America’s Classic 2013

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We always look forward to this event every year.  For us, it’s the start of the dance “season” after a break during the holidays.  It’s a chance to renew our love of dance and a chance to see friends that we haven’t seen in awhile.

This year, there was added excitement/pressure because I was putting a routine on the floor at ACC – first time since 2009.  This routine has been so challenging and I hoped to show growth in my dance.  Since that routine in 2009, so many difficult life challenges have occurred and it kinda felt like it was a re-entrance into competitive dance this year.  In short, I gots some stuff to prove to myself!

But let’s start from the beginning – first up, slow whip!  Trent had the opportunity to dance with one of his favorite dance partners, Debbie Figueroa, and I picked up a new partner for this year, Dominique Martin.   It’s the 2nd year since Trent and I decided to split up and dance with different partners – we really want to grow the division, even if it’s one partner at a time!  Both of our partners did amazing, but I want to give props to Dom for really working hard.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we really didn’t get a chance to work on slow whip, except for 45 minutes the day of the contest.  He did great – 3rd place!  And of course, Trent and Debbie won 1st!  Congrats!

Then Saturday – routine night!  Boy was I nervous before hand!  But the most amazing thing – when we walked out onto the floor, first I saw my best girlfriends from Louisiana cheering for me by the side of the floor.  Then I looked up and saw Barry Jones going CRAZY in the stands!  I saw all the tables of my all of my friends – new and old and everything in between.  And I just thought – i’m just dancing for my friends!  I took a deep breath and just calmed down.  And we had the BEST performance so far!  No mistakes (first time!) and me and Chip were just SO connected for the entire routine!  The crowd was just beyond – if you’ve never been on the routine floor for ACC, I have no idea how to describe the feeling to you.  The audience is SO supportive  – but man my hometown crowd did me right!  The more i heard them, the more I wanted to show them something good!  I could barely contain myself when we finished!  Best feeling in the world – if I could bottle that feeling and sell it, i would be a millionaire!

And then we actually won against some seriously great competition!  SO AWESOME.  But even beyond that, I had a phenomenal compliment from my former coach, who is very tough and very spare in the praise – he told me it was best he had ever seen me dance.  WOW.

The rest of the weekend is kind of a blur, but I want to thank again my wonderful ams for dancing with me – Louie and Matthew.  And thanks again to Bertie Lemons for wanting to dance with me in the Strictly and for being a super fantastic dance partner and new friend.  First time in Advanced/All Star Strictly finals for me!

Even with the win with the routine, my best memories are those where we are just laughing so hard that we’re crying, hanging out with friends, being ourselves and feeling the love in the room, whichever room we were in.  I have not laughed that much in a LONG LONG time.  So needed and so appreciated.  Love all you guys!

I don’t know why but this weekend was just so emotional for me.  I feel so silly but I have already cried from happiness so many times this weekend and last night.  I want to say thank you again to my wonderful Trent, who has been so supportive and whose belief in me and my potential has given me the courage to get myself out there and push myself just a little harder.

-Michelle

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