Monday, July 21, 2014

A break between seasons...

Seriously - yesterday and today ARE the break between dance season 2013/14 and 2014/15.  Summer classes start up tomorrow.

We just got home yesterday from Sandusky.  We left early Tuesday morning and I swear we almost died multiple times of the way south!  First of all - driving thru Detroit is scary. I'd never make it in NASCAR - and the truck series shouldn't have 18 wheels!  At one point - south of Detroit, I-75 makes a sharp left turn - and Surprise!  The right lane was blocked with work trucks.  I was in the center lane and there was a gravel train about 5 car lengths in front of me on the right and a utility truck in front of him.  Both of them locked up their brakes until sparks flew!  I still don't know how that gravel train didn't jackknife.  Luckily no one was to my left so I could scoot over.  Then there was the bouncing Pepsi can.  I heard / felt it hit the floorboards of my car as I went over - and it flew up and nailed the car's windshield behind me!  It clearly wasn't an empty can. Then we were in Ohio.  There was a flatbed truck carrying a wrecked car in the right lane - probably 10 car lengths in front of me.  The damn bumper flew off the car into my lane!!!  I was able to swerve and miss it, but the guy behind me wasn't as lucky.  He hit it and it went into the right lane and another car hit it.  Sheesh.

We finally made it to our hotel safely.  We were able to check in early, so we had the car unloaded and were heading to Kalahari's waterpark by 1:30.  I had gotten us daypasses, and we had a pretty good time.  We went on most of the slides and rides. I almost died twice there!  I went on this thing called the Flowrider....
(why do people act surprised when I say I went on this??)  I was in line in front of a 75+ year old man! We were buddies, giving high-fives and cheering for each other.  You basically surf on your stomach on a Boogie board.  The guy at the top tells you what to do & the guy at the bottom shows you how to do tricks.  He was trying to get me to roll.  At first, I was like No.  Then I finally tried it.  I made it onto my back and that was as far as I made it.  Most other people came off the board and got shot up to the top of the hill and all was good.  Not me!  I was on my back, stuck in the current at the bottom of the hill, with arms & legs probably flailing!  They had to shut the water off - which was completely mortifying, even if it did save my life!  I never did ingest any water or panic, tho.  Probably flashed the kid at the bottom of the hill, since the top of my bathing suit was in disarray.  

The second near-death experience was on what everyone was calling the toilet bowl.  You went down the tube / slide into this giant bowl.  The current of the water pushed you around in the bowl several times, before you dropped like 6 feet into the pool.  I ended up dropping in head first and got disoriented which way was up.  I finally surfaced and was laughing so hard, the lifeguard had to grab my hand and pull me to the stairs!  The second time I went on it, I tried to twist my body so I'd drop feet first, but it didn't work well. 

I'm actually exaggerating - we didn't actually almost die.  But it makes for a good story!  

Anyhooooo, so we were there for Nationals - the Stanley Cup playoffs of dance, if you will. 

Wednesday was a full day of solos.  Angel didn't dance, but we were there to cheer on the girls who did. 

Thursday were the small groups.

They do adjudication awards first - each dance is given either silver / high silver / gold / high gold / platinum based on points.  Then 1st / 2/nd / 3rd, etc places based on competitive level & age group based on the average age of all the dancers.  Whew!  

There was some seriously tough competition and some really awesome dances!

Hey Ya (senior tap)
Platinum / 2nd place

Lose Control (teen hiphop)
Platinum / 3rd place

Womanizer (teen jazz)
Platinum / 9th place

Friday was the duo/trios and large groups.

Heart Cry (senior tap)
High Gold / didn't place

Dirty Pop (teen tap)
Platinum / didn't place

My Team (junior hiphop)
Platinum / 2nd place
This dance hasn't placed at any other competition.  
Not only did they get second, they were moved up into the highest comp level!!  

All of the 1st and 2nd place finishers went on to re-compete Saturday during the Elite Showcase.  This was for the Best of the Best.   Again, there was a trophy for each level & age group, but just for the top scorer.  Huge trophies - like 4 feet tall!  None of our dances placed in the Elite Showcase, but we did have a good showing there!  

So overall - it was a very good week, considering it was the first time they'd attempted Nationals! 

I only have 2 complaints....first of all - they need a better sound system and / or operator.  I know several of our dances had the first 1 or 2 8-counts cut off and Angel told me she was talking to a girl from another studio who said it happened to them, too.  Screws up the entire dance!  And #2 - in the program I think in addition to listing the studios & dancers - they need to include their hometown.  I think it would be cool to see where all these studios come from!  

So now that you've learned more than you've ever cared to know about a dance competition...have a great night!

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