As I was saying, Blackpool does not host pro-am competitions. Or didn’t. Til this year. Ever since I started going to watch the professionals (and these are truly the top professionals in the world) compete, I have wanted to dance on the floor of the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool (if I slip and call it the Winter Palace, please forgive!) The ballroom is huge. It’s ornate. Victorian. Gilded. Red plush chairs. Crystal chandeliers. Three tiers of seating. Fancy bars. Awesome dance floor. Stained glass. The works. But Blackpool does not host pro-am competitions.
Until this year. A group of dance teachers in England got together and decided “why not”. The event received very little publicity in the States (unfortunately) but did have a Facebook site, which I followed religiously. Eventually, they published their classifications, and we decided to go. This was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to dance in the dust of the Caesars, if you will permit the mixed metaphor.
And we had a blast. It was everything I hoped it would be (including the weather in January on the Irish Sea – cold, wet, rainy) and the floor was incredible. To top it off, Jari and I won my division!