Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Once Upon a Ballroom Competition

Mia Barnett
November 9, 2014

This past weekend was the Ballroom Dance Club's annual trip to D.C. for the DanceSport Inferno Competition. If you think that sounds like the most intense thing you've ever heard, then you probably have a pretty accurate picture of what a ballroom competition looks like.

We left on Friday after classes. The eight-hour drive there was mostly uneventful, except for when we learned that two of the three CDs that we had exclusively contained Nickelback, Kid's Bop, and offensive rap. The only kid who thought it was funny was the kid who brought the CDs ... thanks for nothing, Alex.

We arrived around midnight to the house we were staying at. I promptly braided four of the girls' hair since one of the few things I gleaned from being in many plays and musicals growing up was how to properly do hair. We got to bed around 2 a.m.

The classic ballroom updo

The next day was a 5 a.m. wakeup call. 3 hours of sleep. Oof. Makeup time, more hair time, and we're at the venue by 6:45. A full day of dancing ensues. Swing, mambo, waltz, tango, quickstep and more. My partner and I placed in cha cha and rumba! And our team took home many ribbons, making it a fantastic first day.

We got fourth!

Same thing the next day: wake up at 5 a.m., get ready, dancing by 8 a.m. Another full day of dancing, and many victories for our team. There are some "fun dances" and some silly teammates go for the gold in "3 person tango." We're finished around 5 p.m., and we hit the road knowing full well that we'll be getting back to Kenyon quite late.

Left: A proud ballroom tradition. Right: This is what a three-person tango looks like, apparently

Slight insanity follows. Tragedy strikes. One of the terrible Nickelback/Kid's Bop/offensive rap CDs gets stuck in the CD player, and we have to either switch radio stations every ten minutes or sing our own songs to pass the time. My co-driver breaks out in Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" at a gas station, screaming and jumping up and down. At some point, we call the other cars and give them our renditions of "On Top of Spaghetti" and "The Wheels on the Bus." Needless to say, things got weird.

Cuddling and insanity

But we made it back to campus around 1:30 a.m., safe and sound, but exhausted. Zero homework was completed over the weekend, but many memories were made. And I think that's a win overall.