Hot to Trot
A local dancer hits a big stage this weekend.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tomorrow Carmel's Doris Smith fox trots into the International Grand Ball in San Francisco. After being introduced to ballroom dance by local and Bay Area instructors 10 years ago, she has gone on to win the hearts of numerous San Francisco judges, receiving first prizes at competitions including the 2008 Autumn Classic, City Lights, and San Francisco Open.
At this weekend's competition, she will be performing at the Gold Level, comparable to the Division I category of college sports. At this level, the dancers are scored on the entire package: from the shine of their shoes to the elegance of their final bow.
Smith and her partner and teacher David Weise will also perform in the “open” style, forcing the dancers to be more expressive and creative in their moves rather than follow a syllabus of footwork. Having placed first dancing Open Gold in standard and Latin, she is now delving into the American Smooth sphere of movement, which includes the waltz, tango, fox trot, and Viennese waltz.
“[These dances] allow me to listen more closely to the music and to find the rhythm,” she says.
Smith says she won't be thinking much about getting the gold when she steps onto the floor this weekend. Her focus will be on enjoying herself. “Dancing makes me feel graceful and elegant," she says. "I’m stretching my body to places I didn’t think it could go. I’m listening to the music and having so much fun. I just absolutely love it.”