The Making of National Champions
Date added to ADN: Wed,
December 21, 2011
Originally Published: Fri, May 01, 2009
by Melva Smith
(About the Author)
For many new dancers, competing in the Nationals is a goal, but when Nancy Davis began taking dance classes at Ballroom East, she had never heard of Ballroom dance competition. She had no idea that one day she too would be dancing at the Nationals.
"I wanted to learn to be a social dancer," she said, recalling how she used to admire other couples dancing at wedding receptions. However, all of this changed about 7 years ago when she met, and began taking classes with dance partner Michael Cobb. Claiming first place in the Senior 1 Novice Standard and becoming Quarter Finalists in the Adult Novice Standard during the 2009 Nationals in Baltimore, Maryland, their many years of dedicated study and practice have paid off. "Baltimore was our 5th national competition,"she said.
So what does it take to get to the Nationals? Practice . "We practice more in the six weeks before competition, "Nancy said as she explained how important it is to prepare prior to the big event. "We try to practice on a competition size floor," she continued. Many dance schools have small floors, unlike the spacious area used during competition to accommodate multiple dance couples on the floor at one time. Finding such a floor is often difficult, and usually means going to a local gym or YMCA. Another thing it takes is stamina, something that can't be obtained through dance classes alone, because of the constant starting and stopping. "With multiple rounds, stamina is important. Practicing isn't enough. The only way to get stamina is through aerobic exercise," she said, as she stressed the importance that activities such as running and cycling can have in a dancers life.
The experience at Baltimore was a memorable one and we may very well see them back at Nationals again next year as they have plans to participate in future competitions. "It was a delightful competition. We plan to be in Louisville this Summer at the regionals, she said."
About the Author:
Melva Gail Smith is a disabled dance enthusiast from Louisville, KY who enjoys promoting the health and social benefits of both dancesport and linedancesport through her writings. Melva has written for USA Dance, as well as various online magazines; and is the inspiration of dance choreographer Ira Weisburd's Breathe Freely Campaign for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness.
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