The 10th Annual Snow Ball DanceSport Competition
By Daniel O'Connell
On January 11th and 12th, Donna Edelstein hosted the tenth annual Snow Ball DanceSport Competition. Held at the Mall of America Hilton Hotel, there were two hundred participants there to compete in the pro/am or professional categories. I've been working like a dog lately, but I was able to make time to spectate at the Sunday evening session. If you've never gone to see what a ballroom competition looks like, I highly recommend checking out an event like the Snow Ball. You might be surprised by how much you like spectating or participating.
At a dancesport competition, dancers compete in heats, which are a specific group of competitors competing in a particular event. Typically they'll dance for a few minutes until the music stops, take a bow, and then exit the floor. There are different categories for style of dance, level of experience, and even various age groups. Throughout the day there might be some general dancing, which is open to competitors and spectators alike. It is usually a great opportunity to have fun dancing and watching beautiful dancing.
Having volunteered in years past to put on Star of the North DanceSport Classic (a local amateur competition) and Minnesota Ballroom Blast (a competition-like event), I think it is worth mentioning that running a dancesport competition is no easy task. It takes a lot of work and it requires a lot of different skills. If those in charge of the event aren't willing to put in that time and effort or lack the skills or competence to execute, the event typically flounders in a very short span of time.
The thing that impressed me most about the Snow Ball was how clear it was that Donna Edelstein tried very hard to put on a great event, and in my opinion, she succeeded. The decorations complemented the space perfectly, the layout of the space and the design of the programs were clearly done with care, and changes in the schedule were invisible unless the spectator was keenly following their program. These are usually things you only notice when they're blatantly wrong, so for so many things to stand out to me positively is a testament to the hard work Donna and the other organizers put in.
I believe Minnesota can never have enough events as wonderfully composed as the Snow Ball, and I look forward to attending again next year!