Comp Prep & Lesson 14: Run-Through

Happy first day of Manhattan Dancesport, ballroom dancers!!!

As I’ve always planned…I will introduce myself soon!

So, comp prep. I’ve somehow gotten myself hair and makeup appointments with Boyko and Co! I’ve decided for future competitions, I’ll most likely do both myself, but at least for my first one, I want to see what the professionals do/use differently.

I’ve also taken care of my costume. I’ve rented a beautiful DorΓ© dress from Classic Ballroom Elegance. I will definitely write more about that soon and will also probably try different dress rental companies and tell you my experiences with each one.

That being said, for tanning, I decided to just lay out on my roof and I’ll be going to a tanning bed at Future Tan tomorrow. I’d have preferred to not have the UV exposure, but as I’m renting my costume, I’m too afraid of ruining the dress. Plus, my rental contract says no temporary tanning is allowed (which is reasonable).

For accessories, I’m having a set of bangle bracelets made by Ballroom Glitz by Nikki K! I would love to have a hair accessory as well, but maybe I’ll stop by the venue in the next day or two and check out the vendors and see if they’ve got anything like the aesthetic in my mind.

My dress arrived on Friday – gotta love two-day shipping! I’ll admit. I definitely was kind of afraid to touch it. I tried almost the same exact the dress at Manhattan Dancesport in 2012. The one I tried back then has an identical cut, it just has different appliques and decorations on it.

I tried it on and couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like a goddess in it! Then I decided to put my shoes on and practice a little bit, but kind of panicked when I saw a glass fringe on my floor. I’d heard of people not performing well because their costume didn’t feel good, but until I put the dress on, I couldn’t understand why that would happen to anybody. I also couldn’t get my mind off the cost of this dress – this particular one (and I know, like I said, because I’ve tried these dresses before) costs four thousand dollars.

The thought of that kind of paralyzes me.

So, Matt and I had a lesson (i.e. runthough) on Monday at Rogers Dance Center, so I brought the costume with me. I was happy to see his student there, Nanette, whose warmth I was quickly smitten with. She was so excited to hear I was going to be dancing this weekend and fawned over the dress when I unwrapped it, saying that it was gorgeous and I’d look beautiful in it and that she thinks I’ll do great.

Oddly, when I got to the studio, I was too shy to actually put the dress on, but Matt made me. “You need to get a feel for it and so do I,” he said.

I hid behind the garment bag when I put it on and came out of the bathroom. Obviously no one else was wearing a costume, so I felt like such a showoff! But Matt loved the dress and so did…well, basically everyone else. I got a lot of compliments.

Then it came time to dance in it. I immediately was so grateful Matt made me put it on, because if the first time I danced in it was at the comp, I would have been screwed. The dress is completely open on the left side and cut almost down to my ankle on my right – and it has a LOT of glass fringe on the skirt, so that adds a bit of weight. So I’m thanking my lucky stars (AKA my teacher) that I already know how the dress tends to slap around my leg. It’s a very strange sensation.

I made Matt stop dancing when I did a turn and the way I wrapped my arms pulled a fringe off. I started to panic and then he just was like, “It’s okay! It happens!”

Which is true – how many times has every one of us seen the floor clear after a competition round, leaving a boatload of rhinestones and feathers everywhere?

Something interesting that my teacher said: “The dress is long, so you need to dance long.” I didn’t know what he was talking about until he demonstrated. It meant I am going to have to really dance outΒ and stretch in all directions.

We danced our round, it felt like, at least ten times. Matt made small corrections here and there, but it was mostly “your posture and your feet”.

Like always. One of the times we were dancing our samba, he goes “Watch your shoulders” and I hollered, “You’ve been telling me that the past seven years!!!” He said bashfully, “It’s my job.” And then I almost felt bad for yelling at him.


Well, Matt and I are going to practice again on Friday!

And then we dance.

In honor, I leave you with two pieces of media.

One is this photo I took of Emmanuel and Liana the first time I ever went to Manhattan Dancesport, the first competition I ever attended, and the first dance couple I fell in love with!

Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova, Manhattan Dancesport 2012

And, because they are my biggest inspiration, here’s a video of them killing it in various competitions across the country!


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