From January 3rd till January 10th, the Formation Team and several other competitors traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida where we had one of the most exhilirating experiences. We elected to drive down to Florida in order to save money on plane tickets, but once we had been on the road for more than ten hours, most of us wished we had flown! We split up between three cars, stuffed in between our luggage. In order to pass the time and keep together, we had many interesting conversations over the two-way radios that we purchased at Mike's suggestion. Besides the radios, rotating drivers, and a brief stop in North Carolina to keep us awake, we drove the twenty six hours to Florida almost straight through. MA, who drove the whole way, was especially starting to get pretty scary by the end of the trip.
Once we arrived, however, it was like a whole new world. The warm weather and sunshine were especially welcome after being in Rhode Island during the winter. We started the week off with a welcome dance that night where we met students from many different colleges from as far away as Idaho and England. In the following days we woke up early to attend workshops in the morning starting at 8 and going till 3 in the afternoon. There were always at least eight different workshops going on at any given time, given by championship dancers from around the world. The workshops were tailored for different levels of dancing, and every dance was offered several times throughout the week. Afterwards, starting at 4 and often going to midnight or later, were competitions and shows in different styles and levels. It was great to not only be able to see how other students danced and be able to pick up new steps or tips from them, but the professional dancers also put on shows which was always the hightlight of the evening.
Of course we also took some time out to go swimming, play beach volleyball, go to a local club, and hang out with students from England and Canada who we met during the week. The hotel was pretty good, being located right on the beach with restaurants on all sides and only a short walk from the convention center where all the dancing was held. We did have a slight problem with one of the girl's rooms where they found cockroaches. (You could find them at night out by the pool, too - they were huge!) They were moved to a different room and also refunded some of the hotel cost which is always good. In the end, we all had a blast and came back much better dancers.
Awards we won in Florida:
|Timothy Sorrentino & Efrosyni Iosiphidis - 5th Place Silver Waltz / Tango|
Timothy Sorrentino & Efrosyni Iosiphidis - 2nd Place Bronze Jive
Timothy Sorrentino & Efrosyni Iosiphidis - 3rd Place Bronze Samba
Mike Obara & Melanie Morgan - 1st Place Newcomer International Waltz
Mike Obara & Melanie Morgan - 2nd Place Newcomer American Foxtrot
Abdul-Shakoor Madyun & Kelly Cardillo - 2nd Place Newcomer Swing
Mike Obara & Melanie Morgan - 3rd Place Newcomer International Foxtrot
Abdul-Shakoor Madyun & Kelly Cardillo - 4th Place Newcomer American Foxtrot
Mike Obara & Melanie Morgan - 4th Place Newcomer Swing
Mike Obara & Melanie Morgan - 5th Place Newcomer International Cha Cha
Mike Obara & Jenn Dunn - 6th Place Newcomer Jive
Congratulations to all the couples who put in the preparation and practice time to perform so well! And many thanks to all the people who made such a wonderful trip possible!