Finishing the year with a bang – and some ice!

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As Houston is coming out of the “polar vortex”, I am finally gathering my thoughts from the last couple of months.  Houston Rocks, The “Iced” Challenge and The Challenge Redux all coming your way!

The Challenge series has been a fun way to bring the community together the last few years – kudos to Barry Jones and Johnny Siharath for coming up with such a great idea.  For a little background, check out my post from last year, the Challenge 2012.

Houston Rocks was in November and was super fun with the addition of the newcomer J&J division.  It was so great to see so many new competitors to the scene.  Some people just wanted to see what it was about and others wanted to start their competition careers!  There were a lot of jitters, but everyone did a great job.  I was especially proud to see my own students competing and doing so well!

Then it was time to prepare for the Challenge and the Robert Royston musicality intensive.  The intensive had some great information as usual with Robert and I especially enjoyed the individual critiques.  Unfortunately, the next day a huge ice storm came into town and the original Challenge had to be postponed.  Good news for us though – we were already in town and was able to schedule our own mini intensive with Robert for 2 hours.  Completely and totally worth it.  Not only did he give us stuff to work on together – he also gave us very specific drills and concepts to work on our own.  Highly recommend it, if you can manage it!

Fortunately, the Challenge was able to get rescheduled and we just returned from the event on Sunday.  I’m usually using this time of year to get geared up for ACC, but since my knee injury and Trent’s shoulder injury, we haven’t been able to do much practice time.  Maybe because of this, my energy going into the weekend was a bit low.  But by Saturday night, the place was packed and we had a great time!  Houston came really close to winning the team trophy back again, because of an incredible showing by our newcomer dancers!  Next year!

Now time to start a new year!  ACC, here we come!

The Challenge 2012

WHEW!!!!  WOW, what an amazing experience this weekend at The Challenge run by Barry Jones and Johnny Siharath (http://www.thechallengeswing.com/).  It’s been the first time that Trent and I have really gotten to participate in this event all the way through from the prelim events and the final challenge!  We usually just haven’t been available for one reason or another, but we are SO glad that we made it this year!

One of the things that I have always loved about competition events was that even though we were competing against one another, there was always a sense of community and comraderie amongst all the dancers.  While I still get that feeling from time to time, it often gets lost in the stress and pressures of competing.  Somehow Barry and Johnny found a way to bring that back at The Challenge!

A little background here for those of you who are not from this area: The idea of the Challenge was to bring back some of that love of community and comraderie along with a friendly rivalry and competition. Each city involved participated in a “Rocks” Challenge weekend, i.e. Houston Rocks, or Austin Rocks.  There are Jack and Jills for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced and the top 5 from each division would go on to compete at The Challenge to see which city ROCKS the most!

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