The Luck of the Irish DanceSport Gala Weekend

So now I’ll tell you what that hotel room thing was all about.

I didn’t want to jinx it, but my dance partner and I decided to compete at the Irish DanceSport Gala at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana! And no, it’s actually not an Irish dance competition, it’s called that because the school is the Fighting Irish.

We (me, my partner, and two other team members) drove down to South Bend from Madison on Friday afternoon. It was probably between five and six hours of driving, but we managed to make it to the welcome dance before heading off to our hotel which was surprisingly a ways away. I bunked with a random assortment of team members in a rather comfortable hotel room.

The day of the competition was beautiful and sunny, and we were up bright and early around 7:30 or so, and relaxed before heading over to the venue for our first event. I tried not to be too intimidated by the other dancers and just have fun. There were some really, really good dancers there. There were a lot of bedazzled costumes on the ladies, and a few men even had their hair bedazzled. I mean, I wear a little makeup, but bedazzled hair is a little too much, even for me. We competed in 8 Bronze dances and 8 Newcomer dances, opting to forgo Viennese at the last minute because we were tired. Our first callback was, surprisingly, in Bronze Tango, followed by one in Newcomer Tango and Newcomer Foxtrot. Breaking Bronze is pretty decent, especially for a rather inexperienced pair like us. We didn’t fare well in Bronze Latin, but got called back for quarter-finals in Newcomer Rumba (despite getting extremely off-time in the final 10 seconds or so), and then semi-finals! According to the judging page, we didn’t get any points in that last rumba, but we managed to score at least one point for all the rest of our first-round dances except for Bronze Waltz (our first dance of the day) and Bronze Foxtrot. Even though we did not place, my secret goal was at least one callback, so after that Bronze Tango callback, I was a little calmer, but still feeling competitive. Overall, we gave it our best shot, and I don’t regret anything I did on the dance floor. Okay, maybe a few botched quickstep moves and a couple moments where I almost lost it in jive, but other than that, I’m happy with my performance.

The long and short of it, we didn’t do too bad, especially this being my third-ever competition and my partner’s first.

And the reason I didn’t post this all yesterday was because even though it was only four and a half hours to drive back, I drove the first two hours or so and then slept as my partner drove us the rest of the way. I’m surprised that I didn’t wake up this morning slumped over in the parking lot of her building, but I managed to get up and lead a talkback this afternoon. I have plenty of work and stuff ahead of me this week, but at least this weekend happened and now I’ve just gotta worry about this week.

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6 thoughts on “The Luck of the Irish DanceSport Gala Weekend

  1. What a great way to spend a weekend! It’s always fun to get away and makes the following week so much better when you can look back on the weekend trip. I’ve got a weekend trip coming up soon (but no dancing, alas), and I’m so looking forward to it.

  2. Well done! I SO miss my dancing days… I went from Bronze up to Novice when I got an amazing partner, but eventually gave up my passion when my partner turned professional and I chose to focus on my canoeing (having married a paddler). My favourite dances were Foxtrot and Samba 🙂 I hope you keep on enjoying it!

    • Thanks, Laurel! Wow, Novice…I’m jealous! Bronze is such a watershed, it’s almost like I’d have a better chance at excelling in Silver. I’m not a huge Foxtrot fan (even though I got a callback) but I’d samba with you for days!

      • I admit that I wasn’t a big foxtrot fan until I got to novice and suddenly the turns and spins felt like floating on air, especially in my white satin ballgown…. But Samba, oh what fun! And Jive… Mmmm nostalgia…

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