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Lynne Lubash
Dance Events
United States
New Jersey
Meadowlands, NJ

The New Jersey State Open 2000

by Lynne Lubash
October 22, 2000
Meadowlands, NJ

The New Jersey State Open 2000

Comments by Lynne B. Lubash

October 22, 2000

The Meadowlands, New Jersey has more to offer than football, horse racing and Bon Jovi concerts. From October 19-22, the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center played host to the New Jersey State Open 2000.

I attended the Matinee session on Sunday, October 22, and was privileged to watch the Pro/Am Open American Smooth Single Dances, the Pro/Am Championships (all divisions), Amateur American Smooth, Amateur International Standard, Amateur International Latin, Childrens American Smooth, Childrens International Standard, Childrens American Rhythm and Childrens International Latin.

As an amateur in ballroom dancing, it always amazes me how the dances I see performed in competition bear absolutely no relationship to the steps I am taught in my lessons. Therefore, I was very excited to see an American Smooth Bronze Amateur perform (Couple Number 124), because I knew exactly the steps she was doing. She won, but of course, she was the only person competing in that class. The same thing happened to her in the Latin dances, so that she and her teacher were the only couple out on the floor and the crowd clapped enthusiastically for her. It must have been a nice feeling for a beginner, and I think more beginners should compete for the fun and experience.

The crowd responded most enthusiastically to the Amateur International Junior Latin Open Championship, during which we learned:

    a) There are at least three very good teenaged Latin dance couples from Staten Island.

    b) Female Latin dance costumes violate all known laws of gravity.

    c) There is a remixed cha cha version of Britney Spears' "Crazy".

The most enjoyable aspect of the show was the children's performances. The ballroom was filled to bursting when they went on and many a proud parent's video camera was whirring. Some of these children were unbelievably accomplished, and it was amusing to see a little 5-year-old boy dance at navel level with a professional who was wearing a revealing costume.

The Sheraton Meadowlands claims to have the largest ballroom in all of Northern New Jersey. I can neither confirm nor deny this. However, what I can tell you is that their restaurant, the Terrace Bistro, does not serve tuna fish- at all- ever. If tuna is important to you, you'll have to bring your own. I also left the comp with a slight cough, induced, no doubt, by seven hours of stray sequin and feather inhalation. But that is par for the course at these sorts of events.

The hotel shuttle bus driver was very friendly as he took me back to the bus stop to Manhattan. He hails from Columbia, and offered to give me Latin dance lessons, if I so desired.

All in all, The New Jersey State Open was enjoyable for participants and observers alike. The same hotel was host to the North Atlantic Dance Championships, featuring Lindy and Swing in April 2000 and will host The Hustle USA Dance Championships in September 2001, so if you live in or near New Jersey, and like dance, the Sheraton Meadowlands could be your home away from home.

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