Friday, July 31, 2009

Europe 2009: Copenhagen (Thursday, July 30)

This was my day for really focusing on the competitions.  First I put things together for the Mr. Leather competition — checked the outfits, finalized the performance, and practiced the performance at the contest space.

I snagged a Champagne Brus popsicle from the Elite mini-mart — lime and mint (I think) with a chocolate shell cap on the top third.  Looked interesting, but the flavor was too weak to be really memorable.

After that, I went to DGI-byen to practice my dances.  I brought the netbook and used the webcam to record, so I could watch the videos large enough to use them.  (Clever, huh?)  While I was there, Sherwin from Copenhagen came in to practice for Beginner, and I was able to give him some coaching and webcam filming, and then others in Beginner also came in and I gave a little coaching to them, too.  I had planned to be there for 30 minutes, but it was over 60 before I left.

I had to scramble out of there, over to Yam Yam at Central Station for some Thai yellow curry to eat on the way to the hotel, and visited the ATM.  Then back to the hotel, jump in the shower, jump out of the shower, jump into pants, and hurry back to DGI-byen for the Competitor’s Meeting.  This was when I found there would only be four in my division for overall, rather than the 10 or so I anticipated; Beginner was the one with 9 competitors.  This did relieve me some, since it meant I would surely bring home a medal or two of some kind, no matter how good the other dancers were (and I didn’t know how good at this time).

For the competition, with the Beginners division, they did a preliminary heat of all 9 dancers, then brought back the top 5 from each dance at the end of the competition for a final heat.  Not much of a surprise in the results: 4 of the finalists were the same from each dance, and the third dance had 6 in the finals, the other 2 being the 5th one from each of the other dances.

The floor was very slick.  I was not able to do the full turn and the Monterrey turn in “I’m Movin’ On” very well, but I didn’t mess anything up.  After that, we used shoe brushes to rough up the soles, and I also added a little water to my suede soles to further improve the traction.

End result for me: Gold in “I’m Movin’ On”, Gold in “Working It”, and Silver in “Soakin’ Wet”.  (That last was a bit of a surprise, since I came out easily on top in it in Tampa and DC, but here I tried adding some hat action which may not have worked, and the floor slickness may have worked against me.  (And I may have just been too confident about that dance and slacked it a little.)  I also won the Overall trophy for Intermediate Line Dance, an engraved silver (aluminum) cup on a pedestal.  (There was some question whether there should have been medals for each of the three dances on the division, or just for overall; they only did overall in Montreal, I think.  They did it here like at the competition in Washington DC a few weeks before, though; on some level, that produces medal inflation, but it also enables a dancer to compete in only the dances he or she wants to and still medal for them.)

The big surprise, I think, was Marcella from Seattle, one of only two women in the competition.  She won Bronze in “Downpour”, but then took Gold in both “Bar Room Romeo” and “D.H.S.S.”, and thus the Overall trophy for her division.  (Bradley from New York took three Silvers.  We joked that they matched the hat and boots he wore for “D.H.S.S.”)

I had asked them to try to not delay the awards.  The schedule was to finish awards at 9:45 pm, and then have a performance from the Teams winner from the day before.  I guess they were having difficulty figuring the final scores for the Beginners, but they had the Team performance first (and it was Madison Street from France, I guess the women from Trip the Light Fantastic could not all be there; but more appropriate for this night, perhaps, since Madison Street is a line dance team).  They finally did the awards and finished them just after 10:00, so I had to grab my clothes and really hurry to K3 for the Mr. Leather competition.

(Frankly, this should not have been delayed as long as it was.  I think Lee, the competition director, did all the score tabulation himself.  He should have had a scoring assistant who would do the scoring tabulation for each dance while the next one was running; that’s standard procedure for tally mastering at a leather contest.  With a two song break between each trio of dances and between the Beginner finals, there would be plenty of time to do the tallying.  Even better would be to set up a spreadsheet to do it for you; enter the values and it produces the answer.  Ultimately, though, they do it how they do it and I’m not privy to what adventures Lee might have had to deal with.)

After this win, it is not clear if Marcella and I have to move up to compete at Intermediate and Advanced in the future.  A recent discussion thread said we don’t, but these were the biggest competitions we have had in a few years for line dance and probably should force the move.  (Especially for Marcella, since the competition was much larger and stronger in her division.)  I will discuss with Marcella and probably recommend a rule change) in Atlanta this fall.  (Tony, the sole competitor in Advanced, really wants me to move up, to ensure he has some competition.  We potentially could have Tony, me, Sammy, Daniel, and Chris in Advanced next summer in Austin; wouldn’t that blow them away, with more Advanced competitors than lower levels!)

Updated on February 25, 2010
At the IAGLCWDC convention in Atlanta in October, we updated the rules to have “international scope” competitions (like the OutGames and the Gay Games) qualify for level advancement for wins with an appropriate number of competitors, and made it retroactive to cover this year (since Marcella and I were the ones affected and we both agreed that we should move up after our wins).

Updated on May 14, 2010
Moved part of this post to the Sounds Kinky-er blog:

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