Sunday, September 2, 2012

Windy City Open...Watching the Pros!


NOTE!  There are many photos here, it's a rather long post, but I urge to bear it out and read the entire post; there is a beautiful surprise at the very end, a lovely inspiration for all of you. 

Two of my competition photos were available yesterday!  This is the Bronze Open Scholarship dance on Friday evening.  We're dancing International Standard Tango.  International Standard is the most classic style of ballroom and includes the dances Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep.  In Standard, the partners never break out of the hold position to do any arm styling or independent movement.  Partners must be in perfect synchronicity while maintaining body contact at 5 specific points of contact.  A very specific rib-to-rib connection is most critical.  In this position, the partners must also maintain a broad distance from the chest up....this distance is what gives the dance it's dynamic appearance.  


I'm VERY pleased with our posture and position in this photo.  I love that it conveys the image of motion in a still photo.


I did all of my dancing on Friday and on Saturday my friend Karen, who is a Gold level amateur (pro/am with her instructor) Latin competitor, and I went to see the professional competition and the feature performance by Yulia and Ricardo, World Latin Dance champions.  

I live close enough to Chicago that I decided to drive to and from the comp on Friday (didn't stay in the hotel like I usually do) so on Saturday, I picked up Karen and we drove back into the city through a pounding rainstorm.



We had time for dinner, which was a delicious Pizza Marghuerita with arugula topping.  There is a fine dining restaurant in the hotel...but it was booked so we had dinner in the bar..........




which gave us the opportunity for some Karen-and-Lisa style silliness.
At every comp, girls must find time for a little ballroom vendor shopping.....and I picked up some of the 'nuts and bolts' dance accessories; shoe protectors and clear bands to help keep the shoes tight on our feet.  Oh, yeah....of course I picked up a little bling too...............



Can anyone tell me what kind of material this is?  It has a coating that you can see in the pic.  I would love to make my own jewelry, but I don't know what this backing material is.


Heel protectors and bands to keep shoes on!

Then it was time for the comp!  We had GREAT seats....on the edge of the dance floor.  We could reach out and touch the pro dancers if we wanted to!  
Comps run for three to four days and nights and Saturday night is the pinnacle of the event. There is continuous high level of energy throughout the comp, but Saturday night's event is super charged.

Here they are.......

The PROS!
These are the photographs I took of Saturday's show. I am very new with digital 35mm photography, so bear with me!  Lighting is very elaborate at comps and I had no idea how to adjust for it.  

American Rhythm dance

American Smooth

Latin

Our friend, Jessica Sartori-Wharton, dancing a Paso Doble with her partner Rudolpho, who is Karen's coach.

More American Rhythm

Jacob and his partner; I met Jacob while I was having my hair done.  He was the stylist's assistant and he added a little extra shimmery highlights to the makeup I had done myself.  He gave my eyes some extra POP!

Rhythm

American Smooth.  This style consists of the same dances as Standard, except for Quickstep, which is International Standard only.   In this style, dancers can break out of hold and dance independently, use expressive arm styling and shaping.

Latin

This is Tatianna......WOW.  Her movement was so sharp, crisp and fast.  She and her partner took first place in American Rhythm Professional Championship.

Latin

Smooth


Latin

Smooth

Smooth

Latin

Latin

Smooth

A couple of "swoosh" pictures.  (Hey Sheila @Ephemera....this one's for you.  Want to rate the 'swoosh' factor on this one?)



The capstone of the evening was the performance by feature performers Yulia Zagoryechencko and Ricardo Cocchi.  They're World Latin Dance champions and they are breathtaking.


Her dress is stoned with Swarovski crystal in the image of the Chicago skyline!

Paso Doble!  A most dramatic dance

For the final dance, Ricardo and Yulia danced a Rhumba, the dance of love, bathed in pink light.  

I hoped that I have conveyed to you the drama, energy and excitement of the ballroom competition world.  Its intoxicating and it brings me so much joy.  

I have one final special thing to share with all of you;

So you Think You CAN'T Dance?

Do you think you are too old?

Here is proof that dancing WELL and even spectacularly is possible at any age.  The dancer in the photos below is a beautiful and talented 65 year old lady.  She is fit, fabulous and an amazing dancer.

You wish you could dance?  You can dance....just do it.....

Amazing control and strength


The abs required to maintain this straight as a board position while the guy is spinning is incredible.

Yeah...she really is 65.  She was amazing.




32 comments:

  1. Amazing,incredible and inspiring all at once! Makes me want to dance..... X

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well of course you can guess what I would say, right? I encourage dance...its such a great creative outlet and a joyful experience.
      I'm not sure if you have ever taken any dance lessons but I will say that everyone starts somewhere and sometimes newbies can get a little discouraged...but its so worth sticking with. I have seen my level of dance soar to new heights since I've been studying with Marcel and I know I still have much higher heights to reach, but that encourages me.

