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KC Dance Classic at Camelot Ballroom (three frames stitched together)
Left-Right: On-deck area for contestants getting ready, on the floor the contestants for this heat, standing near end of ballroom are the judges for this heat,
sitting is Danel Calloway (chairman), standing Pete Modica (emcee) and under the flag standing on a chair (hidden) with camera is Deanna Dikeman (photographer)
Camelot entrance, the south side - 6635 West 151st Street (about 3-4 blocks east of Metcalf), Overland Park, Kansas 66223
When I was updating my website calendar a couple of months ago I intended to get to this competition. I've done mostly concert dance the last 10-15 years. I started in social dance. While a ballroom competition is not a social dance in the sense of being just a "dance" like a prom or mixer, it is still in a social dance form taken to the competitive performance level. The variation in types of dance gives me a chance to re-connect with my starting points and a chance to recharge my dance-photo chops.
Even so I wound up busy that week in rehearsals for concert dance and production for the same and for reference videos for a piece by San Francisco choreographer Greg Dawson. It was with a start that at 4:30 pm on Saturday I hit my head with my hand (metaphorically), let out a yell, grabbed two camera bags and got my self on the road to Camelot. I should have checked the lenses a bit more carefully because I needed a pair of primes I left behind, for lower light later. Still, my favorite ultra-wide was with me (11-16mm., f/2.8) as was my main zoom telephoto (80-200mm, f/2.8). So I was ready for most things.
As it happened I could not have picked a more productive time to get out there. They were finishing the afternoon's heats and were about to go on break before starting the evening heats. So I paid my $15 to get in and my $5 for the program (very helpful) and headed into the ballroom.
I've know Camelot and Wade and Bridget for more than 20 years, from way back when their ballroom was the Flamingo, which looked kind of like a big chicken coop but was a great gathering place for every ballroom dancer. When the road (151) was widened the Flamingo was torn down and Wade constructed the Camelot, one of the best dance venues in the KC area.
Anyway, the break time was also practice time for couples getting ready for the evening heats. That gave me a chance to get out on the floor directly alonside of and in front of them in ways that I knew would not work for the competition heats later. Much like getting studio rehearsal pictures or on-stage class pictures, these practice times are a favorite of mine for shooting dancers.
I had to leave before the end of the event that night but here is a sampling of the pictures I got during that time.
Matt and Ellen Pansing are the organizers of this event. Their program notes that the Kansas City Dance Classic (KCDC) is a USA Dance registered event. So far this is the fifth annual KCDC.
The next one, the fifth annual, is scheduled for Saturday September 9, 2017
Also, a larger number of pictures on FaceBook
Break time practice: Ali Ball and Clay Mitchell
Break period before evening heats: Lorraine Hu with Zach McKeeby (front left) and Mei Hwei and David Holsclaw (right)
Break time practice: Ali Ball and Clay Mitchell
Camelot Ballroom during the break before the evening heats
Snack window with Wade Qandil (ballroom owner) and Dee
Jamie Daylor and Arun Garg
Dancers' videos by Dave Goudy and (behind) Edith Girardi from Florida
Mark Harris, co-owner with Mary Harris of Walters Dance Center, doing duty as official photographer
Break period practice: David and Mei Hwei Holsclaw
Break time practice: Conner and Abby Morris
Stephen Takata and Joanna Mielnick
Jesse Lopez and Lucy Wagner from Evolve Dance
Jesse Lopez and Lucy Wagner
Mei Hwei and David Holsclaw
Dance during the break
Jeremy Anderson and Yuko Taniguch
Olivia Styron and Ryan Tierney
Break: looking back is Guy Titsworth.
Early Evening, Heat 135: blue dress center Kim Stanley with Bill Lillich, red dress left: Angela Babb-Reinsager and Mark Reinsager, center back David and Mei Hwei Holsclaw.
Perry Gingrich at podium behind. Dave Goudy on video at left. On deck line to the far right with the next heat waiting to go and watching.
Hedy and David Brizendine
Open dance and break before evening heats: Left center; Mark Reinsager and Angela Babbs-Reinsager (in red), right: Zach McKeeby and Lorraine Hu
Mary and Howell Scott (left and right) and Mei Hwei and David Holsclaw (center)
Stephen Takata and Joanne Mielnick
Grayscale cropped version from above - Ali Ball and Clay Mitchell