And They Danced

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I’ve been remiss in blogging this month. There have been many blog worthy topics, but before I can write about them, other activities claim my attention. Still, I don’t want to let November slip away with writing a few lines about the Ohio Star Ball Collegiate Challenge in Columbus, Ohio the weekend before Thanksgiving.

In early October we attended our first collegiate ballroom competition at the University of Illinois, and were impressed by the dancers, but we were wowed by the level of competition we witnessed in Columbus. Participants came to Columbus from all over the U.S.

Our neighbor’s daughter, Sydney and her partner Nick were two of the dancers representing Indiana University. We went to cheer them on, but in the process we’ve grown attached to some of the other IU dancers, too.

In the morning, the “newcomers” took the floor, and we were thrilled to see their increased confidence and skill. How many people, when thinking about club sports, conjure up images of ballroom dancers? I know I didn’t. But watching these young men and women I grew to appreciate their hours and hours of practice, travel to competitions, and the projects they undertake to raise money in support of their club. Watching them on the floor and off, I was impressed by their camaraderie, the pleasure they take in dancing, and their support of each other, no matter how many hours they must sit on bleachers waiting for their friends to dance.

I love these images of colorful gowns and movement as the dancers glide across the floor appearing as light as air. But I also enjoy the faster paced dances. In the dance pictured below, I felt like I had time traveled back to the 1920s.

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One of my favorite dances was not even part of the competition. While the judges deliberated, the announcer invited everyone to the floor for a straight-legged Samba. I kept my seat since I don’t know how to Samba, let alone doing it with straight legs.

Sydney’s dance partner (Nick, #388) danced with  another tall young man and took third place with their amazing moves.

By this time in the afternoon, some of the dancers had changed from their fancy costumes to sweats, jeans, and flannel shirts, but it didn’t stop them from taking the floor. And as the image of the little girl in the brown dress testifies, this dance had no age limit.

There’s something about listening to music and watching ballroom dancing that lifts the spirits. We left the convention center walking a little lighter, with melodies dancing in our heads. Thanks to all of these young people for sharing their love of dance with us!

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About JP in B-town

JP grew up on a sheep farm in northwest Ohio. She learned to knit by the age of ten, and loves the smell of wool. She fell in love with reading, a habit she fed with weekly visits to a nearby Carnegie Public Library. Reading fed her desire to become a writer, and her dream of traveling the world. She resides in Bloomington, Indiana, where she continues to knit and write.
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