America’s Classic 2014

WOW, what a weekend! I am sore, exhausted, can barely focus, and have no voice. And it was totally worth it!

As I’ve said before, this is one of my favorite events to attend every year. It certainly helps that it’s in my backyard, but I think it’s such a great way to start the new year of dancing! I am always awed, motivated and inspired by the dancing at ACC, and this year was no exception.

Our slow whip category was especially meaningful this year. We went into the Thursday night dance with no one signed up and wondering if the category would even make. Trent was scheduled to dance with Deborah and I was schedule to danced with Stephen White, but we didn’t know of anyone else who was intending to sign up. After chatting with Stephen, he did the most amazing thing and started to help us recruit. We were also able to talk to Diego and Jessica from Brazil and they were excited about learning it as well. So we scheduled a 2 hour slow whip session Friday at 1:30p for anyone who was interested in competing that night at 7:30p. HA! Talk about last minute.

Lo and behold, at one point, we took up a 3rd of the practice ballroom just working with some phenomenal people – Diego, Jessica, Ben Clemons, Stephen, Hugo, Stacy, Joshua Sturgeon, and Lindsey Nastos. Crystal and Brennar were in there practicing their showcase routine and even did a quick little slow whipish dance when we were playing music. LOVED IT. I think my favorite part was Victor coming in to practice and seeing our group. The look on his face just matched how I was feeling inside. Everyone just coming together to collaborate, to learn, to share. This is what this community should be all about – sometimes we forget with all the competition.

Thank you to everyone who came and to everyone who competed to make this the best slow whip division in a very long time! Special thanks goes to Stephen for believing in this and spreading the word!

Saturday was originally going to be me and Trent’s first time on the floor with our new Classic routine. But with my knee injury back in November and then Trent’s shoulder injury last month, we have not been able to practice at all. We were both pretty disappointed at not being able to perform the routine, but then we got to watch one of the most inspired Classic divisions I’ve seen in a long long time at ACC. Getting to watch LIVE 2 of the routines that I admired on youtube from the US Open: Josh and Lindsey and Susan and Gary – the energy was amazing! I absolutely enjoyed Hugo and Stacy’s new routine – so much growth in both their dance and their performance! I can’t wait to watch this routine get better and better! but the one that everyone was talking about, the one that blew us all away – Diego and Kellese. WOW WOW WOW. Stan Graves posted about watching a dance that made you listen to music and think about dance in a whole new way – this was it. For those of you who have not seen it, I hope it gets posted soon – you have to watch it!

The Classic division left me exhilarated and also totally just fine that we didn’t compete that day. I think I would have been hyperventilating and crying. LOL. After that division finished, Albert asked me to dance and I felt like I couldn’t even remember how to triple step.

I had some of best JJ and strictly dances ever! My many thanks to B Manning, Diego, Bertie, Dom and Earl for some fun fun fun dances in comps! and of course, the huge list of amazing leads I had for social dancing – reminds me every time why I love this dance so much!

What a weekend!


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