Two days of waltz, tango, foxtrot…and samba
Of all the things I have done recently, I’d have to say that the Milwaukee Dance-athon ballroom dance competition was the most fun! Two days of waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha-cha, swing, mambo, and samba. The competition included all ages from 15 to 80! The competition was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and dance studios from across the United States showed up.
I train at the Fred Astaire dance studio in Memorial, but also in Kingwood because my other teacher started teaching there. Every week I tried to get in eight hours of practice to prepare. We left from Houston on a Thursday and, upon arriving, took a boat tour. That night, all the students performed their exhibition routines and showcases, which are essentially very elaborate dance routines. I performed a paso doble, which is a Spanish-influenced dance with music played during bullfights. The next day, we competed in the smooth category: waltz, tango, and foxtrot. These dances move around a lot more, and the floor was relatively crowded with competitors making navigating very difficult. I was also relatively nervous since it was the first day of head-to-head competition. The next day we woke up early to compete in the rhythm category, my favorite category. These dances include rumba, cha-cha, swing, samba, and mambo. By this time, I was no longer nervous and was able to really put more into my dancing. We competed in about 60 heats (rounds) that day. I was put in the 18-30 age category and although I dance in the bronze level, I was able to compete in the silver level, as well. After the competition, the best part of the entire trip finally came: the professional competition. The professionals competed against each other and it was amazing. The American-smooth champion and the couple that won the Fred Astaire National competition earlier that year were there. Afterwards was the awards ceremony. I ended up getting two first place and one second place trophies from championship categories. I will never forget how much fun I had in Milwaukee.
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