Back From Showstopper

We are back from our weekend trip to Phoenix for the regional Showstopper Dance Competition.  It was a whirlwind, exhausting weekend but we brought back plenty of hardware.  I will try to give a quick synopsis of the weekend and hopefully, get Suzanne to make a more detailed post of the weekend.  She forgot to bring the camera, so we don’t have any pictures.

The kids had half a day of school on Friday and it was a day off for me, so we headed off to Phoenix about noon on Friday.  We had to be there in time for Savannah and Sean’s first dance competition at 8:30.  Since we grabbed lunch at home before we left, we were able to drive straight through with no stops.  The traffic was about the best I have ever seen on the way to Phoenix.  Usually, it’s a nightmare.  About three hours later, we were at the hotel in Phoenix.  We got situated in the hotel and decided to drive over to the area where the Showstopper Dance Competition was to be held (Pinnacle High School) and grab an early dinner.  The kids wanted some burgers and Suzanne and I weren’t willing to do fast food, so we went to The Island.

There were a lot of folks at the competition.  Most, if not all, were parents or relatives of the competitors.  Since they get a nice buck for entry fee, there is no charge to watch the competition.  I think it cost us $500+ for all the dance entries we had.  The first dance was the kids group number La Negra, a Mexican folklorico dance.  They did it very well and earned a first place Gold Medal.  In fact, they were the overall winners for the junior small group category.

Before going further, a bit of note on the competition.  In the competition, there are three major categories:  Teachers, Recreation and Competitive.  If you dance group has a teacher in it, you end up in the teacher category.  There isn’t too many of these entries.  That leaves Competitive and Recreation.  Which category you fall into is based on the number of hours that you spend dancing on the dance.  All the dances our kids do fall into the recreational category.  And there is a night and day difference between the two categories.  The competitive ones are very very talented and the best of those are on their way to careers.  Each major category is then further divided by age and by dance type (jazz, tap, folkloric, etc).

So, the kids performance of La Negra was the recreational, junior small group category overall winner.  That means all types of dance and all ages within junior, in the recreational category – quite an accomplishment.   Actually, we aren’t sure if they got a Gold Medal or Platinum Medal for La Negra because it was announced as Gold, but their trophy says Platinum. I guess it doesn’t matter since they were the overall winners.

Savannah and her team also performed a Polynesian dance Mati on Friday night in the competition.  They won a first place gold medal in Folkloric.  They were also 4th place overall in the junior small group category – another good job.  It was about 10:30 before the awards for the night were complete, so it was long day.  It was about 11:00 before we were back to the hotel.  It didn’t take us much time to go lights out and be asleep.

We didnt have to be back at the competition until about 9:00 in the morning, so we were able to sleep in a bit and have some breakfast before heading over.  Savannah had 5 more dances scheduled, Sean had 2 more dances and Suzanne had two dances.

Savannah and Sean did their Folkloric duet, the Mexican Hat Dance and earned a first place Gold Medal.  Savannah did her Song and Dance number to These Boots Were Made For Walking and earned a first place Silver Medal.  The color of your medal, Silver, Gold or Platinum is based on the score the judges give you.  The place is based on how you stacked up against the other competitors.   Savannah also did a tap competition number to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and earned a first place Gold Medal.  She also did a lyrical jazz number to Prayer of the Children and received a first place Gold Medal.  Sean and Savannah were also part of their stuiod’s super production Hip Hop number Remix Stunna Shades.  That was a fun number for them and their studio and got a good ovation from the audience.  They earned a first place Silver Medal for the effort.  Suzanne also did her song and dance to Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker and earned a first place Gold Medal.

As I mentioned earlier, the two main categories are competitive and recreational.  All our entries were recreational and its a good thing because the dancers in the competitive category are awesome.  Quite of few of them are better than a lot of dancers we have seen Off Broadway or on cruise ships.  Some were just phenomenal.  It was quite enjoyable Saturday evening to watch the competitive group dances (ages 12 – 19).   The tenth place finishes in some categories were still platinum medals.  Last year, I saw the same competitive dances but they were easily a level or two higher this year.   No doubt in my mind that a few of them will have careers in dancing.  If you have a chance to see a Showstopper competition in your area, go see it – they are free and fun!

We got back to the hotel after the awards about 11:30 pm on Saturday night.  Sunday was primarily competitive solos and duets in the competition.  We didn’t have anymore dances, so decided to head back around noon on Sunday even though we contemplated watching some more fantastic dancing.  We arrived back home about 3:00 Sunday afternoon with all the hardware – just in time for me to pack for my early flight tomorrow for a business trip.  An exhausting weekend followed by a business trip – oh boy.

Hopefully, I can get Suzanne to make a more detailed post while I am gone since I probably wont post until Friday.