Do you remember those “choose your own adventure” books? I loved those books as a kid! I always wanted to read through every single option to see what would happen. The ending might be the same, but adventures are never about the destination. They’re about the journey.Continue reading
Embassy Ball, home of the World Championships under the NDCA and WDC, took place in Orange County, CA this past week. Seeing so many social media posts with photos and videos from the event had me waxing nostalgic over my own Embassy memories. I’ve competed at Embassy Ball three times – 2017, 2018 and 2019. Embassy Ball has been a place of highs and lows for me, each triggering a significant turning point in my dance journey.
I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane, if you’ll indulge me!Continue reading
Reaching out to my dancers today who may be feeling like everyone except them is getting to resume their regularly scheduled dancing program, full of in-person lessons, social dances, showcases, and/or competitions. This post is for you.
My current dance status: I’ve been lucky to have had in-person lessons for a number of months now. They were intermittent through the second half of 2020 and became more regular after the new year. Currently, I’m taking two private lessons and one group class a week. My last competition was February 2020, and I don’t know when I’ll be competing again. Two of the competitions that I was hoping would be my pandemic-era return to the floor have already passed.
Compared to some, my dance journey is awesome right now. I’m getting to dance regularly. I’m getting to work with my teacher in person. Heck, my studio survived the pandemic shutdowns! Compared to others who have already managed to compete multiple times in 2021, my dance journey is…ok, better than nothing. At least I’m getting to dance, right?
Whether my dance journey seems awesome or just ok to you doesn’t matter. Because it’s my journey, not yours.
Leads and follows, please welcome to the blog, Jennifer Egl! She is one of the Event Directors of the MidAtlantic Dance Classic, which is the first United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC)-sanctioned competition to go virtual in 2021. She is also a competitive dancer herself in country dance and is actively learning ballroom. When she isn’t dancing or organizing the dancing of others, she acts as UCWDC’s Media and Marketing Chair and the Marketing Coordinator for the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships. Oh by the way, she also works full time, has two children, and freelances as a photographer. We are definitely cut from similar cloths.
Jennifer and I first connected while I was covering UCWDC events for FloDance. When she told me that she was taking her event 100% virtual, I thought it was a great opportunity to share a different view of how the pandemic has affected the dance world. I’ve shared stories of dance teachers and studio owners, but we haven’t heard from a comp organizer yet.
So without further ado!Continue reading
I don’t think I belong here.
That thought echoed in my head as I watched the pro-am American Rhythm session at the 2014 Holiday Dance Classic, held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. It was my second competition as a pro-am ballroom student. I was there to dance American Smooth at the Bronze level. Smooth wasn’t until the next day, but Teacher was competing with other students in Rhythm and I wanted to show my support.
All morning, I watched ladies on the floor, dancing in rhinestones, feathers and fringe. During one of his breaks, Teacher pointed out students who seemed to be at almost every competition. I learned that some pro-am students were wealthy enough to fly themselves and their teachers around the country all year, dancing hundreds of entries at one competition after another.
And then there was me.Continue reading
It’s been seven months since the first pandemic shutdown in my area. Many sectors of society have reopened, some with restrictions. I continue to work from home and have all of my groceries delivered. Still, my dance lessons and physical therapy appointments bring me out of my apartment complex on a regular basis, so I’m not a complete hermit. Life moves forward.Continue reading
My second competition of 2020 is complete! We danced into the wee hours of the night at California Open (at least to me it was the wee hours). I left feeling tired and proud of my performance.Continue reading
As a rule, I avoid dance politics, gossip and the like. Things like these do nothing to improve my dancing or my life in general; they only distract and upset me. Sometimes though, they can be hard to avoid. When I hear more than one of my fellow dancers questioning whether it’s worth competing at all because of the politics, I feel compelled to say something.Continue reading
I know what you’re thinking. I said California Open was going to be my first competition this year, and that’s still a month away. So what the heck is in 6 days??
Surprise! I’ve entered another competition!
It was only about a week ago that I decided to enter, which is very unlike me. It is however very like me to act quickly when a clear opportunity presents itself that aligns with my goals.
So what is this opportunity? For a moment, I thought about not telling you until the very end of the blog post, but decided that would be silly and mean, so let’s cut to the chase.Continue reading