On Saturday, August 22, ballroom dancers, dance enthusiasts and friends gathered at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Broadway in Maryville for the third-annual Knoxville Showcase and Dance Challenge, a ballroom dancing competition for pairs dancers organized into scores of heats several minutes long. Audience members watched as pairs composed of an amateur dancer and a professional, often teacher and student, competed within age groups and skill levels in a variety of dances from the rumba to the east coast swing.
The event, which was open to the public, began at noon with the “American Smooth” style competition, followed by the International Standard. A lunch break gave dancers time for a costume change before the afternoon stretch of the American Rhythm and International Latin competitions. After the competition, a fashion show of ballroom dance wear by Lisa Biagi and a catered dinner, gave performers and spectators alike some time to unwind before the 7:30 p.m. awards show.
After the awards, everyone was invited to watch showcase performances by some of the dancers and then kick up their heels during an open dance party. The Knoxville Showcase and Dance Challenge was organized by Marie Connolly of Absolute Ballroom, who also danced in multiple heats, and was judged by David Madeiros of Nashville. For more information about the competition or about ballroom dancing, contact Connolly at 865-604-5750.