Friday, April 12, 2013
USA DANCE 2013 NATIONAL DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS
At the 2013 Nationals, we saw America's finest ‘real life’ dancing stars in action. The three-day, continuous dance event was held at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE in Los Angeles, starting at 8 am until 11 pm each day. Competitors from nearly every State, ranging from Pre-Teen (as young as age 7) and Youth (to age 18) to Adult (age 19+) and Seniors (35 to 70+), competed in all four major ballroom dance styles -- International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth and American Rhythm – ranging from Bronze, Silver and Gold to Novice, Pre-Championship and Championship levels. Having said all that (most of which was borrowed from USA Dance promotional literature), let's move on to what this blog is really about - the Hawaii competitors.
The banner and the Hawaii team spirit were obviously appreciated by the audience, as well as the judges,because we eventually started hearing people in the audience (not from Hawaii) cheering for Hawaii couples and yelling out their numbers, and Hawai couples were getting marked by the judges. (The banner was donated by Miguel Heraclio, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the competition. Right-on Miguel. Thank You!!) If you're interested in how each couple placed, you can go to Geoffrey Fells' blog. Geoffrey is Hawaii's top ballroom dance adjudicator and he's always on top of how Hawaii competitors are doing at competitions.
The competitors from Hawaii covered just about all skill levels as well as age categories in the International style dances - Latin and Standard, with many couples doing both Latin and Standard and in two age categories. Hawaii had couples dancing in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice, Pre-Championship, and Championship. We covered Adult (19+), Senior I (35+), Senior II (45+), and Senior III (55+) (we would have had Senior IV as well, if this new category had been included in the Nationals).
Throughout the competition, Tom & Yuko were very supportive of the Hawaii competitors. Tom stood right next to Roger, holding up the Team Hawaii banner and cheering for the Hawaii competitors. In fact, Tom probably held that banner more than anyone, besides Roger and Isabella. Thank you, Tom & Yuko, for all your encouragement.
For some of us, going to ballroom competitions, including the National Championships, is not just about competition. Yes, we take the competition seriously, but we also take time to explore whatever city or town we happen to be in. We take time to research the local restaurants, markets, and shopping venues and we've had some great experiences along the way - and some really good food too.
Next year, the Nationals is scheduled to be held in Baltimore. We know that there are quite a few more amateur ballroom couples out there, both young and more mature. If you have the slightest interest in experiencing the thrill of participating in a National Championship, come see any of us who competed in LA this past weekend. We don't think there were any among us who did not enjoy the experience and who would not be glad to share their experience with you. Come join us next time.
You don't have to be from a particular studio, or with a particular coach, to join us at the Nationals. We had seven couples qualified for this year's National Championships from Hawaii, and we all have different coaches. If you can dance ballroom, whether International or American, and you want to join us at the next Nationals, you will be welcome.
Calvin & Debra Ota