Dancers are itching to get back on the floor and to restart our own world of competitive ballroom dancing. The Northcoast Dancesport Classic is the first multi-day event that has stepped forward to reignite our static competition industry.
The reopening of ballroom dance competitions might not be seen as a necessity to many, but for a huge number of teachers who need the work and students that want to continue their goals they began when they started Ballroom Dancing, it is almost a necessity. It is great to see how the competition world cautiously opens and uses all the CDC rules to keep a “safe as possible” environment for the competitors that are generously engaging to help us restart our industry.
The Northcoast Classic was a two-day event of pro/am, amateur and junior events, with 80% of the competitors being of the pro/am classification as usual. We spoke to a number of students who were thrilled to have the opportunity to continue their goals in this world of dancing they love. We also spoke to a student who continues to improve in both her physical fitness as well as her dancing and she was thrilled to be able to have this small incentive and goal be there for her and her motivation. I also spoke to a gentleman who enjoys competition dancing so much and who also was excited to be able to do this for the first time since the shutdown this past March. I spoke to the parents of a young, talented amateur couple who, even though uncontested, were happy that their children had the healthy goal, to give all a break from the confinement of their home studies.
Throughout the entire weekend there was an atmosphere of joy and progress, in all areas of our industry, but in particular within the driving force behind our industry - the Pro/Am competitor. We see the Pro/Am’s coming back cautiously, but for us most of all, it was wonderful to see how the competitions have embraced social distancing and are willing to change and adjust to the needs of all competitors while keeping it as safe as possible by following the CDC rules. Once again tables were spaced and people were encouraged to stay within their own group. For the first time, while visiting the restaurant bar, I was happy to see that the CDC rules of everyone wearing a mask and distancing were followed at all times, but most importantly, that many of the hard working teachers who want to keep their students competing were able to take their students to a relatively safe environment.
When we use the word “relatively” safe, we all know that at the moment there is no safe environment even at your local grocery store. But we can all take measures to continue what you love to do or have to do while keeping it the safest possible. I want to congratulate and take my hat to Mr. & Mrs. Pabon, the organizers, who worked hard for two days to give us all a fun playground but with as much safety as possible. It was not a five-thousand entry event, but for two days with all the rules in effect the event was quite successful and when we spoke to them on the last day of competition, they were thrilled with the outcome and happy to be able to run the Northcost Ballroom Championships, an event they worked so hard to produce all year round. I also want to give them a big thank you for starting and keeping our industry’s flame going; without their event many hard working teachers, coaches and amateurs, would have fewer goals for their students, and so our industry could get like everything else - stuck, and this terrible world catastrophe would affect many of us even more than it already has.
I want to mention the winners of some of the Pro/Am Scholarships run this weekend of dance. The Open Rhythm in the L-SR went to Leslie McLeod w/ Melbin De la Cruz; In the Open B Giovanni Fortezza w/ Jolanta Mosteika was the winner, and in the C, Les Antman w/ Cherish McConnell took the medal.
The Ballroom C went to Charlene Proctor w/ Andrew Begunov and the AM- B Ballroom was awarded to Igor Kantorovich w/ Elena Furman.
In the Pro/Am Smooth Gail Komar w/ Serhiy Komar were the winners and in the G-SR Michael Tucket w/ Jolanta Mosteika won.
Cherish McConnell was the top lady teacher and was presented with a beautiful pearl ring.
I look forward to the next step on the way to recovery for this industry that many of us have given their lives to and that continues to provide health, confidence and happiness to many.