Before we took our Florida road trip the week of Thanksgiving, we went to our first dance showcase at the Arthur Murray studio in Kennesaw, Georgia. Several studios were invited to participate, including those in Charlotte, North Carolina, and our own in Alpharetta. We had participated in a “spotlight” event back in the summer, for which we both had to learn a choreographed dance (Chuck did a swing/foxtrot and Lori did a rumba), but this was an all-day affair that included both freestyles and extended editions of our spotlights.
The freestyles were organized in “heats”, individual dances of a particular style (foxtrot, cha-cha, etc.) with 4 or 5 students dancing with their instructors. The freestyles are not choreographed: the man has to properly lead. Some guest professional dancers provide commentary and the heats are kept moving quickly so it has a competition feel (you definitely want to earn good comments) without being an actual competition. You get two shots at each heat so they can get a good view of you and you have two chances to impress.
|Lori Dancing Rumba With Mr. Lewis|
|Chuck Dancing Swing/Foxtrot With Miss Martin|
The heats are broken up by spotlights: our individual chances to show off our choreography and a chance to check out the skills of fellow students of all levels and interests. Chuck’s swing/foxtrot didn’t go exactly as planned, but wasn’t as bad as he thought that day. Lori’s rumba was awesome (yes, Chuck is writing this).
With some sixty smooth (foxtrot, tango, waltz) heats, sixty rhythm (cha-cha, rumba, swing) heats, and a couple of dozen spotlights, it’s definitely an all-day affair. After the dancing we all went to dinner and then returned for a spectacular performance by the pros who had been evaluating us all day. To add to the feel of a competition, there was an “awards” ceremony that was basically passing out some nicely mounted pictures of us dancing, but there was no placement or ratings. All day it was an opportunity for us to enjoy not only our dance skills together, but also to share our new passion for dance with like-minded students. It was simply fun.
|With Our Dance Pros|
Dance is a skill, and like any other skill it has to be practiced. While the showcase was fun, its real value is that it forced us to hone our skills. We prepared for weeks prior to the event, and it’s still the buzz of our studio. We’ll gladly do one again and encourage any reader contemplating one to give it a chance.