Just got back from Vegas! I was there over the weekend for the USABDA (United States Amateur Ballroom Dancer's Association) competition. My friend Jenny (who is also my dance partner) and I went there with our friend April. April ROCKS! She gave us a ride all the way there! We stayed there with Marc and his friend Arthur. We also met up with a bunch of other people, namely Michiko (Marc's partner, and I think I have the spelling wrong), Michelle (Arthur's partner), Sherry (she's three-quarters Persian and a quarter Italian), and Ed and Maria.
First of all, the competition was absolute fun. We mainly went there to have fun. Jenny and I did put in more than a few practice sessions, but I think we could have done better had we started earlier. But for the amount of practice that we put in, we did really well. We made it to the semi-finals in the Bronze level smooth dances - Waltz and Tango. We also made it to the semi-finals in Open Salsa, and Merengue and the semi-finals for Bronze Hustle. We placed in the Finals for Bronze level Rumba, Cha-Cha and East Coast Swing.
Now I really am NOT a sore loser. I have participated in more competitions than I can count, ever since I was little and if I never made it to the top three, I have always felt (except in circumstances like these) that those who did, deserved it. However, I felt some of the judging was really unfair in this particular situation. Furthermore, I'm not the only one who feels this way. We were pretty confident we were going to place either first, second or third in Rumba or Cha-Cha, and even compete in the finals for Merengue and Salsa. We weren't upset with the smooth dances, Hustle or EC Swing because those are dances neither of us have done much of. But the others ones... Good Lord! I really feel that a few of the people who did end up placing; didn't deserve it in the least! I made a point of video-taping the event (mostly for memories, and also so I can see what my mistakes are, and also to learn from others) and I went over it when I came back home. The couple that placed first had horrible arm-styling, poor posture, and most of all, were off-time. I really don't know how they even made past the qualifying round. Even if Jenny and I weren't "Number One" material, I could pick out at least two or three other couples that deserved it more than the couple who did get it.
Then there was the Salsa - the couple that won first place didn't have a CLUE what they were doing... and I have no idea how they even made it to the finals. My friends Sakeena and Atin placed second - I thought they should have placed first!
Oh well... that's life I guess. Eitherway, I had a fun time. I'll post pictures here as soon as I get them developed. After the competition we went back to the hotel room to take a nap since we had all been up since six in the morning (competition starts at 8:30 am). After that we went to the Bellagio Buffet. We had a LOT of food. After the meal, Marc said that we had eaten enough to deprive a small starving country. He had a point.
We tried to make it to the Light club in the Bellagio. Sherry's uncle owns half of it, and she was trying to get in touch with her cousin to talk to his connections at the club, to get us in. Unfortunately it was on short notice and she wasn't able to pull it off. We tried to go to a bunch of other clubs and all of them had lines (no surprise). We eventually ended up going to Studio 54. It was ok enough - not too much of my kind of music though. But still, we all had fun dancing. We didn't get back to our hotel room until 6 am! Yeah... it was great!
The next morning we had brunch at Rio. That was great too. We had a ton of food and a ton of dessert! Man... it was GREAT! After all that, we began the long drive home. I got home at about 11:00 pm.
It was a fun trip and I think I'll do the competition again. Jenny is leaving Phoenix for Houston, in May. But we're going to try and partner up again for Vegas!