My Dancin Days
Our Competitive Dance Experience
"Taking the competitive dance track"
Forward: Taking the competitive track in dance isn't a bad thing.. but there are roads and paths ahead you just can't see coming nor can you predict. Think very carefully as this is a pretty big decision both financially and in chosing your parnter. You will find many people have many different viewpoints and opinions.. take them all in and you decide for yourself. I can give you the pros and cons only from what I experienced. Once again.. you be the judge of your own experience.. if you weren't there for someone elses.. you can only go by what they say. Everyone understands that you will choose what to believe and what to dismiss. No matter what the outcome.. at least respect the fact that anything can happen.. good and bad.
Dedication: This is dedicated to all those who have behind us 100%. To my Mom who has now passed and never got to see my real comps. To my Dad who always tried to promote my PMA and to my number one partner who always did her best to push me beyond my limits.. and succeeded!
For all those who have been asking for this...
My dance experience began in 1996 at a place originally called "The Hoover Road House" (affectionately called "Hoover") in Warren, MI. Since that time it has changed names at least twice. I then took further lessons at "Diamonds&Spurs" in Pontiac, MI.
Later, when Diamonds&Spurs closed ( in April 2000) I began to dance at High Kicker Saloon which was also located in Pontiac. After dancing for close to 8 years.. due to injuries among other reasons I began taking a break from line dancing.
In 2003 my (then) close friend Ann (we became very close over the course of a year) approached me on the idea of taking lessons in West Coast Swing. These lessons were being offered at The Diamondback Saloon in Belleville, MI. We began to take lessons and from day one we pacticed and danced constantly. Our instructor saw potential within us and decided to point us towards competition. We began to work even harder in many different ways and between private practice, private lessons, social dance and class.. we began to excel rapidly.
It was during a private lesson that Ann and I were told we were going to compete at an event called "Da Dance Camp". I remember this well since I was holding a camcorder and upon the news .. the shock almost made me drop the camera. We were then given our first cheoreographed Two Step Routine. We worked very hard to learn this routine and practiced very hard. We worked and performed beyond all expectations. We were please to find out we blew our coach away!
It was here that our first competition was born and a promising dance career was being launched.
I couldn't have had a better partner if I tried.
Our first year's experiences were definately more than just an adventure. A lot can happen in one years time.
Ann's favorite statement no matter what when ever we got on the floor as we're about to start: "Let's Rock Ron" and "Rock On Ron"! I tried very hard NOT to let her down.. with my partner.. Ann.. there's a lot to show off.. I tried to do my best.
This picture is from our first competition in Chicago at "Da Dance Camp". It was an awesome experience!
Our first competition earned us First Place.
Over the course of the year.. we encountered many adverse situations.. one of them being this shot of us with the Pros.. Boy! Did THIS catch us off guard.. thanks Rob Royston! I think I even said "Oh Shit!" out loud.. LOL!
After that we began doing both Couples and ProAm. It was a great year however things happened and our ProAm Experiences took an early end. Our couples experience went all the way to "Worlds" in Nashville 2005.
Not the greatest shots.. I took Ann's and she took mine. I had a tad better of a steady hand.
We took 4th place in Strictly Swing. The Irony here is that Swing was not my strongest suit.
I'm sure we could have done much better had personal issues not gotten in the way.. for what it's worth we did great for our first time considering what it took for us just to go that far and actually compete at the Worlds Dance Championship.
One of my greatest memories about Worlds ... was meeting Suzi Buggus.
Her song.. "Aces" became the Theme Song for our friendship...
I'll never forget my first year in Couples dance and Competition...
I want to thank all those who cared enough to give us their support and all those who helped us in our efforts along the way.
Currently neither Ann nor I are are dancing socially or competitively for personal reasons.. so much for further dance plans..
Perhaps one day again in the future.. there will be another.
These three pictures were taken at the Diamondback Saloon.. our home
We worked extremely hard during the course of our first year...
Thank you Ann... for being a part of that experience!
Whether that experience is and was the only one we'll ever have together.. I'll Always Love You For That.
Should we ever have the fortune of dancing together again..I'd like to make our next experience ... even better.
Thanks For the Memories.
Our competitive dancing has come to a conclusion for the time being.. not the conclusion we wanted. A friendship and dance partnership takes two to make it work. You must be there for each other and it must be mutal. When it isn't.. something is wrong.
Though we've been in touch via email, We've not seen each other in 2 years.
Though we both want to dance again, God only knows what will happen next or where things will go.
American Flag Protocol Rules and Regulations
ALWAYS SHOW RESPECT!
How to fold the flag:
Fold the flag in half width-wise twice. If done by two, then the blue field should be facing the bottom on the first fold. Fold up a triangle, starting at the striped end ... and repeat ... until only the end of the union is exposed. Then fold down the square into a triangle and tuck inside the folds.
United States Flag
- Begin by holding it waist-high with another cadet so that its surface is parallel to the ground. The other two cadets will stand on the sides of the flag to ensure it remains tight as it is folded. The flagbearer will hold the Union (stars) in his/her left hand. The flag is “tabled” twice before folding.
- Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.
- Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.
- Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag. The folding is done from the folder’s right to left on the initial fold.
- Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.
- The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.
- When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.
- Hold the flag waist high with another cadet and fold it in half twice lengthwise.
- Fold the flag in half twice from end to end.
How to Display the Flag
1. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
2. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right [that means the viewer's left --Webmaster], and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
3. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.
4. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States (the viewer's left). When the flag is half-masted, both flags are half-masted, with the US flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.
5. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
6. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
7. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
8. When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.
9. That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
10. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
11. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace. The order of precedence for flags generally is National flags (US first, then others in alphabetical order in English), State (host state first, then others in the order of admission) and territories (Washington DC, Puerto Rico, etc.), Military (in order of establishment: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), then other.
12. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium on or off a podium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience).
13. When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
14. When hung in a window, place the blue union in the upper left, as viewed from the street.
§5. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition
The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America be, and it is hereby, established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 1 and Section 2 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.
It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on
- New Year's Day, January 1
- Inauguration Day, January 20
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January
- Lincoln's Birthday, February 12
- Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February
- Easter Sunday (variable)
- Mother's Day, second Sunday in May
- Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
- Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
- Flag Day, June 14
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, first Monday in September
- Constitution Day, September 17
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October
- Navy Day, October 27
- Veterans Day, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
- Christmas Day, December 25
- and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
- the birthdays of States (date of admission)
- and on State holidays.
The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
- The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
- The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
- The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
- The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
- The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
- The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
- The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
- The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
- No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
- The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes
Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation
United States Code Title 36 Chapter 3 — National Anthem, Motto, Floral Emblem, and March
- The composition consisting of the words and music known as The Star-Spangled Banner is designated the national anthem of the United States of America.
- Conduct during playing — During rendition of the national anthem—
- when the flag is displayed —
- all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart;
- men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
- individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and
- when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
- when the flag is displayed —
"In God we trust" is the national motto.
The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.
The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the national march.