It is after 3:30am and I am feeling it in all the right places.
The big trip away was a pain in the ass. Sure it was fun at times but the weather was crap and the competition (not dancing) I was doing was adversely affected by it. The end result was a very expensive little jolly to drink beer, eat average food - read: crumbed and deep fried pig or chicken.
The other problem was that it also conflicted with preparations for a dance champs that were held on Saturday. My partner was well amused by the three week intrusion on our training.
As per my "Pumped" post, we won a heat and made the finals of a showcase competition. This was also tied in with a national freestyle competition where we had to defend the tile we won about 5 months back.
For simplicity, my dance partner shall now be known as HotStuff.
With the jet lag monster on my back after arriving home on Wednesday, I found that Memphis Steve and others had hosted a small party here and trashed the joint. I was eternally grateful Fingers left the Brain at home while visiting and the only damage was a pile of empty beer cans to wade through.
With no time to sleep or clean up, I was straight in to training for this comp. We had two sessions to get back up to speed for normal free style competition and a 3 minute song to finish choreographing and rehearse.
On Thursday night I figured we were stuffed. By Friday night it was feeling good but still a little behind the level we knew were capable of performing at. The routine was finished but not quite in muscle memory.
A ten minute rehearsal today proved again that we were actually stuffed and the vibe from Thursday was spot on. We crashed in both practice runs, forgetting moves and worse still, not dancing cleanly through the mistakes like nothing had gone wrong. It was demoralising with all the other competitors looking on smugly and writing us off.
I celebrated our readiness with a bathroom visit worthy of a vindaloo gone wrong while HotStuff sobbed in the girls bathroom. She swears she just got dust in her eye but we were both gutted and not at all happy with how the day was starting.
Picking ourselves up, the competition started and in no time we were straight through to the finals of our first event which is scored individually for guys and girls. A few hours later and we had made the semi finals of the main event too, the one were were defending a title at. The showcase was still a few hours off so we kept sneaking away between heats to walk it through and try to lock it into our heads.
With a clean run through the semi finals it was time for finals fever and things were looking back on track. We came out of event one with a second for me and first for HotStuff. Personally I was pissed at being first looser but that is just me. HotStuff was beaming and that was going to help for the final of the main freestyle event.
With the pressure of defending but confidence of having won before we took it all to the floor and bought home first place with a successful defence. It felt fantastic but was overshadowed by the impending showcase performance which we now knew we were going to be the first to actually perform.
With a freaking great white spot light burning out my retinas we slipped into the song with HotStuff working every hip roll and making the most of an expanse of 21 year old flesh running from pubis to boob that was as distracting under my fingers as it was to the spectators. Amazingly we nailed it all bar one move that we spontaneously replaced with another after a brief blank moment on my behalf.
Like a pro HotStuff just followed me where I steered her and beamed 4 beats later as we slipped back into the cory like it was always planned that way.
The torture was not over. Reality TV shows seem to have made it hip and cool to shove a mike in the hands of the judges and let them tear into competitors before holding up their scores for the cheers and boos of the crowd. This is a seriously non fun place to be when you have already hung your ass in the wind for the last three minutes.
Fortunately they either liked what we had done or were still finding their voice. The criticisms sounded mild compared to the bollocking some of the following competitors copped so we were very happy to have been up first.
The combined results of the judges and the spectators (everyone could vote) saw us take out third place and a whack of cash.
I am still stunned. I never expected a placing in the showcase.
With all the dancing done by 12:30am it was time to hit a pub and have a few beers. Being a bunch of light weights who had hardly eaten all day and had been dancing on and off for the best part of 12 hours, two pints did us in. That and they shut the pub and no one could be bothered looking for another one.
So here I am with three trophies from the three events I entered and feeling pretty damn happy with myself.
How good was your weekend?