A Review of CalOpen – All I Can Smell is Hair Spray

Success! I have completed my first competition at the silver level! If you were following me on Facebook, you know how it went.

If you weren’t on Facebook (or if you want to know more), read on!

I had a few hiccups through the day. In the middle of getting my hair done, I realized I left my earrings at home. I don’t have pierced ears, which means I use clip-ons and I can’t just borrow another girl’s earrings. Luckily, Roomie would get home from work early enough to grab them for me and deliver them to the hotel where the competition was being held.

Teacher’s partner was doing my hair and makeup before she went to work and then dropping me off at the hotel.  That way I could avoid the $25 parking fee (seriously, Hilton?!). She was going to give me lipstick to apply closer to the time that I was scheduled to dance. We both forgot it until after she dropped me off. Luckily, I found someone at the comp who had a lipstick that I could use.

The trifecta of hiccups was complete when I went to change into my dress. I just keep the dress loosely folded in a bag because it can’t be hung up. It never crossed my mind to take it out to dewrinkle the skirt. Until I put the dress on in the hotel bathroom. Brilliant. Luckily (for the third time), the way the skirt is designed, it wasn’t very obvious when I was moving around.

I was actually pretty calm about the hiccups and being at the competition in general. Teacher’s partner was surprised to find me smiling when I met her for my hair/makeup appointment. I was surprised at the minimum number of butterflies in my stomach while I waited for my turn on the floor. I did have a sudden bout of nerves right before my second round of single dances that made me hold onto Teacher’s arm like a kid grabbing for her parent. But once we hit the floor, I was able to breathe and focus on dancing.

I think the minimal nerves were a result of gratitude at just being able to afford to participate and knowledge that I already survived the “worst” in the form of my mid-group class anxiety attack.

I really just wanted to get out on the floor and dance. Which after 10 months, I did!

There were a few on-floor hiccups too, but I’m proud to say I think I handled them pretty well! During my first Viennese, I stumbled in the middle of a run-around turn, and as I tried to recover, I stepped on my dress and stumbled more. It was a couple measures before I was back on track, but I didn’t fall or stop or lose my smile! I call that a success.

There were a couple other minor stumbles, but I think my most graceful recovery was when I was hip checked at the end of the foxtrot during the scholarship round. It’s just a jump to the left!

Speaking of which, I felt particularly good about my foxtrot dances! All the extra work at defeating my foxtrot nemesis paid off!

Bottom line: it was a really good day!

My results:

Intermediate Silver round: 2nd place in all four dances
Full Silver round: 2nd place in waltz and Viennese waltz, 1st place in tango and foxtrot
Closed Silver Scholarship round: 2nd place!

I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get another chance to qualify for the Best of the Best event at Ohio Star Ball (I needed to place first in the scholarship). But it was only my first time competing in silver! So I didn’t dwell on it. I felt too good about feeling like I was finally back on track!

At the end of the night, it took me about an hour to remove the 58 bobby pins and wash the can of hair spray out of my hair. The hair spray must have coated the insides of my nostrils because I could still smell it after it was washed out! The blessings that come with being a girl!

The days following comp day were full of ups and downs, of course, as I returned to reality. I’m finding the “post-comp blues” are getting easier to deal with though.

But I will write more about that later.

Happy dancing!

20160210 California Open Costa Mesa People Photos DSC_0450


4 thoughts on “A Review of CalOpen – All I Can Smell is Hair Spray

  1. Bosch says:

    Way to go! That’s so awesome! Nice job dancing so well AND handling the snafus with grace!

    Do you have any particular pre-comp prep that you do? Not just in the weeks leading up (practice, training, etc) but in the few days leading up, and the day of? I’m trying to come up with some mental and physical prep that I’ll be able to do in the day or so before and the day of. I’ve performed in the past, and I’ve found that my nervous energy needs to get burned off before I go onstage to avoid being a jittery mess.

    Liked by 2 people

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