By ALAINA URBANTKE
The Arthur Murrays’ of Cypress, Memorial, and the Woodlands participated in a ballroom competition on March 29th, 2014. Called “Team Match”, it differs from larger competitions in that it is not a contest among individuals. “It’s just a competition among studios. It’s where students can come together as a whole studio,” explained Mr. Eddie Stutts, co-owner of the Memorial studio. Students wore a certain color that identified them with their area. Cypress wore blue; Memorial wore green; and the Woodlands wore red. The area that acquired the most points from the presiding guest judge won. This match’s judge was Bob Long. Among his list of credentials, Mr. Long is a North American Professional Ballroom champion and on the board of the National Dance Council of America.
The competition went from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and had one hundred and sixty heats, each lasting slightly over a minute. The number of students per heat varied by experience level. From lowest to highest, the categories were Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, and Advanced.
The event was divided into two parts. The first round was American Smooth, and the second was American Rhythm. Smooth refers to dances that travel around the floor, like Two-Step and Waltz. Rhythm dances tend to stay in one spot, like Salsa or Swing. There were seventy-two Smooth heats.
The remaining eighty-eight heats were Rhythm heats.
At the competition’s end, awards were given for the best Newcomer, Bronze, Silver and Advanced divisions and best overall studio, the most coveted award. Cypress won the award for best Newcomer division. The Woodlands took best Bronze division. Memorial won for best Silver and Advanced divisions. Finally, Cypress won the Best Overall Studio award, taking the trophy for the second match in a row. The next Team Match will involve Austin and San Antonio versus the combined effort of all three Houston studios. It will be held in late August.