After nearly two years of focusing on west coast swing, my teacher and I have decided I’m ready to put together a competitive routine. I’ll be doing a pro-am piece with the fabulous Ben Hooten, who is a fantastic performer and teacher. I’m honored to have the chance to be working with him, and I’m exciting to begin this new phase of my competitive career.
We managed to settle on a song pretty quickly, and now it’s a matter of cutting it, putting together choreography, and devoting hours and hours to practice. I can’t wait to get to work.
For now, enjoy the song I’ll be working with for the next year or so.
Austin Rocks started on Thursday night, with a happy hour at the Hotel Allandale. Unfortunately, our musician got sick at the last minute, but the lovely and talented Denise Hudson came through and saved the day! She gave us a fantastic acoustic set while we relaxed by the pool.
After working on Friday, I had just enough time to tidy up the guest room (I was hosting Houston friends this weekend) and grab dinner before it was time to run to the studio and work the registration desk before hours upon hours of social dancing, with the fabulous Trent Haynes, Ruby Lair, and Cher Peadon serving as our DJs for the night.
I woke up on Saturday morning after too little sleep to work the registration desk again, and then attend a workshop hosted by Barry Jones, as well as one hosted by David Simpson and Sandra Lopez. I learned a lot, and I’m looking forward to applying these new moves into my dancing.
Saturday afternoon meant a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse for a screening of Love ‘n Dancing, a thoroughly horrible movie that we got to watch accompanied by an MST3K-style snark track done by Jody and Jeffy Moscaritolo. Trust me, the film is only worth watching with the snark.
After the film, there was just enough time for a nap before it was time for another happy hour. This one had drinks sponsored by Treaty Oak Rum. I feel weird plugging our sponsors on my ad-free blog, but they need to be acknowledged for being so great to us. Plus, their rum is great. And I also was the one who got us the sponsorship in the first place, so I want to brag a bit about my accomplishment.
In addition to the drinks, we had a taco truck, because there isn’t anything more Austin than delicious tacos. Add fantastic live music by J.J. Usher, and it was a perfect pre-event evening.
Then it was back to the studio for the Jack and Jill competition. There were so many fantastic dancers competing. Congrats to everyone who is moving on to the Challenge finals in December!
The pro show was the highlight of the evening. Each couple danced two songs per usual. But for the all-skate, things got a little crazy. Taletha came up with a bunch of funny ways to make dancing more difficult. Each couple got one of these challenges. The all-skate thus looked a bit like this:
It was one of my favorite pro events ever. I can’t wait to see the video.
Once the competition was done, it was time for even more social dancing, with more fantastic music and dancers. I had a great time, and was bummed that the night had to end.
Sunday closed out the weekend with the Sunday Funday bus tour of Austin, with some great photo opportunities along the way.
There was also karaoke on the bus.
Once the bus tour was done, it was time for social dancing at the Copa. We got a second amazing set by J.J. Usher, plus music by some great local DJs. It was another late night, which made getting up this morning for work less than fun, but it was worth it!
In other news, I’m about to stab Google because they changed the way the Google Photos upload works, so I just lost 57 photos that I spent forever and a half uploading, because I’m tired and wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing. This means it’s time for me to sleep. Someday, I’ll get to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe.