The largest Open events were in the B and C1 Divisions. In the Open B the winner was Winters-Bougard/Kranz 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd went to Arcilla/Hudson 2,2,2,2,2 and 3rd to Vaughan/Ares 3,3,4,3,4.
The C1 began with a semifinal and the winner was Goddard/Escolm 1,1,1,1. Pessa/Erole was the runner-up 2,2,2,2 and Boodman/Colac was 3rd 3,4,3,3.
For those on the extended La Vida Loca packages, there was a tour of Old San Juan and rooftop lunch.
Then the final shout was dinner and dancing on the private balcony of Fogo de Chao.
A Caribbean Experience! “Una Experiencia Caribena!”
We are all here in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for what we consider to be an experience.
Yes!! It is a Ballroom Dance Competition and they do speak both English and Spanish in this US territory, and all you need to come is a driver’s license. But, unlike most competitions around this vast country of ours, when it comes to the event it is always an experience and not just a competition with lots of heats and entries.
The experience began with “La Vida Loca” package holders’ welcome dinner party Tuesday. This was held by the pool under an amazingly clear night sky and after filling our bellies up with fabulous island food from the Sheraton Puerto Rico Resort, we danced and danced under the moonlight.
Day two in the morning we headed for the “Barrilito” Rum tour, in a famous distillery that has been in operation since the 1800’s. El Barrilito was closed for us basically and they gave us a tour showing us how they made their Rum. We later learned to make plenty of drinks from the bartenders and tasted many delights. The 5-star rum shots were quite popular with this crowd and they were flowing even when their price tag per shot was over $50.00 US Dollars. While we danced and drank we were all treated to a fantastic lunch with all the meats barbequed right in their back yard and served to us on the spot.
This excellent experience concluded with everyone in the shop taking some “Barrilito” rum home and to their friends, one customer took over 6K worth of delightful rum to give as Xmas presents, but most of us just took a bottle or two for our own consumption.
Once the tour was finished we came back to the Sheraton Hotel where we all scrambled to get our costumes ready and hair and makeup for the “Wicked Wiz” Nightclub session. The theme was “The Wizard of Oz” meets “Wicked.” Didio Barrera sported a Wicked Witch outfit that left everyone bewildered and many not knowing it was him. There were plenty of “Tin Men” and even “a Cowardly Lion” or two. There was a live performance of Dorothy with her dog, finding herself no longer in Kansas and being confronted by the “Wicked Witch.”
The witch finally melted and we all went to rest for the next morning session with the Smooth. The dinners have been amazing in the open air in the 12th floor overlooking San Juan, very relaxing before getting down to more ballroom dance competition.
Between sessions there has been lots of time to hang out at the infinity pool of the Sheraton Resort.
So far the Smooth and Latin portion of the competition has been concluded and some of the open advanced heats were quite strong.
Here are some results from the larger scholarships.
7 couples contest the Open C Smooth Scholarship. The winners were Sarangaya/Kuzmin 1,2,1,2, runners up Delcore/Kerekes 2,4,2,1; 3rd Chiang/Novikov 3,1,5,3. Bruttell/Zavialov won the Open Senior Scholarship 1,1,1,1; 2nd Latter/Colac 2,2,2T,3; 3rd McCarthy/Sinevych 3,3,2T,2.
In the Latin Goddard/Escolme won the Open S1 scholarship 1,1,1,1; 2nd Chiu/Bager 2,2,2,2; 3rd Mullins/Wlodarski 5,3,3,3. In the Open C Latin De Gasperis/Kochergin was the winner 1,1,1,1,1. 2nd Bennington/Jaksevicius 2,2,2,2,2; 3rd Tran/Vasic 3,3,3,3,3.
We are doing the Rhythm portion of the competition today and so “Vaya con Dios” to all the dancers and break a leg or two