A Smooth Start

by Sarah Luna

See my introduction to this series here.

I soon realized that I was the first of my team members to make it to the ballroom. I sent a few quick texts and then hurried to the bathroom to make the best of my hair and makeup.  My partner arrived soon after with my dress. This was our last competition together. We had improved so much and worked so hard. So far, this is how we had done…

Cornell Comp: 6th in Silver Viennese Waltz at Cayuga Comp
DCDI: 6th in Silver Smooth Foxtrot/Viennese Waltz; Semi-finals in Gold Smooth W/T/F/Vw
Ohio: 4th in Gold Smooth W/F and 6th in Gold Smooth T/Vw

My smooth partner is so much fun to dance with. He would scour youtube videos of cool moves and then eagerly text me when he found one he wanted to use. He put together all of our routines and was never afraid to throw something in at the last minute.

We competed at Gold at DCDI and Ohio completely by accident (because we were late for the Silver rounds). This time, we were going to make it on time and dance at our own level! So we signed up for Silver. It had never occurred to us to think of ourselves as Gold dancers. We were barely Silver at the beginning of the semester. We just weren’t that good yet. Even when our teammates suggested that we switch to Gold, we were like nahhhhhhhhh. 

Despite the crowded floor and my sleep deprivation, we sailed into the finals for W/F and T. My partner’s parents were there to see him dance. This was the first time they had seen him in action. Here’s what they recorded.

When the music ended, we walked off the floor pleased with ourselves but with no expectations. We each thought that we had danced tolerably…maybe we would get 3rd or 4th.

In ballroom competitions when awards are announced, the MC  will go from 6th place to first place saying 6th place, couple number ____, (insert names); 5th place, couple _____ (names), and so on. So we were listening for number 204.

The MC called 6th place

…not us.

The MC called 5th place

…not us.

The MC called 4th place

…not us…

Partner and I look at each other…no way…………..

The MC calls 3rd place


not us…


Partner and I are clutching each other’s hands now. This is it.



The MC calls 2nd place…………….



and it was NOT US.



It was us.

We had won. Not only that, we had won in both W/F and T. We had surpassed all of our goals for this semester and had an amazing time doing so. It was such a pleasure dancing with my partner. He has the most incredible attitude about dance and is such fun to be around. This was the best semester of dancing I’ve had so far. I couldn’t be happier about the way things turned out.

Just for fun, take a look at our Viennese Waltz.

…and all of this happened before 11am. Stay tuned for the rest!