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Magazine

Magazine » May June 2012 Issue » 2012 National DanceSport Championships Recap

2012 National DanceSport Championships Recap

Author:
Michael Mecham
Date Published:
May 1, 2012

The big time. The mother load. The major leagues. The granddaddy of them all. For amateur ballroom competition in the United States, the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships held in Baltimore was all that and more. In addition to the nation's top amateur dancers in action, there were workshops, social dances, and a myriad of vendors for all to enjoy.

As usual, champions were crowned, and the competition was fiercer than ever. In addition to the ballroom styling of hundreds of competitors, this year's competition had some added flavor for the ballroom connoisseur. Carrie Ann Inaba returned to the competition as the official celebrity judge of the Star Quality Awards. In addition to Carrie Anne, national ballroom wheelchair champions Nick Scott and Aubree Marchione performed a special dance number for the astonished attendees.

One spectator who proudly admitted to attending the last six years of the competition said the level of competition was better than ever. It's a combination of the judges, the parents, the coaches, the volunteers, and the dancers that continue to make this competition "a world-class competition with the best dancers in the country!"

Spinning & Spinning

Dancers spin all the time, but when they are literally spinning on wheels, it is a remarkable sight. Nick Scott and his partner Aubree Marchione are the national wheelchair ballroom dance champions. Even though some people may think that Nick would be limited by his wheelchair, anyone who has seen him dance knows that that is certainly not the case. Nick and Aubree performed a Cha Cha routine to the song "I'm Sexy and I Know It," which was immediately rewarded with a standing ovation.

Nick and Aubree shot to stardom status among some of the attendees and so many people wanted a copy of Nick's documentary "Journey: The Nick Scott Story" that within the hour following their performance, every copy of the movie that they ad brought was gone. Nick and Aubree also taught a wheelchair-dancing workshop during the next day of the competition. Both Nick and Aubree shared that they believe dancing can be a powerful tool in rehabilitation. "We're just trying to spread the word," said Nick. "The more people who know about wheelchair dancing and how powerful it can be, the better."

The Red Carpet

Scores of dancers and their families were lined up in the hotel lobby waiting. Waiting for what? They were waiting for the chance to have their pictures taken with celebrity judge Carrie Ann Inaba. As a judge on ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" and as the judge for the Star Quality Awards at the USA Dance 2012 National DanceSport Championships, there was no shortage of people hoping for the chance to get their picture taken with Carrie Ann on the red carpet.

Carrie Ann was all smiles as she greeted every person who wanted a minute of her time. "My girlfriend will never believe me," remarked one fan that insisted on taking four pictures on his smart phone, which he immediately sent to his girlfriend. There was a constant line during the hour and a half that Carrie Ann waited on the carpet. During this time she signed programs and nametags, gave hugs and words of encouragement, and received thanks after thanks from gushing fans.

Spirit of Baltimore
By Jean Krupa

It's nice to see all the talented dancers who attend the national championships, but this competition is also about socializing and making new connections. Throughout the weekend of dancing, there were several workshops and dances for those who wanted to mix and mingle.

Walter and Judy Schultz from Portsmouth, Virginia led several of the workshops in Rumba, Cha Cha and West Coast Swing. They also handled the music for the evening social dances. In addition to workshops, some dancers were able to go on a cruise of the inner harbor. Jean Krupa said about the cruise, "We had another great time on the Spirit of Baltimore as we ate, socialized, danced and got to know one another." There is always something for everyone at the national competition.

Got You Covered

At 5:30 on Friday morning, the ballroom was already coming alive. DanceSport couples were practicing, people were talking, photographers were taking pictures, and finally the camera crews arrived. With such wonderful dancers flocking to Baltimore, it was no surprise when local and national news networks decided to cover some of the competition.

Several couples performed a variety of dances from Waltz to Rumba. One of the judges, Dan Calloway even taught Holly Morris, the channel 5 DC news anchor, a few dance steps on the air. In addition to the actual dancing, Fox DC and Fox Baltimore news stations also covered Carrie Ann Inaba as the new National Celebrity Ambassador in addition to a newly announced national sponsor, Ernest Borel. These elements all came together to promote the event and encourage increased support of USA Dance.