Joel and Clara Marasigan

Vancouver Challenge Cup 2015


Wow!  Vancouver Challenge Cup 2015 was a great success!  It was a lot of hard work with many sleepless nights, but in the end it was all worth it.  It’s such a great feeling to have produced an event that puts smiles on people’s faces and celebrates the spirit of what we are so passionate about… ballroom dancing. :)

Vancouver Challenge Cup organizers: Michel, Clara & David

These days, there are so many forms of dance out there that ballroom dancing seems to be just 1 of many.  There are the traditional styles that everyone recognizes like ballet, tap and jazz;  there are newer forms of dance like Hip-Hop, Break dance, Zumba, and Pole dance; and the list goes on and on.

Personally, I am drawn to ballroom dancing because of the fact that it involves partners.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be dancing so closely connected to another human being and to be surrounded by other couples doing the same.  To me, ballroom dancing is beautiful, elegant and ‘proper’.  We dress well; we treat each other with respect; and we call ourselves ladies and gentlemen.  There’s a certain way that we carry ourselves and a certain etiquette to be had when we are in the ballroom.  It sounds elitist, but then that makes sense, as it did have it’s origins from the European courts way back in the 17th century.  In the world today, it seems rather out of place, but to ballroom enthusiasts like myself, the ballroom is a place of refinement and sophistication;  it’s a world that we can escape to, without having to submit to the latest “twerking” craze!  😀

For those of you who don’t realize, organizing a dance competition is a lot of hard work.  It’s much like planning a wedding, except instead of doing it once in your entire life, we do it at least once every year!  There are so many endless details that need to be taken care of:  there’s the venue, judges, scrutineering, catering, decorations, sound and lighting;  there’s also the competitor registration, awards and ticket sales that we need to be on top of; then there’s marketing, publicity, sponsorship and vendors that we also need to make sure are happening in order for our event to be a success.

The VCC volunteer crew

We are so blessed to have a great team working together to make sure everything runs smoothly.  We have seasoned professionals up on the stage who know how to run competitions like the back their hands, and we have a fantastic team of volunteers who have probably the toughest job of all, as they are learning their positions on the fly.  I am so grateful to my wonderful volunteer team, headed by my “super minion” (as he calls himself) Shrikant, as they were all very capable and enthusiastic, ready to lend a helping hand at a moment’s notice.  (And I literally mean ‘a helping hand’, as one of my volunteers actually pushed me all the way to the kitchen to make sure I ate something!)

Thanks to all my family for bearing with the craziness in the last couple weeks leading up to the event.  I was at countless meetings, always occupied by phone calls and emails and my husband and the kids’ 4 grandparents stepped in numerous times to help out.  It took about 2 weeks for me to make up for my absenteeism and get back into the good graces of my children, but now I am in the good books again!  Yay!!!  :)

There are so many thank yous to be given after an event this size.  Of course, thank you to all the sponsors who made the event possible.  Honestly, without sponsors, a ballroom competition is just not sustainable.  Ballroom dancing does not have the government support or public enthusiasm that sports like soccer, football and gymnastics has.  So thank you again to our VCC sponsors.  Many of them were students and friends of mine who simply made contributions, not necessarily for the event itself, but to help support me and my vision.  For that, I am extremely grateful and appreciative of all the LOVE!!!  :)

The ever-popular VCC mixer!

As event organizers (and I speak for David & Michel as well), we want everyone to be happy and enjoy themselves at the event.  Whether you are a judge, an official, a competitor, spectator, coach, vendor or sponsor, we want everyone to have a good time.  Thanks to everyone for coming out!  At VCC, I could really feel the LOVE!  There was a strong atmosphere of fun, friendship and an overall sense of community in the room.  Instead of individual schools of students, or cliques of people, we were just one big happy community of dancers, sharing and enjoying the music and the movement together.  Mission accomplished!  :)

No matter what age, race, religion or political agenda, we all came together to celebrate the love of dance at VCC 2015.  I hope that will continue for VCC 2016 and for many more years to come!

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