Hello!!!!! This weekend was AWESOME!!!!!!!
OKay first some background.... Over Thanksgiving, Pat and Jessica were looking for places to dance in Cleveland. They ran across the Springville Ballroom... They danced there two days and were really well received by everyone there. They became really good friends with the owners and the owners totally fell in love with them. They invited the entire team (actually it was the whole club, but we only extended the invitation to the team) to come use their ballroom. So that brings us up to now....
We were planning on going there this past weekend. Now what we knew going there was that They were going to give us dinner on Fri and Sat, they were going to let us (and us alone) use their ballroom for 4 hours in the afternoon. They were going to give us 2 hrs of free lessons, and they invited us to their evening social dances. All of this was in exchange for 2 20 minute demonstrations from the formation team...
(BTW I got roped into the demo team b/c I was in it over the summer and knew some of the routines) So the demos that we did were
Jive - 5 couples including me
Tango - solo
Cha - 6 couples including me
Quickstep - Pat & Pam Solo
Waltz - Andrew & Fei Solo
Tx Two Step - 6 couples including me
Rumba - Pat & Pam
Foxtrot - Andrew & Fei
V Waltz - 5 couples (not me)
Paso - Solo
West Coast - Liz and my solo
Samba - 5 couples (not me)
Polka - everybody
Some quick background comments -then we'll start on the story... The owners were AWESOME!!!! They were very giving (this will be explained later).... The audience and crowd on Fri was mostly elderly singles/widows(ers) in the 60+ range.... The audience on Fri was mostly couples starting in the 40+ range - and they also invited some High School students who have been taking lessons there. Needless to say - they played a lot (biggest understatement I've ever made) of Foxtrots. The ballroom is one of the original ballrooms from the big band era - and is one of the few left. It just celebrated it's 70th anniversity. It still has its orginial floor.
Okay, so we left on friday around 3 (2hr drive)... This was annoying. It was a two day trip and I had three pieces of luggage. I had a suitcase that really didn't hold much more then my sleeping bag (we were crashing on Jessica's floor - she lives there) and a couple of changes of underware and a t-shirt. I had my hanging bag which had my costumes, and I had my dance bag with my shoes, some of our CD's for our practice times... I had like 7 outfits, 3 pair of shoes, and 5 BELTS!!!!! I was going to be gone for 2 days.... Very annoying.
So we got there just as they were serving dinner.... It was very good. It was very similar to the Grannymama effect - I said I'd like a little bit of whatever... They said okay and only gave me 4 whopping servings of the food. It is okay though - it was very good. We then changed for the party (it was a semi-formal kinda place).. then at the party it was the most boring dancing I've ever done... about 12 foxtrots,1 swing, 8 more foxtrots, 1 cha,1 rumba, 1 samba (this was their latin set) and then 12-15 more foxtrots. Then at intermission we gave our demos.
Just so you know - everybody was changing in the coat room.... this was because usaully we had about 30 seconds to change between songs and this was the only closed place that was immediately off the floor. The lady in the coat room was having the time of her life. All the guys and girls were changing - she said that she hadn't had that much fun in two years. It was difficult chaning because it was very crowded in there. Oh final note - the floor was VERY SLICK which cuased several problems while performing/dancing.
The Jive didn't go too bad - my partner (not Liz) was incredibly nervous and had basically locked every muscle in her body. We did fine - and I don't really think anybody could tell - but she was rigid.
Did a quick change for the Cha... It went okay. Then I changed for the Twostep.... I screwed up the twostep royally... See I hadn't ever finished learning the whole thing and it definately showed.
Then during the west coast... I got really nervous - I mean not only was this a solo - This was OUR dance. Liz and I have a fairly sexy entrance - (hell the whole dance is incredibly sexy....Lets just say we were a little worried about giving some of the people there heart attacks)... And we start at separate sides and kinda walk towards each other.... While we were waiting to start.... I told her that I was really nervous... When she looked at me before we started - I showed her that my heart was really beating..... She sent PAt over to comfort me.... it was amuzing..... Anyways - for our entrance.... I didn't realize the the room was quite as large as it was.... So when I was walking towards her - I realized that I wasn't going to get to her at the proper time and I could speed up and run towards b/c that would totally break the sexy image. So we started off wrong....Liz was sliding and neither of us were doing any of the styling that we do to make our dance look really good... Then the last set (out of three) of the song - total brain fart - completely forgot the rest of the routine. So I made up stuff and fortunately hit the dip at the end...
Just overall - all of the demos were not wonderful... I don't think anybody was very happy with them or with the day in general... I know that I was VERY excited going there - and dancing nothing but slow foxtrots (except for our demos) did not help dispell this energy.
So that night we all went out to a club... That was a lot of fun... Even though it was a bounce around kind a place - It was really fun to be there with all my friends. We went back to Jessica's - ate some of her food and crashed really hard.
Sun - Sun was Incredible....We went to the lessons... We learned some gold American Foxtrot - so we could actually do something fun when they play 40 billion foxtrots that night. The we learned some really cool American Rumba - This was specifically for Liz and I b/c we compete in A Rumba. Then we went to the mall to grab a quick bite and spent the next 2 hours just dancing in an empty ballroom... We also practiced our routines and fixed all the mistakes and stuff. The owners had some left over towels and mugs with their logo on it - so they gave everyone one of these
Then they fed us dinner again.... This time they had made a cake that said "Welcome CMUBDC" (Carnegie Mellon University Ballroom Dance Club).... This is the Amazing part.... During dinner, they called me, Pat, and Cindy, the demo team coordinator to the front - Mr. Chef, one of the owners - made a small speech -the jist of which was that he was going to give us money.... I was just in awe - I felt so loved... And while he was talking I was thinking like maybe $500 or so.... In his speech he said that this were for the people going to England.... The check was for $3000.... Then, to top that off - he gave ANOTHER $3000 to the club to be used anyway that we see fit. God - talk about WARM FUZZIES - Almost all of us were in tears.... Big hug time I was hugging everyone - the owners the team - everyone.... And what I found out was that part of that money was to go to Andrew and Fei to go to England - b/c they were not able to go b/c they didn't have enough money.... That means that we now have a FULL TEAM going to England. These people are just so amazing....
That night during the dancing - they had invited high school students to come - hoping that we would be inspiration for them -etc.... So that was fun to dance with all of them.....
Our demos that night were awesome!!!! I mean everyone was on such a high..... And this time our demos were worth $6000.... And they were. Everyone did great!!!! Liz and I got all the styling in and we were definately incredible sexy this time. It was just awesome.... Before our last demo - we made a public thank you to them and gave the owners flowers and a card that we all signed... Then do you know what - They gave us a plaque... These people just didn't stop..
IT was so incredible.... We danced for the rest of the night.... Then we all returned to Jessica's and talked and laughed till the wee hours of the morning....
What an incredible weekend.... Wow .... That is all that I can say..... Wow!!!!