|We woke fairly early as usual and headed straight out for a walk along the promenade. On our return to the hotel we showered, changed and went to the restaurant to meet the team for breakfast. We had a leisurely breakfast while we planned the day - essentially that meant straight to the venue so that Barb and Xavier could get some practice time on the floor during general dance sessions. In between practices we watched the heats of the amateur adult Latin. To provide some indication of the standard, the Aussie couple who won the NZ Open last year only made it to the second round (where 300-odd couples were whittled down to half that).
Watching the gradual elimination of couples through the heats was quite educational in the company of Vik and Doug, who provided a near continuous commentary and critique of the dancing. By the time the final was danced the crowd was clapping vigourously and cheering for their respective favourites. The atmosphere was outstanding, and the better (professional) dancers are yet to come!
It was an early finish today so we checked out a few restaurants for dinner, only to find them all fully booked (it is a bank holiday after all). We caught a taxi back to the hotel and slowly worked our way through dinner - I say slowly because the service in the hotel restaurant is particularly ordinary. They're all polite enough but we haven't yet had an order correctly delivered. Tonight they had to take drink orders twice and they forgot the two desserts ordered until after the coffee!
Tonight will probably be a restless one for Barb and Xavier as they start to mentally prepare for their event tomorrow. While they're trying not to be over-whelmed by the occasion there will inevitably be some nerves in the morning. We'll have time to practice at the ballroom during the morning and then return to the hotel to start the costuming preparations - sorting out the final tans, make-up, hair, outfits and accessories. Their event starts at 5.40pm so at least we have plenty of time to get organised. For now it's time for bed. Stay tuned for results tomorrow!