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September 5, 2018

Timing is everything

Mini had ample time to warm up.  Get her shoes on.  Breathe.  Hooray!

After watching the competition, I thought Mini had a chance of winning a 1st place.  It would be close.  There were a few other girls that I assumed would be in the top 5.  There are 3 judges.  All it takes to mess up the results, is for one judge to suck.  One sucky judge can skew everyone’s results.  Been there, experienced that.  Don't get me started.  

With about 25 competitors, my gut was doing flips as they began announcing the placements. They announce the lowest places first.  They were about to announce first and second place.  The only two reasonable competitors remaining:  Mini and a girl that Mini has become friends with thru competitions.  Before we knew her name, we referred to her as ‘Smiley’.  The obvious nickname choice for her, since she never stops smiling.  

After attending these competitions for years and years, Mini looks forward to seeing girls that she has met thru dancing.  If these girls are from another dancing school (Chicago has many schools), then competitions are the only place she runs into them 

Some girls are nicer than others.  Of course, some girls are just not nice.  At all.  Smiley is a great girl, and Mini always celebrates when Smiley does well.  They often chat before a competition, or when they are lining up to go on stage, or while they are waiting (this part can be excruciatingly lengthy) for awards to be announced.

Smiley and Mini were in the same boat.  They both needed 2 first places in order to advance from Preliminary Championships to Open Championship.  At the Midwest championships when Mini qualified for National Championships, Smiley beat Mini by one place.  

Smiley is a great dancer.  She dances with lots of power and energy.  Then there is her smile.  Mini is known for making goofy faces while concentrating on her dancing.  Grinning and dancing at the same time doesn’t come naturally for everyone.  

Remember the dancers were allowed to wear
 all black or black and white.  Mini for some
 reason failed to put her dance shoes back on
for the awards.  That is my kid in sneakers-
 in 2nd place.  A great accomplishment. 
Just not what she was hoping for. 
We have been working with Mini to strengthen her core and keep her arms from flapping around while dancing.  This is no easy feat.  Tall dancers struggle to keep their arms at their sides.  The more advanced the moves, the tougher it is.  Short dancers with a low center of gravity have it easier when it comes to arm control. 

Smiley danced great that day, but her arms were moving a lot.  Mini had great arms, but not as much energy as Smiley.  I hoped that these judges were focused on arms, because Mini finally seemed to have that under control.  

They called Mini’s number for 2nd place.  It seemed silly to be disappointed, but I wanted to kick my chair.  Damn.  So close.  

There was still the competition the next day.

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