For this months student opinion post we hear from Jane Parker. As she prepares for the November Dancesport Championship, a Fred Astaire competition, she shares how competing pushes her to reach new heights in Ballroom dancing.
“I started competing with Vladimir back in 2002 and my dancing improved far more rapidly having this goal continuously ahead of me. You learn floor craft, avoiding collision with other dancers and continuing along the line of dance, in a way you couldn’t at the studio since at competitions there often are 12 or more couples on the dance floor at the same time. At competitions you quickly figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and you are able to focus on them when preparing for future championships and showcases.
Another part of competing that makes it special is sharing it with other students. There is a camaraderie that makes it most enjoyable. It is loads of fun being at competitions with like minded people who share the same passion. I think of each competition I do as treating myself to a vacation with friends. It is doing something I love to do, with people who love to do the same thing and with whom I enjoy being.
The Fred Astaire competitions are an exceptional experience. They make you feel like you are apart of a huge family. It is always first class, good food, good decorations, nice accommodations and well run.
For those students who have never been to a Fred Astaire Competition, I highly recommend going. It will be a wonderful new adventure, a learning experience, and an unforgettable memory you will cherish. You will feel good about yourself that you took the challenge and your dancing will most definitely improve.
-Jane Parker ”
Jane is a student at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Rochester , NY. She has been competing 15 years and dancing 15 years, 13 of those years with Vladimir. Jane’s first competition came only 2 months after she started taking lessons. Jane and her instructor Vladimir have won two World Championships, one in Smooth and one in Latin, She has also won three US Championships, one in Smooth, one is Latin, and one in Standard. Her favorite dance in Smooth is always the one she is currently dancing as she loves them all. In Rhythm she favors the Bolero, Mambo and Swing and her favorite Latin dace is the Rumba.
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