Competitive ballroom dance glides into local culture
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 06:00 am
10th Annual Northern Lights Classic Ballroom and Latin Dance Competition
Saturday, Feb. 8
Central Lions Senior Recreation Centre
11113 – 113 St.
Tickets: $25 to $60. Available online at www.northernlightsclassic.ca or at door
No longer is ballroom dancing that old-fashioned hokey stuff your grandparents did.
Next week, a young St. Albert duo steps into the spotlight displaying a sophisticated spin on the exhilarating and challenging world of competitive ballroom dancing.
Victoria Metera, 17, and Marc Pinco, 20, revel in the mystique of dancesport, knowing the allure, charm and grace simply add to the rhythm.
Already boasting numerous medals to their name, the dance partners return as heavyweight competitors to the 10th annual Northern Lights Classic Ballroom and Latin Dance Competition. It runs Saturday, Feb. 8 at Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre in Edmonton.
“Marc and I are really excited. Our last competition was in November. We’ve had our Christmas break and we’re excited to show what we can do,” says Metera, a Grade 12 student at Bellerose High.
Pinco and Metera are registered at the adult championship level in both Latin and standard. The Latin segment requires the couple to dance a samba, cha cha, jive, rumba and paso doble. The standard category also demands five dances: waltz, tango, fox trot, Viennese waltz and quickstep.
“Everybody goes in heats. Nobody knows what music they will play, but everybody knows a routine to the music and they dance,” Metera explains.
Through an interesting scheduling development, competitors will likely feel more pressure at 2014 Northern Lights Classic. In a change from previous years, the Classic championships will now serve as DanceSport Alberta’s qualifier for the 2014 Canadian Closed Championships.
Metera and Pinco are no strangers to standing on the podium. Last year the pair travelled to Halifax for the Canadian Closed Championships placing first in the adult pre-champ category for both standard and Latin dances.
Once again their unwavering perseverance will determine the quality of success. At the upcoming Edmonton championships, the pair’s advancement to adult level automatically raises the competitive bar.
“We have some tough competition, but we’re definitely going to dance our hardest and see how it goes.”
In addition to stronger competitors, Pinco continues to have back problems and Metera has suffered from knee problems due to overuse.
“We work around it,” says Metera matter-of-factly. “When it’s show time and you are wearing your costume and makeup, you have a job to do. You go out and you show everyone how much you’ve improved and what you can do and what you’ve spent your time on.”
To present a polished, light-as-air appearance, the duo practices their craft up to 12 hours a week at Elite Dance Studio. In addition, they book weekly gym workouts that strengthen, tone and develop stamina.
“Each round of dancing is about 10 minutes of non-stop music so you have to be on top of your game.”
Northern Lights Classic runs next Saturday. Competition starts at 10:15 a.m. and runs throughout the day until 11:30 p.m. Shelley’s Dance Studio provides non-competitive entertainment at 8:50 p.m. A schedule of events is available online at northernlightsclassic.ca.