who was dancing in said heat.  Fortunately, Tommy and I were only a couple of seconds late, and we danced a pretty good Tango.  Alvar decided to bring a purple pimp suit to the competition just for kicks, which Tommy decided wear during the Smooth portion of the competition.  It was an interesting aesthetic choice to say the least.

I was trying to work on my Tango face because I don't really believe in smiling during this dance.  It seems my face is halfway between a frown and a glare here.

I was trying to work on my Tango face because I don’t really believe in smiling during this dance. It seems my face is halfway between a frown and a glare here.

I apologize for the blurriness, but it’s hard difficult to take pictures of people dancing.

Waltz came next in heat fourteen.  I felt a lot of pressure concerning this particular dance.  Not only was this my favorite dance, but I had that difficult open developé.  Guess who nailed it?  Me!  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of that beautiful developé.  Regrettably, I only have one picture of my Waltz.

Waltz1

If my gentle readers do not mind, I want to take a break from story-telling for a bit, so I can share some uncategorized pictures with y’all.  These are just shots I took when I was not dancing.

Rae and Kris

Rae and Kris

The other women in this picture are Tommy's newer students, Mai and Kassandra.

The other women in this picture are Tommy’s newer students, Mai and Kassandra. My teacher is such a pimp! (read: sarcasm)

This is Eddie and Amy, with the former being his normal, goofy self.

This is Eddie and Amy, with the former being his normal, goofy self.

This is another one of Tommy's newer students, Lumay.

This is another one of Tommy’s newer students, Lumay.  She is only thirteen years old.  Kudos!

This young man has my utmost respect and encouragement.  He is only fifteen and is taking ballroom.  Way to go, Anthony!

This young man has my utmost respect and encouragement. He is only fifteen and is taking ballroom. Way to go, Anthony!

Mai1

QT1

I had a really, really long time to wait before my first Rhythm heat.  I would dance Lindy Hop in heat eighty-three and Rumba in heat one hundred and twenty-eight.  Phew!  For the record, waiting that long wait between dances is not easy.  Luckily, I had time to change into my Rhythm outfit before the bathroom got crowded.  It’s the same outfit I wear for every purple-colored Team Match.

I love the unintentional photo-bomber in the background.

I love the unintentional photo-bomber in the background.

It felt quite good to get compliments on my outfit.  I got a “Wow, nice!” from one of male instructors, and a “Ooh, sexy dresses!” from one of the female instructors.  I admit that one of my favorite parts of dressing up in general is surprising people.  My dress has a big, gaping hole in the back, and I was quite grateful for it.  The room really started to get warm with all the collective body heat, and the hole helped cool me down.  After a long wait, it was finally time to dance Lindy Hop.  This dance is a form of swing that eventually helped originated ECS and WCS.  Its unique name derives from Charles Lindbergh, who famously hopped the Atlantic Ocean in the 1930s.  Don’t quote me on these two statements, though.  This is all from memory, and I am not too sure of it.  My Lindy Hop did not go as well as I had hoped.  Tommy and I danced Lindy to very fast and vigorous songs, but the contestants do not know the music before they dance it.  The song they chose for our Lindy was Chattanooga Choo Choo, which made for an extremely slow dance.  Tommy and I lost our balance because it was so unexpectedly slow and got off time.  All the other music they played after our Lindy was faster, and I could not help but think, “Now, why couldn’t you have played that when we danced?”

LindyReady

Lindy1

Rae and Eddie were also dancing Lindy with me, and both agreed that the song was agonizingly slow.

Rae and Eddie were also dancing Lindy with me, and both agreed that the song was agonizingly slow.

The next dance was Rumba, and I had to wait forty-five heats.  The dances only last around ninety seconds, but it’s still a long time to wait.  I had plenty of time to take more miscellaneous pictures.

Fred&Milana

Fred&Rae

Jillian is also one of Tommy's students.

Jillian is also one of Tommy’s students.

Kassandra1

The Rumba was my final dance, one that I have had a consistent love-hate relationship with.  What I love about it is the fluidity, the Cuban Motion (hip rotation/movement), and the theatrical side (e.g. acting in a sensual fashion).  The less lovable part is the sheer technique, especially Rumba walks.  Those can really make your hips ache.  Despite all this, I was pleased with my Rumba.  I did miss the opportunity to do some swivels during a certain step, so I just ended up doing my Rumba walks.  Oops.  I went into my walks straight away, so I doubt most of the audience knew that I hiccupped.

RumbaReady

Crossover1

RumbaWalk

I think there were one hundred and forty-nine heats total, so I did not have to wait much longer for the results of the competition.  Unfortunately, our red-clad rivals beat us by a slim margin of point six.

Victory

Yes, they took the trophy back with them, but there is always next time.  That about wraps up my day of competition.  It was a blast, and I enjoyed showing off my dancing to everyone.  Next, I focus on testing out.  Bronze III, here I come!

Alvar and Lola

Alvar and Lola

This was my money shot for the day.  I think the protruding tongue is a subconscious manifestation of concentration.

This was my money shot for the day. I think the protruding tongue is a subconscious manifestation of concentration.

Kassandra and Katie, one of the teachers

Kassandra and Katie, one of the teachers

I just had to take a picture in the purple pimp hat.

I just had to take a picture in the purple pimp hat.

TommyandMe2

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