Male Ballroom Dancer Confessions | The march to Team Match

So after we got our first Showcase under our belt, it was time to extend our dancing past just the measly Waltz and Foxtrot (not that those dances are measly but just that they’re only 2 dances). The lesson also from the Showcase was that it’s always better to be marching towards a goal to really advance your dancing abilities in a meaningful way. So I just so happened that 3 months from the Showcase was a Team Match between us and a neighboring studio in a city close by. Now the way a Team Match works is that although you officially get individual scores, it’s really the overall team score that is weighed against the other team that matters. The setting is also quite different. It really has a pep rally kind of feel with both teams yelling and cheering for their own team. This jolted me a bit when I started dancing, but I don’t want to get ahead of things.

So to prepare, we decided to up the game from just 2 dances to 16. Quite an ambitious goal for only 3 months of prep time. Now that’s not 16 individual dances, it’s doing 8 dances twice. So the 6 dances we added were: Tango, Cha Cha, Swing, Bachata, Hustle, and Rumba. So naturally we could completely polish each dance in this short amount of time. In fact, I was doing very good just to remember the routine. I did find out through all of this that I did find a new favorite dance: Tango. It just really matches my personality and what I feel a strong male ballroom dancer should look like on the dance floor.

So we prepped, practiced, and we were ready. The day came. We arrived about 15 minutes early which is just enough time to meet and greet and mentally prepare for the 4 hours that were to come. So smooth was first. We were in the 2nd heat with our first Tango. Now, as we’ve discussed, one of the very important functions of the lead is to listen for the music and start the dance. Under normal circumstances, there are certain challenges to this. Under a very loud “pep rally”, this was downright difficult. We got through it (albeit just about taking out a few couples in the process). We turned around and all of a sudden smooth was over. Great. That was our comfort zone and on to Rhythm.

A funny thing about rhythm dancing. Without being in hold the whole time, it shows many more imperfections than smooth dancing in hold. Also, since we were dancing more rhythm dances, we danced many more back-to-back. Now, you may think that the rapid nature of the dances would freak me out or cause anxiety. Just the opposite happened. With us dancing so frequently, I didn’t have time to let my head work against me. We were literally just dancing all day. It was super fun and the whole experience re-energize my focus and commitment to competitive ballroom dancing.

Oh yeah, and our team won.

That brings us up to date since the Team Match was about a week ago.

The journey continues.

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