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Unique Dance-o-Rama 2016 previous event | next event

Arthur Murray hosts several large events throughout the year. These events are called Dance-o-Ramas, and one of the biggest is Unique in Irvine, California. These events include demonstrations, solos, and competitions at all levels. We decided to give it a try as our first competition.

Competitive heats are held in two categories - closed and open. Closed heats are restricted to dance steps at that level or below (in our case, Full Bronze), while open heats have no such restrictions. The event allows you to compete at your level and age group, one level up, and/or one age group down. We competed at the Full Bronze level at our age group and one age group below. We declined to compete directly with the Silver dancers this time out.

  On Thursday, we started our competition with open heats in Quickstep, and ranked first in both our heats. In the evening, we encored our Quickstep performed to the Mighty Mouse Theme as a solo in the show titled "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll". And trust me, it's a little bit country (courtesy of Mr. Trouble, played by Phil Guhl). But we were the only amateur couple dancing in the show!  

Mister Trouble never hangs around when he hears this mighty sound:

"Here I come to save the day!"

That means that Mighty Mouse is on his way!
  • 960x540 [ MP4, 27MB ]
  • 1280x720 [ MP4, 40MB ]
  • 1920x1080 available on request.

Friday consisted of closed heats. These are tricky because you have to not only have to remember which steps are allowed and which are not, but you have to be able to bring up that knowledge in unexpected situations. To this end, we prepared sequences that we could string together to keep within our level. We danced 16 individual heats in eight different dances (Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Waltz, and West Coast Swing), plus the three-dance smooth (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot) and three-dance rhythm (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing) amateur couples championships. We finished fifth in Smooth and sixth in Rhythm, and the videos are available below.

The open multi-dance championships were also held Thursday, and we competed in the smooth category (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz). We failed to make the finals, but with the competition being as strong as it was (mostly Silver level and above), we still think we put on a good showing. Judge for yourself below. Note: in these videos, the group sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower are also from our studio (left-to-right: Phil, Christy, Don, Barbara, and Barbara Lynn).

Saturday was filled with open heats. These are more relaxed because you can use any dance steps you know (or can invent on the fly). This is particularly nice for us since our early training was outside ther Arthur Murray syllabus. We danced 22 individual heats in 11 different dances (Argentine Tango, Bolero, Cha Cha, East Coast Swing, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Waltz, and West Coast Swing). The judges particularly liked our West Coast Swing and second Argentine Tango (video below). Note that the videographer took a while to find us in the Argentine Tango. We're on the left - just look for the hat!


  Dance     960x540     1280x720     1920x1080  
  Waltz (closed)     MP4 [ 20MB ]     MP4 [ 31MB ]     On request  
  Tango (closed)     MP4 [ 16MB ]     MP4 [ 27MB ]     On request  
  Foxtrot (closed)     MP4 [ 16MB ]     MP4 [ 27MB ]     On request  
  Rumba (closed)     MP4 [ 25MB ]     MP4 [ 39MB ]     On request  
  Cha Cha (closed)     MP4 [ 36MB ]     MP4 [ 56MB ]     On request  
  East Coast Swing (closed)     MP4 [ 25MB ]     MP4 [ 39MB ]     On request  
  Waltz (open)     MP4 [ 29MB ]     MP4 [ 45MB ]     On request  
  Tango (open)     MP4 [ 28MB ]     MP4 [ 44MB ]     On request  
  Foxtrot (open)     MP4 [ 32MB ]     MP4 [ 49MB ]     On request  
  Viennese Waltz (open)     MP4 [ 38MB ]     MP4 [ 58MB ]     On request  
  Argentine Tango (open)     MP4 [ 27MB ]     MP4 [ 43MB ]     On request  

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