Competing at ABW and ESDC

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Until two years ago I didn't compete at all, in fact I considered it silly and unnecessary. But this is a story I will tell you another time.

Within one week I was competing four times in Balboa, two times at All Balboa Weekend (ABW) in Cleveland OH, USA and two times at the European Swing Dance Championships (ESDC) in Barcelona, Spain. The latter were held for the first time this year.

All Balboa WeekendAll Balboa Weekend

It was my second time at ABW after 2009 and it's a killer. Only Balboa, all day and all night – this is Balboa heaven for sure!

The camp will be releasing an official DVD, therefore there is not much footage online so far.

Final All Skate of the Amateur Jack & Jill

This is the only clip available about the Amateur Jack & Jill competition.

I knew, this will be my last time in an Amateur Jack & Jill and my goal was to make it to the finals, secretly I hoped to reach a top 3 position. Well, after the finals, I was not very happy with my performance and I had no expectations at all anymore. Anyway Mimi Liu and I we've won this competition :-). As Olivier Harouard mentioned after the competition: “Holiday is over now, welcome to the adults world!”

Amateur Strictly with Nina Galicheva

Unfortunately, there are no clips online from this competition.
Nina and I are not regular dance partners, we've met at The Balboa Experiment where we decided to compete together at ABW. Our goal was to make it to the finals and to win a top position. We really had good dances throughout the competition and also the spotlight dance in the finals went very well. Result: 4th place.

European Swing Dance ChampionshipsEuropean Swing Dance Championships

Last year, when I heard the first time about this event it was clear to me that I want to compete with my regular dance partner Marcia Bodenmann and luckily she agreed. In Barcelona, there were “only” two Balboa competitions: Jack & Jill and strictly.

Jack & Jill Prelims

Because there were not as many leaders as followers, I had to dance in both heats, but I was judged only in the first one. It was a little bit the same like in Cleveland, I didn't feel very confident and just hoped, it will be good enough.

Jack & Jill Finals

Marcia and I made it to the finals! I was very excited about it and of course quite nervous, dancing with so many awesome dancers together in the ESDC finals.

The finals happened one day after the prelims. I have to admit, these were my toughest three dances in a competition so far. With Lana Mykhaylyuk, I've got a highly talented dance partner, everybody was looking at us and I knew it will be on YouTube just a few hours later. I just wanted to do a good job. It didn't work as good as I wanted but on the clip it doesn't look as bad as I felt. Result: 5th place.

Strictly Prelims with Marcia Bodenmann

This was our third competition together and our goal was to have great dances and FUN. We didn't make it to the finals but we are very happy about our performance! And we know there is still much more potential.

Bottom Line

Competing is so much inspiring! It helps you to have a goal and be more disciplined and focused with practising, especially if you have a regular dance partner.

And there is another reason, it's much more fun to dance yourself instead of sitting there and watching and waiting until the event's social dancing is continuing!

Our next competition will be in December at the Frenchie Balboa Festival in Toulouse! See you there?

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  • Valerie Salstrom

    We love having you at the All Balboa Weekend in Cleveland and we LOVE watching you compete!  You always smile and give the impression that you are enjoying every second of dance between you and your dance partners.  <3

    • Thank you Valérie for your kind comment! I’ll be back for sure!

  • Congrats on all your accomplishments!  You are a wonderful leader and your placements were well deserved.

    • Thank you Laura, very nice of you!

  • Pascal

    Congrats Chris, really great, I’m happy for Marcia and you!

    • Thanks Pascal, yeah it’s great and we have big plans 😉

  • Svenn K

    I wish more dancers would see the benefit of doing competitions. As you say, it really helps to have a goal to practice towards. 

    It was fun seing you on the floor in Barcelona 🙂

    • I agree Svenn. Good to have you seen as well!

  • Sharon Davis

    ESDC adored you Christian! Both as a  DJ and a competitor, you killed it! We hope you’ll come back, the second year wouldn’t be the same without you.

    • You’re so charming Sharon, thank you! I’ll come back next year!

  • Gary Miller

    Conversely for me, competing and having little to no success impacted my love of the dance, and I found myself wishing I hadn’t started competing, because it set expectations and wishes that were really unnecessary related to me actually enjoying dancing.   Of course, then we had a baby and that pretty much did me in completely.  🙂

    • Good point Gary. I can imagine it could be frustrating. On the other hand, I think especially Jack & Jill competitions shouldn’t primarly be taken too seriously.

      I stick to it, I prefer dancing instead of sitting around, and I know many dancers having a similar approach.