Well if you saw my sister’s comment, you already know that my first Dance-O-Rama was a success! As you can see, my instructor and I took first place in my division for our solo routine in Tango.
What an awesome and amazing time I had. I arrived Thursday morning, but of course the rooms weren’t ready so that gave me some time to hit up the mall and the pool and relax for a little bit. Thursday night, dinner and a show were put on for those that arrived early.
Friday came early with a 7am breakfast and the competition beginning at 8am. This was the day of “closed” competitions, which meant you had to dance your school figures in variations. As mentioned before, I competed in Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Salsa, Samba, Hustle, Merengue, Rumba, Swing, and Cha Cha. It was a bit nerve-racking, but I made it through the day without too many problems and had a great time. The main competition ended at 5pm, but there was still more to come. The all-around competition came just before dinner where you danced two dances, but they didn’t tell you what they were until you were out on the dance floor. Pretty nice rush. Then dinner, then the finals for the all-around (which I didn’t make…this time) and then a variety of other competitions until midnight. Then sleep for a bit. Saturday morning comes even earlier as I roll down to the 7am breakfast. The first bit of the day was my tango solo at 8:24am. I was completely psyched to do it and when I hit that last line, I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. That got me pumped up for the rest of the day which was the “open” competition, where I danced the same 10 dances as the day before, but I didn’t have to stay within school figures. This was a lot of fun and I made it my day to just enjoy myself and let loose a little bit. Apparently that included throwing out some steps I haven’t even learned yet. Again…this day went to 5pm, and then we had a formal dinner, awards ceremony, and the amateur and professional competitions. I sat pleasantly through the awards ceremony expecting nothing but to watch all the seasoned Dance-O-Rama veterans accept their awards. They were announcing the winner of the associate bronze solo routine and just in jest, I say out loud to my table in an announcers voice “Damon Cortesi”. Next thing I know, I’m hearing my name being announced as the first place winner! I was completely floored and couldn’t believe it. I nearly bowled over the judge that was presenting the award I was so excited.
So that was Costa Mesa Dance-O-Rama 2006 in a few short paragraphs. For now, I must return to my regularly scheduled 9-5 job as a computer security professional…until 5:30, that is…when I’ve got my next lesson on the dance floor!
Many thanks to the Bellevue, WA Arthur Murray studio, the many employees there who got me ready for this competition, the management that convinced me to go, and in particular my instructor who put up with my unending stream of nervous energy while in Costa Mesa. I cannot express how grateful I am to have had this opportunity both to experience such a competition as well as to work with such talented people. Thank you.