Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Heritage Dance Classic - David Easa

Editor: - At the Heritage Dance Classic Mr. David Easa dancing with Professional Yanna Samkova brought back to Hawai'i 33 First Places, 30 Second Places, 9 Third Places and 2 Fourth Places.
Congratulations David!

The Venue
The Grove Park Inn in Asheville is truly a wonderful hotel. Asheville is nestled in the beautiful Carolina Mountains and is lovely. The town is quaint with shops that sell nothing and everything that you need and don’t need but can’t help buying, curios and collectibles, an assortment of too many restaurants than you could never fill with just the residents and a ton of microbreweries for the visitors and rednecks alike.

The competition is so well planned and organized by Joy and Collin Hillary, the organizers and owners. It seems like Joy is everywhere at all times. She is a beautiful and gracious lady but that doesn’t stop her from putting on her plastic gloves and along with a helper, going around periodically during the competition to collect debris from the tables of performers and spectators to prevent clutter and keep the ballroom clean and pristine.

Not many dance competition organizers think so much from the competitors’ perspective as the Heritage Classic. You are greeted at the airport and transported to the hotel. Vouchers are provided for buffet breakfast and dinners. Plastic containers are provided for those who must consume their food in the ballroom because of competition schedules, which was true for all of the serious contenders. None of the greeters at the door of the dining room “hassled” you about how much you were taking out of the dining room; everyone was helpful and gracious.

Dinners were well planned and the assortment of food was very good and tasty. A few dinners followed cocktail hours that were held at the expense of the organizers. On those evenings, I traveled to dinner a little light headed. The dining area had a dance floor with live music, and students and teachers were socially dancing comfortably and happily during and after dinner. Balloons and festive decorations adorned the ballroom on the last two evenings that were formal in attire. Of course, I forgot my tux (God how I hate wearing tuxedos) but got away with my favorite dark suit that thankfully was recently saved from being separated from itself – (refer to previous blog - I lost my whip and lost my pants). I asked a few ladies to dance and they were willing and happy. I must have scared one nice lady when I asked to escort her to the dance floor she turned to her dance instructor for permission. He checked me out and consented.

The competition itself kept to schedule and was flawless in execution. I was pleased overall with my performance, especially given the high level of competition that I encountered. I do not want to dwell on this aspect, as I would rather focus my attention on making some observations.

I also really enjoyed reconnecting with the competitors that I knew and new ones that I met. I talked to all of the competitors in my age group and they were all very friendly and supportive.a bunch of young “old men” trying to stay young and do something new and exciting. We shared our war stories; they all seemed oddly familiar, as the experience of learning to dance was strangely common.
My dance instructor, Yanna, was exceedingly patient with me, even when her explicit instructions were not followed. It’s those inner demons; I do not own my own body. Nor does it always respond to wisdom and experience. Sometimes, it cannot be overruled. Huhhhhh…not for a lack of trying. But you can’t easily reverse the circuitry of more than 6 decades of programmed connections; these patterns are set in concrete, which aptly would require a sledgehammer to remodel.

I really enjoyed watching the few pre-pubertal youth competing at Heritage. Unlike other venues mostly on the West Coast, the girls in the bunch were conservatively dressed with full dresses coming to their neck. They were cute and talented but they were not dressed inappropriately to mimic the scantily dressed tradition of adults competing in the Latin dance events. 

The level of competition at all levels was amazing. Indeed, I encountered many new-experienced competitors for the first time. In terms of the professional competition, one amazing young lady (certainly 20 years) competing in the rhythm dances moved parts of her body that seemed impossible. The audience was riveted on her performance, her smile confidant and beaming, her dance skills so advanced she appeared to be dancing all alone in the ballroom. I believe she has reached a level of dance skill that few have ever achieved. This was a great joy to witness, and of course the judges rewarded her appropriately.

The professional show was good but not great; some of the competitors in the show dance competition were more inspiring in their performances.

The vendors were friendly, generous and kind. I love expensive dance clothes!

Ok, enough for now. I need to gear up for my next dance competition, which is the mega competition of the year held in Tampa, Florida in June – called the Millennium.

No comments:

Post a Comment