Friday at the Yankee Classic

Happy hump day, ballroom dancers!

I did end up hitting up the Yankee Classic this past weekend in Boston, though just the Friday sessions. I had a lot of friends dancing, not to mention my revered Teach was dancing, and I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to make a little vacay of it.

The 2015 Yankee Classic judging panel

The 2015 Yankee Classic judging panel

The Yankee Classic’s entire judging panel! How fun is that picture? I have no clue who the blonde girl in the silver dress is, but she is an absolute stunner. Friday night, she had on this red dress with some matching red shoes covered in crystals. Also, Allan Tornsberg is some heck of a dresser.

I got there pretty late, actually. I arrived at the Friday matinee around 3 PM. Fortunately, one of my pro friends gave me tickets to that session as well as the night one (SCORE! 95 bucks saved). I had also decided days ago that I was going to not cause any trouble; I was just going to sit in a corner quietly and not draw any attention to myself.

Only, oops, that’s not exactly what happened. I walked in the ballroom and sat down quietly, chewing some gum. Not two seconds later, I saw Teach in the opposite corner of the ballroom, about to walk onto the floor with a student. I gave it probably two minutes until they reached my corner of the ballroom, but that was it – I instantly drew attention to myself.

It was one of the Smooth rounds, and they foxtrotted in front of me and hit a very nice accent. I took the opportunity and hollered his number at the top of my lungs (and a lot of people looked at me). He didn’t break anything to look at me, but his eyes followed his choreo and he looked at me. He grinned at me, I grinned at him, and I was just like, yaaaaasssss, Teach knows I’m here now, fun shall be had.

I was somehow entirely too shy to go check out the dresses. Dore, Designs to Shine, Dancewear Works, and Miari were all there. For shoes, it was Capezio.

It was all well and good until the competition started dragging because it ran so behind schedule. It ended up being over an hour late; it was to the point where they had to kick everyone out of the ballroom to hurry along the awards so they could start the night session. How long was the break between the matinee and the night session? 10 minutes.

Zero time to eat.

It’s okay, I have tons of energy. I did a lot of cheering. It made me laugh though, a little bit, because almost every time I cheered, people turned to look at me. I don’t get it. I thought people were supposed to cheer! Plus, what about the people who have been dancing since 8 AM? They need my support! And everyone else’s, of course…

Anyway, I’m not sure exactly what Teach plans on having me dance, but I watched the scholarship rounds intently. I hate to say it, but watching Pro/Am, you learn a lot about what not to do with your legs and feet. I can’t even think of what those things were, which is a shame because I always learn a lot when I watch competitions, but I always forget what I learn. Maybe I ought to write it down in the future. It was all fabulous, though – my friends all won.

I also want to give a shout out to Extreme DanceSport. They’re a studio in Boston and you noticed them because the students are all so spunky and actually enjoy their dancing. I’m not saying any student doesn’t love dancing, but most of the time, they end up looking terrified when dancing at competitions or shows. Even watching Extreme DanceSport at their tables, they were having so much fun! Another shout out to Steve Yi and Helle Rusholt-Yi. You can tell they are great teachers – their students all danced great and had fun while they were doing it!

Oh, and I’d like to give the special shout out to Helle’s student Nicolas Nguyen who won Open A. He absolutely slaaaayyyyed. My reaction to him and Helle dancing? Instant obsession. Simple as that. I’m actually kind of obsessed with Helle too, now that I think of it.

Extreme DanceSport at the 2015 Yankee Classic

Extreme DanceSport at the 2015 Yankee Classic

That’s, left to right, Steve, Helle, and their students Nicolas and Michael. Everybody here won first place. Even just the atmosphere around them was amazing. It was just so great to see.

I saw the Rising Star Smooth, Rising Star Rhythm, and Rising Star Standard – and then awards for the scholarship rounds were given. My friends and I were done by then. We wanted to, but couldn’t stomach seeing the rest of the events. I was half dead by the end of the night. And all I was doing was sitting there! Imagine my poor Teach and all my other friends who had been dancing all day!

My teacher also danced with his partner that weekend. (Wish I’d seen that. Sad that I didn’t, but there’ll be others.) They did awesome in their event! Placed second! (Yeah, I may have just narrowed his identity down a lot here…haha.)

Speaking of competitions, the German Open Championships went down in Mannheim this weekend. In Amateur Latin, the USA’s Alexander Chernositsov and Arina Grishanina took 4th. In Pro Latin, our own Riccardo and Yulia won it! I was going to put up their honor dance rumba, but I actually like the one they danced in the final better.

Don’t you think they’re great together? My favorite thing about them has always been how he clearly adores her and you can tell she really appreciates him. Are you so excited for the day they finally win Blackpool? I know I am!


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