      You don't have to have lofty goals...just get out and do it and have fun!

      Delete
  2. That's so cool! Thank you for so many wonderful pictures! Lisa, you look amazing in your pictures. I believe the backing on that fabric is silicone - it's used on things like strapless bras to help anchor them in place. You might be able to find a paint-on silicone online or in a craft store.

    Swoosh Factor: 10! Of course!

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    1. Thanks for the infer Sheila.....so its just a fabric with a silicone painted on? The fabric looks like nude mesh I think. Wow...I hope you are right...if you are you will have saved me quite a pretty penny!

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  3. Those two top pictures of you dancing are amazing!! I love your dress. I have to look down at your prior posts. Do you talk about your dress? If not, I'd love to hear all about it!!! I just got back from Chicago. I love Chicago:)) So many exciting things to do!! It sounds like you also had a fabulous time!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Joanna....I just purchased the dress the same day that I wore it. I wore my green dress earlier in the day then found this one, fell in love with it, purchased it and wore it. Its my new favorite!!

      I'll be in another comp in Chicago sometime in October. I like Chicago a lot.

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  4. Lisa, you looked absolutely beautiful. This is like "Dancing With the Stars", only real life. Congratulations on your performance.
    I can't believe that woman is 65! I'm going to do some sit ups then get on the treadmill this very minute!

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    1. She is fabulous, isn't she. It was wonderful to watch her; she was so strong and flexible. I feel like I need to go do a long workout too!

      Thank you for the compliment!

      Delete
  5. What an inspiring post. Your enthusiasm is palpable. This activity is a terrific choice, embracing passion, artistry and physical grace. Thanks for sharing your fun experience.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can't think of a more enjoyable activity than dance!

      Delete
  6. Holy cow! How amazing are those photos of you! (And you bought the dress that very day?! Wowza!)

    You definitely conveyed the drama and excitement of ballroom dancing in this post! It's so breathtakingly beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Natalie!

      I got very lucky on the dress...it fit my body and my budget. That's rare!

      Thank you for the compliment!

      Delete
  7. What beautiful pictures! I've never watched a live dancing competition before - I am sure it's amazing!

    Alice
    www.happinessatmdilfe.com

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures; if you ever have the opportunity to watch a live competition you should consider it. If you are interested I can tell you if there are any in your area. The excitement is over the top!

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  8. This seems like a wonderful adventure. So mcuh glamour in one post.

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    1. It is a wonderful adventure! Glamour overload! Of course, to me that's a good thing ;)

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  9. The 65-year-old is such an inspiration! I love the dancing pictures. You guys looked great!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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    1. Thank you....she looked so good and so fit!

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  10. What a great set of photos! You and the all the dancers look so poised and graceful. The latin dancing has always been a favorite. And the 65 year old? That is one fantastic lady!

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    1. The 65 year old woman (I didn't get her name!) was so good too...I mean, not just 'good for 65' but really, really good. I was inspired.

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  11. Wow thanks so much for sharing pictures from this wonderful affair! It feels like I was also there to witness it....the outfits are so magnificent!

    REBECCA
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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    1. The outfits are one of the reasons I love it so much! Of course, the dancing is number one, but the dresses are fun.

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  12. Just amazing! I can't imagine watching something any more thrilling than this. Your photos are great...whether you are a beginner or not. I loved this post...especially the finale. : )

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed! Are you ready to dance yet? If you are, drop me a line, I do know SOME teachers in some areas...and if I don't know them one of my coaches does...can let you know who's really, really good.

      Delete
  13. Wow, I love watching ballroom dancing and you look so chic and your photos look great.. Awesome passion! I love watching the tango.

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    1. Tango happens to be my best and my favorite dance. Thank you for the compliment. It is fun to watch ballroom dance on TV isn't it. Its even more fun in person!

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  14. Thank you for sharing your dance experience. There is nothing that even comes close to it for exercise and it is addictive. I just read in the book Master Class by Peter Spiers that Dance is the silver bullet for anti-aging. I loved all of your photos and especially your insipiration for the finale. Thanks again!!!

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    1. It is verrrryyy addictive. Dancing can be joyful and uninhibited.
      I'm not familiar with that book, but I'm going to check it out. Thanks for the heads up on it!

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  15. I've always wanted one of those swirling skirts… *sigh*

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    1. They are fun to wear. Of course, you could ballroom and find out how much fun!!! :)

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  16. Oh my gosh!
    These are great photos!! Really enjoyed it! 65???? Wowza! I want to be her when I grow up!

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    1. I know...I want to be her too. She had an incredible body and she was so limber and fit. Imagine being able to dance that way and wear a revealing dress at 65. She was amazing. And I told her that.

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain