A Review of The Royal Ball – #CantStopWontStop

Hellooo lovely dancers! I am so sorry I’ve been a little absent on the blog. Things have been crazy! Nothing slowed down after I finished dancing at The Royal Ball. I didn’t even have time to jump on here to update you on how the competition went. Please allow me to remedy that now.

If you joined me on Facebook Live, then you already know how the day went. The replays are still available on the videos tab of the Facebook page if you were busy with your own dancing that day.

I had an alarm set for 3am on the morning of the competition, and with lights out at 7:30pm the night before, I had set myself up to actually get a decent night’s sleep! Of course, nothing ever goes exactly as you planned it.

If you want to listen/watch me tell the following story instead of reading it, check out this video. It’s actually pretty funny because I’m only half awake.

First unscheduled wakeup call was a little before midnight. I woke up to one of my dogs about to be sick. Nothing gets you out of bed faster than that sound of your dog about to throw up! He was right by the bathroom door, but alas, he didn’t take that last step and I had a mess to clean off the carpet. After that, I was in bed for about 10 minutes before the poor thing started whining. One of my dogs is very vocal and so whining isn’t unusual for him, but this was the quiet one. When he starts whining at me in the middle of the night, it’s for a good reason. He had thrown up and now he needed an emergency bathroom run. So we hurried outside so he could do his business. In the rain.

After that, he was good. Dogs are resilient like that. One minute they’re getting sick from both ends and the next minute, they’re over it.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the nightly disruptions. About 1am, it started raining harder. There had been an ongoing leak in the roof above my apartment and I would get water coming down the inside of my bedroom wall. Well, enough rain was coming down that it started sounding like it was raining in my bedroom! So I’m out of bed again to see what was going on. The dripping was only inside the wall though, and there was nothing I could do about that, so I went back to bed again. Then I start hearing the sound of water dripping on metal. There is a heater element on that wall and the leak had migrated over it. So now I was hearing a loud “cling! cling! cling!”

Needless to say, I was a little groggy when my alarm went off at 3am. The good thing about not being fully awake though was I didn’t feel nervous about the day’s event. I did my hair, took the dogs out (luckily it wasn’t still raining when I walked the dogs), and I did the first livestream of the day while I painted my nails.

After I got on the road, the lack of sleep started to kick in. I think it was the sitting/driving in the dark that made my body think it was time to go back to sleep. I made it to the competition safely, and I only had to circle the block twice before I figured out where the entrance to the parking garage was (I hate going to downtown Los Angeles for this very reason). Shout-out to the valet at the hotel for telling me about that garage though! I only paid $7 and it was going to be $25 if you parked with the hotel valet, even with validation from the competition. Parking fees at hotels feel like they’re starting to get out of hand.

I was feeling rushed because I arrived barely on time for my makeup appointment, but they were running a little behind anyway, so I had time to breathe and change into my dress. The nerves were starting to kick in. I expected to be all done up and ready to go by the first dance of the morning. By then I’d still have an hour until I was dancing, which is how early I like to be ready. Because my appointment didn’t start on time, I was still in the chair when the first waltz came on. My makeup artist chuckled and asked if I was getting nervous. I asked her if it was that obvious and she said my whole body tensed up when the song started! Ok, yeah, just a little nervous.

Once I was in the ballroom, the nerves were turned on full throttle. I distracted myself by doing another livestream before I warmed up. Incredibly, the warmup and centering practice I went through left me feeling much calmer. Thank goodness.

I danced three rounds total – a round of single dances, a 3-dance championship, and the open scholarship. There was no scholarship round in closed silver. I wanted to dance a third round though, and the open scholarship was cheaper than a second round of single dances. Plus I would have the chance, however small, to take home some cash. So I entered the open scholarship.

The dancing felt amazing! I felt strong and balanced. Teacher said I felt like a Ferrari. Sports car or not, I had a fantastic time dancing.

Results:

Single dances – 1st place (I think out of only 2 couples)
3-dance championship – 1st place out of 1 (I beat myself!)
Open scholarship – 2nd place out of 2 (but I still took home money!)

Even though it was a small competition, The Royal Ball felt like the perfect start to my 2018 competition season. I received a few compliments from people that they could tell I had improved since the last time they saw me compete (yay!).

I also got to meet another one of my followers! You may have seen the candid shot of us shaking hands with giant smiles on Instagram. I am always stoked to meet a fellow dancer who’s found my blog to be helpful, inspirational, or just enjoyable. It’s proof I’m making a positive impact on the world and it’s reassuring to know my messages aren’t just floating out in cyberspace, unnoticed. A second follower was also at the competition, but I didn’t know until she messaged me on Facebook later. The cool thing was that I remembered seeing her on the dancefloor! These connections just make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

As I mentioned in the beginning, there was no slowing down after The Royal Ball. My next competition, Ballroom Beach Bash, is in less than two weeks and this time I’m dancing Smooth AND Standard! We still don’t have a Tango routine for Standard. It’s fine, I’m not freaking out at all (*wink*). At least Quickstep is finally starting to sink in. Before I go to Beach Bash, I’m at a conference in Arizona for five days. You can bet I’ll be doing my solo practice in the evenings after the day meetings are over!

The beta release for the Solo Practice Guide also finished up, so now I’m collecting final feedback and preparing to make revisions. Next step will be publication! I’m thinking of giving people who downloaded the Solo Practice worksheet a sneak peek at the cover. Personally, I love it so I hope they do too! The worksheet is always available for free at practiceballroomdance.com, so go check that out if you wish your solo practice was more effective, organized, etc. or if you just could use some help getting started in the first place. I have no doubt that I owe my success at The Royal Ball to my dedication and commitment to my solo practice. Ok, fine, Teacher helped a little too.

Happy Easter if you celebrate, and as always happy dancing!

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