Australian Salsa Classic 2011
What an amazing weekend that was! Our team (MVP) decided to do this comp with only 3 weeks to go, and Jasmin and I also entered last minute, so it has been a manic few weeks of training.
This competition is the qualifier for the World Latin Dance Cup in Las Vegas in December, and is broken down into a number of different categories. I’ll recount them in the order they occurred on the night. Each couple division is scored with 50% freestyle (to a random song), and 50% choreography (to the song they chose)
A hotly contested affair with 3 couples from my team competing, 11 couples competing over all. In the professional division most people know what to expect, since it’s mostly the same people who compete every year, but the Amateurs are always unpredictable as new people come and go all the time so noone knows what a new couple might bring to the competition.
This year the winners were my great friends and team members, Chris Magill and Marianne Dawson. I’m obscenely proud of them! Rebecca Vallejo and Felino Millare managed to get 3rd place too, so this was a brilliant result for LDA and MVP.
Professional On 2:
This was the division that Jasmin and I competed in, having already won the NSW qualifiers. We were very nervous about this because we were up against (amongst others) a couple called Nathan and Brooke from Melbourne. These 2 have a track record of being funky, interesting dancers, with a great eye for entertainment and originality in their routines, so we knew we were in for a hard fight. In the end we managed to win and become 2011 Australian Salsa Champions in the On 2 category, but only by 0.2 of a percent. That’s a seriously close score!
Professional On 1:
Only 2 couples competed in this category this year, and both from Brisbane. This was a surprising change from the usual, and seems to show an increase in interest in both On 2 and Cabaret from the professionals of Australia. The winners this year were Jason and Amanda, who are a lovely couple and this is a great result for Jason which has seen him really take a huge step up from last year. He came to the Puerto Rican Salsa Open with us last year. Maybe we’ll see him in Vegas this year for the World Latin Dance Cup.
With 4 couples competing in this category, this was the largest professional category this year. The winners, predictably, were Carlos and Elli, although an honourable mention has to go to Brendan (16 years old) and Danielle, who managed a standing ovation and 2nd place.
Now this was where the real blood, sweat and tears come in. When you dance as a couple, you train a lot and if you make a big mistake, sometimes you can cover it, and if not, then at least you only let one person down. In a team, you’re not just doing it for yourself and your partner; it’s one for all and all for one! This year MVP (my team from LDA) did brilliantly and managed 2nd place, but we were just beaten by Latin Steps. I’ll put up both videos so you can see how close it was.
(I’m afraid I can’t find the video fo the winning team at the moment, so if anyone has it, please send me a link and I’ll put it up.)
All up, this was a very professionally run competition, and my hat goes off to Oliver Pineda and his whole team. Next stop for Jasmin and me: the worlds!