What can I say? It was a magical weekend :)
I wrestled with the decision to go to Lindy Focus. Would I regret cutting short family time, especially since Heather was just back from Spain and I hadn't seen her since September? Would it be an unwise financial decision? Finally, with the encouragement of my friend Jeremy to just go for the weekend with him and his girl Nancy, I bit the bullet. The event had intrigued me ever since I heard about it at Southern Belle. And I was really looking forward to dancing with the fun leads I'd met at SBSB.
I was not disappointed.
Let me qualify that. As a natural critic, I can always find things that can be improved. Say, the floor, for instance--squares of rented laminate that were unnaturally sticky. Or maybe floors in CO are just unnaturally slick. Either way, I had shoe nightmares most of the weekend (which led to fun late-night Wal-Mart shoe adventures so I'm only complaining a teensy bit!).
But overall, I was not disappointed! I had a blast, danced well, met some really cool people, took my first private lesson (Bill Borgida, you're amazing!), and came in second in my first real J&J! All on little to no sleep! It's amazing what adrenaline and good music can do.
The J&J was one highlight of the weekend. Leading up to the event, every time I thought about competing my heart would start racing...and I hadn't even registered yet! I can perform choreography in front of a packed theatre with barely a flutter, but the mere mention of a Lindy Focus comp and my heart started tap dancing! Becoming a better competitor is something I'd like to work towards this year, so I knew the Beg/Int J&J had my name on it if I decided to go. And the funny thing was, when I was actually there, in both the prelims and the finals, I was cool as could be. Nary a palpitation to be had. The prelims were really fun...and HUGE! 30 couples! Congrats for everyone for putting themselves on the line and going out for it. I thought I'd danced well and hoped to be in the finals but you never know what the judges are looking for.
Remember when I said my heart stayed calm through this whole process? Scratch that. At the Sat night dance, when they announced the finalists and called my name LAST out of all the dancers, I was about to have a heart attack! But I was excited to be paired with Sam and he and I pretty much tore it up :) I'm glad it was all all-skate style but I would have loved to watch my fellow finalists in action. What a rush! Hearing a roomful of dancers cheer you on, knowing they all want you to do your absolute best...it's a pretty awesome experience. Try it some time.
I did get to watch the other dancers in a video someone took of the finals. Correction: I will be able to watch them, when I stop watching myself :) I forget how great (read: brutal) videos are as teaching tools. For instance, I HATE MY FREE ARM IN SWING OUTS! What's with the stupid flexed wrist? At one point Sam and I were off the screen except for my stupid wrist that would show up every 5 secs! I almost couldn't watch it. My 1-&-2 is still a little bouncy and I need to relax my feet when I step. I'm my own worst critic, though, so the mere fact that I thought I looked decent is a good start. I'm so glad to have seen it, so I can begin to work through my little quirks. And I'm thrilled that, quirks and all, Sam and I placed second! This is quite an accomplishment in my book, as Lindy Focus is a pretty important event and there were lots of good dancers both dancing and judging. And the feedback we got from the advanced dancers after the finals was really encouraging. Thanks to Karen especially! You really know how to compliment!
Ok, this is getting long and it's getting late. Maybe I'll continue on this topic another day; maybe I won't. But to sum it up, I was really, really sad to leave on Sunday night; it felt so...incomplete. I didn't get nearly enough dances with my fav guys, but I guess there's always next year. And next year, I'm staying for the whole thing, so y'all come back now, y'hear?