Monday, May 08, 2006

Yesterday Agnes and I spent the day as spectators at the Inter-State Dance Sport Challenge, a local ballroom dance competition that draws dancers from all over Northern Virginia and Maryland, and as far away as Delaware and Pennsylvania. It was the first time in eight or nine years that we haven't participated in the Inter-State (which used to be called the Inter-City); unfortunately, Agnes hurt her back a few months ago, and we weren't able to practice enough to get into top competition form. We'd have needed to be in top form, too: the quality of the dancing and overall level of competition was noticeably higher than last year.

We attended the competition even without participating, because some other dancers from our school were competing, and because I enjoy photographing dance events. For an amateur photographer, a dance competition offers everything: beautiful women in gorgeous and sexy costumes, handsome men in their tuxedos and Latin costumes, and plenty of non-stop action. And best of all, perhaps, is that dancers love to be photographed. Couples will dance right up to you and strike a pose so you can get a good picture, and no one ever turns down a request for a photo.

The students from our school did very well, none coming in with anything less than a second-place finish in any heat. As always, of course, there were problems: during one dance, one of our students accidentally smacked her teacher across the face, and one of her carefully-manicured nails sliced a neat cut in his nose...which proceeded to bleed copiously down his face for the rest of the heat. I also have a cute series of photos of a crowd of people performing emergency surgery on another dancer's hair...everyone wielding cans of hairspray, combs, brushes, clips and pins to make sure everything stayed where it was supposed to.

On the whole, it was a very good day all around, marred only by the complete absence of the one thing we amateur photographers live for at dance competitions: wardrobe malfunctions. But there's always next year...

Have a good day. Dance. You'll like it.


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