Well, La Classique might be over but we can’t stop thinking about it. And speaking as someone who competed…what an incredible, magical ride it was. It went a little something like this…
6:30am*: The alarm goes off. For a moment I wonder why I should bother getting out bed. Then I remember “IT’S LA CLASSIQUE!!!!!” and getting out of bed suddenly becomes easy. What comes next? In my case, a snack to kick-start my blood sugar. Then coffee (this will be a theme. Trust me.). Then a shower to rinse off the excess spray tan. Then hair. Which for some reason takes three tries to get right even though I’ve done it a hundred times before. Make-up is next. Naturally, there’s a disaster with mascara that requires a redo. But AT LAST it’s done and I’ve got my game face on. Next comes the costume with all its glorious sparkle (note: competition hazards include stepping on stray rhinestones with your bare feet #dancerproblems).
8:00am: Warm-up. Freestyle or going through the routines one last time before stepping onto the floor. Trying to remember everything I’ve learned so I can bring it.
8:30am: Showtime!!! I take my partner’s hand and step onto that floor, beneath the lights, surrounded by sparkle…and I just dance. Everything fades away and I’m in my bubble and nothing else matters. Single dances come first. Then the championship. And on the sidelines I can hear my crew screaming my name…perhaps blowing airhorns (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)…and it is wonderful. I dance my best, I put my heart into it, and every single time I walk off that floor satisfied. And in the moments when I wait for my next round…coffee.
Noon: If it’s Thursday, then I’m going to have a mad scramble to snack something and change my costume, check my make-up, and run back down for rhythm and some rock ’n roll. More coffee is involved. More cheering. More sparkle and lights and ooh-la-la. And it’s still incredible to me that I am part of it. Turn that music up, please.
5:00pm: DONE. I am finished for the day. Food is a must. So is wine. Then it’s back to the ballroom to relax and watch and be mesmerized by Slavik & Karina (more on that in a minute).
11:00pm: The show is over. I still have stars in my eyes. Now it’s time for bed…because tomorrow, I’m going to do it all over again. Bring it.**
And that’s more or less how it went. More or less. Some additional highlights besides hitting that floor with my heart and soul? How about Slavik and Karina. HOW ABOUT THAT. To have the chance to see my icons live was nothing short of a dream come true. They mesmerized us with Rumba, Cha-Cha, Argentine Tango, and (my favourite number of all) Bamboleo. They held the floor with grace and class, passion and artistry, and I will never forget what it felt like to watch them perform.
Another highlight? How about watching Nino and Andra compete Saturday night? Do I really need to say more? Right. That’s what I thought.
As a competitor, I would like to thank Daniel Héroux and Meryem Pearson for organizing this beautiful event – it’s nothing short of magic and I look forward to next year.
I’ll see you back on the floor.
*Consider this a “Day in the Life”. Times are an approximation and based on my own experience. For those of you dancing international Latin, you get a lie-in. Those of us doing American Pro-Am Smooth and Open Rhythm are up at the crack of dawn. Just give us the coffee. Intravenously.
**for those of you curious, hair and make-up went much more smoothly the next day. Just fyi.