We just got back from Orlando from the NDA National Dance Championship. The WSDT has been hard at work since May to perfect their routine to perform and compete against 16 other teams from around the country. This is where all their hard work pays off or they learn what not to do next year.
It all started on Wed, March 9, 2011. We arrived at one of the dancers' house to get bags checked. We loaded most of the luggage and dance bags into another dancers' Dad's Suburban. Thursday, March 10, the Juniors had to get to the school at 6:30 a.m. to take a test before they left for the day. We met our drivers at 10 a.m. and headed to Reagan National Airport to catch our 1:00 flight. We arrived in Orlando a little after 3 p.m. and caught our coach bus to the Swan Hotel at Disney. We all lugged our junk up to our rooms.....They messed up our rooms AGAIN...3rd year in a row...we're supposed to get a block of rooms, but they had rooms all over the 5th floor. The next day, they got us all together, but it meant several kids and some parents had to pack out to their new room. Whatever. We dealt with it. Anyway, the kids basically chilled the first night and the kids who were on the team last year showed the kids new to the team this year where the hot spot to eat is...Picabu cafe.
Friday, Anisa and Travis flew down. They stayed in another hotel, but came over to see us after they picked up their little Ford Fiesta! Cute car. :) We walked around, looked at stuff then went to get those two checked into their room. They took me back to the hotel and headed out to explore. I had to get back to give the key to the coaches to my van. We rented 4 vans down there to get the team back and forth to the competition. The team basically practiced ALL DAY. I was hoping to get to see some friends, but it didn't work out. Hopefully next year. ;)
Saturday...PRELIMS. They didn't compete until 9:00 p.m. Lots of us parents were there to watch our talented kids/coaches ROCK the place. The theme this year was the Matrix. Uniform...black trench coat, black jeans, black Chucks, black sunglasses....and WHITE contact lenses. There was tutting, botting, and even vogueing. They popped and locked. Isolations. All the latest, greatest dance moves. We all bit our nails while each team performed and the scores were read. The scores ranged from 7.503 to 9.434....except for West Springfield's score.... 9.954. One of the highest scores EVER given at this competition. EVER! :) The parents and team went crazy. WSDT got a standing ovation from the entire audience. It was super cool, but their work wasn't over. They returned to the hotel to practice MORE. Finally around 1 a.m. they got into their rooms to rest. Finals were the next day and they had to be on their game! The other teams were hard at work really polishing up their routines too.
Sunday afternoon, the DT got into the Zone and went to compete with 10 other teams that were worthy to make it to Finals. Every team danced their hearts out. Some of the competition was fierce and some of us were actually a little worried that our kids might take 2nd or even 3rd. They had to be FLAWLESS. They arrived on stage at 6:03 p.m. And TOTALLY, COMPLETELY ROCKED THE STAGE~~~ They were AWESOME and the audience and judges saw it. They announced the winners one at a time from 11th place up until the last 2 teams (WSDT and Fleming Island High) were left on the stage to hear their final scores and who was going to take the National Title of 2011. The announcer took his sweet time announcing 2nd place with a score of 9.489........ Fleming Island. We had to hold back the screams until he announced WSDT's score of 9.969. Another record for the competition. One of the highest scores EVER given. We screamed, jumped up and down, cried, laughed and rushed down to meet our stars. Travis and Anisa unfortunately had a 9:00 flight. Luckily, they saw the awards given and got to give Sara a quick hug, kiss and congratulations, but had to rush out of there to get to the airport. WSDT became instant celebrities. TONS of other teams wanted their pictures taken with our dancers. It was so cool. And, of course, our dancers were happy to pose with them.
The team and the parents who were still there went to dinner at Bongo's Cuban Cafe at Downtown Disney. The dinner was yummy, but the mood was even better. All the kids had their National Championship jackets on and everyone was happy. Tired, but happy. After dinner we went back to the hotel to get some rest since Monday was going to be spent at Universal Studios all day.
The weather was great for our day in the park. We played, rode some rides, ate and walked at the park. I wasn't too thrilled with Universal, and hope that if we go back to Florida next year, we'll go to Disney again. :) Oh, we must not forget Sara winning a GIANT Domo. Luckily, we DID get him on the plane, but I didn't know if we were gonna get him home. Tuesday was our day to return home, but our flight wasn't until that evening, so the kids spent the day by the pool. A super cool ending to an incredible weekend.
For now, Dance Team is over for the season, but we are planning an end of season party and Try-outs for next year are in May, so we only have a short break from dance. Sara's getting some much needed catching up on sleep and homework. And we're enjoying not having competitions to attend on the weekends. :) But we love the team, the kids are more like a family than just friends or a sports team. The coaches are incredible, putting in tons of hours to make sure the team is on track. The greatest thing about this team is the respect shown to each other. Yes, they get on each other's nerves and sometimes I hear complaints from some of the kids about so and so's mood or whatever, but in the end, they all love each other and have a blast together. I pray Sara will dance again next year....we will see! :)
In other news, Anisa is getting braces....again. She had them on in 5th grade for about a year, then we moved and I didn't get her in to get her a new retainer.....BAD MOMMY. Anyway, her teeth went back to where they were comfy...not where they were supposed to go. BAD TEETH. She had spacers put in last week, so she has been uncomfortable and unable to really eat much. We are all stocked up on soups and mini raviolis. Poor baby. She gets her brackets on tomorrow. I'll keep you all updated on THAT situation. At first she didn't really want them, but decided to do it now before she gets much older since it will be harder and harder for them to move her teeth around.
As for me, well, I hope to get some quilting done and some organizing. I'm hoping to get the house painted this spring...if we can get our landlord to BUY the paint. :) Travis and I are slowly but surely getting out to run on a semi-normal basis. We missed out a lot of days this winter because it was so messy out there with the salt, dirt and snow/ice on the trails. Yesterday we went out and while we were on the trail I stopped to see if I could see any frogs (there are tons of ponds/wet areas on the trail) and Travis moved a log and found a really cute salamander. I love nature.
Here in the DC area, we are waiting for the Cherry Blossoms to puff. I am planning to hit the city with Anisa and my friend, Rhonda next week to see if they're out. I love going in and just walking around and taking pictures of the beautiful trees. If you ever get the chance, you NEED to come to DC in March/April to see the trees.