15 – Go To A DWTS Event

Dancing has been in my blood since I was little. Even as a toddler, I was distracted by melodies. Example: I was playing with blocks on the floor and my dad was walking around whistling. I asked him to stop. When he asked me why, I replied, “Because it makes me want to dance.” Apparently, playing with blocks was more important than dancing at the time.

As I grew older, I would mimic ballroom dance moves I saw in old musicals as best I could. I would watch YouTube videos and try to copy them. Eventually, I went to lessons officially. My first dance partner was from the Ukraine. He was a foreign exchange student staying across the street from us. We were fourteen when we met and I was the painfully shy type. It’s amazing I had the courage to ask him to go to lessons with me. He was the best dance partner for me to start with. Very gentlemanly and professional. We’re still friends. He’s married and has a child now.

I fell in love with Dancing With The Stars as soon as it aired. I no longer watch regularly, but when my sister asked me to go with her to the live tour, I could hardly refuse. We were to drive down to Chicago to watch the show this past weekend. The catch was that my sister was going to join me for the matinee and then go to the evening show as a VIP. Last week, she was looking at details and told me that the matinee started at 4, would last about 2 hours, and the check in for the meet and greet was between 5 and 6. Problem? Yes. This would leave me alone for half the show and more importantly, alone for the walk back to the hotel.

Self interruption: The fact that we were staying at a hotel was a huge ordeal as well. There wasn’t much about this trip that doesn’t have a huge backstory to it. So to save you (and my fingers), I won’t go into all that.

We drove into Chicago at 2pm, checked into the hotel, and put the car in a valet parking garage across the street. After we brought our bags to the room, my sister got dressed for the concert, and I munched on food we packed. We planned to hit up a cafe for a cup of tea. As we walked that way, we saw a line of people that stretched out of the Chicago Theatre. Looking at each other, we decided to get in line instead of go for tea. They checked our purses and used the security wands to check our persons as we walked through the doors. The theatre was beautiful! The chandeliers, the rich colors, the happy people, the nice people working the show – my eyes soaked it all in. My sister started a dance party once we got to our seats. I joined her and we danced to the music. At one point, we decided to dance in an aisle, because there was more space. We got in trouble after a few songs and were asked to take our seats. Ironically, we were scolded for swing dancing – at a DWTS event!

The show was lovely! I especially loved seeing the dance routines after the dancers talked about their backgrounds. That and the men’s routine to “Ain’t No Sunshine”. I loved the choreography, the way they used the props, and the fact that they kept their shirts on.
During a part of the show where the men talked about being picked on (or not) for dancing, I believe it was Val who said that overseas kids reach for greatness from a young age. It hit me that it’s been a while since I pursued being great at something – especially dance.
When Sharna opened up about her life, my heart opened too. I was a fan of her dancing and choreography, but knew little about her as a person. I’m glad she found dance.

After the show, I followed the crowd down and out of the theatre. I wasn’t too sure I’d remember the way back to the hotel, even though it was simple. Thankfully, God helped remind me where to go and I didn’t have any problem. I didn’t linger as much as I wanted to on the way back. There was so much to see. I knew that if I became distracted and acted like a tourist, I would be more of a target if something were to happen. I decided that wouldn’t be me. That is something I semi-regret. I wish I would’ve stopped to take a picture of the Chicago Theatre sign and a couple other things.

The hotel room was great. I called my boyfriend and took a nap while I waited for my sister. When I woke, I called my boyfriend again before my sister got back. She stagedoored (that’s a word now) for a bit after the show. I packed up what I could before she got there and munched on a bit more food. We left the hotel at about 11:30pm. The drive home was pretty uneventful, ending at around 3am.

I could’ve danced all night,
Simone

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