Amy Anderson Reports On The Indiana Challenge

Indiana Challege 2010

Here's to say local NDCA competitions in the Midwest are alive & well! The Indiana Challenge is run by Tim & Sue Bourget a very well-liked and respected couple in our industry. This showed true as they're competition was soley supported by "local" studios and dancers (Chicago, Milwaukee & Indiana primarily) and had over 4500 entries! Just an hour south of Chicago, this event drew hundreds of spectators as well!

Here are some "random" notes from a judges "point of view"...

In the American Rhythm - calm, simple choreography was most impressive to me - especially in the Open Bronze & Silver levels. Dancers that stood out for me were Troy Baeten with student Kacy Meyers; and Tommye Giacchino with Richard Weinberg.

In the American Smooth - the Tango left hand hold for the ladies needs to be paid attention to!! Teachers take note! I saw several variations and most not so good. As a teacher you don't see it on a lesson, so have another teacher take a look and make corrections. The couple that stood out for me (in a good way) was Matt Smith with student Maddie Stelter - great job!

I appreciate watching couples that are actually having fun out there - they catch my eye right away and usually get my mark. These couples stood out in that way for me: Kelly Bartlett with student Jonathon Rogoff; Jim Laveglia & Teri Sivley; and Greg Marquis with student Anita Balodis!

Other random things that I noted.......

* Teachers: please don't start until you actually hear the beat of the music! You don't always have to start during the intro of the song...

* Ladies - you can never be wrong wearing hose or fishnets in the Rhythm & Latin!! This goes even for those of you with nice legs! Remember, we are really paying attention to leg action in these styles so you want to make your legs "appear" the best they can! But, please, get the kind of hose that are nude to the waist!!

* Teachers - "Sometimes LESS is MORE!" I mean this in choreography not in costumes...I noticed this especially in the Open Bronze....don't try to put everything but the kitchen sink in your choreography! Even though it's Open, we want to see clear and clean technique in the Bronze level! This is the foundation for your student's dancing!

Overall, the Indiana Challenge had alot to offer for the competitors and the spectators! A great show by Bree Watson and Decho Kraev topped Saturday evening, and Sunday was a full day of Junior competition!

Amy Anderson
Organizer of Twin Cities Open Ballroom Championships
www.twincitiesopen.com