Sometimes you just need a vacation from your vacation. So, it being a gorgeous sunny day, I piled into the car with the friends I'm staying with, and we took a drive south from Blackpool.
Blackpool's seaside is a pit, kind of like Atlantic City in the 1980's (maybe even still today, who knows, I haven't been there in like 20 years). Venturing south along the Irish Sea, though, through the towns of St. Anne's and Lytham, is a treat. There are very high sand dunes along the coast at St. Anne's, and Lytham features lots of really nice brick Victorian buildings, and cute shops on the main street. We walked around for a while and had lunch at an outdoor cafe'. I got a little sunburned.
Later that evening I caught the final four rounds of the Senior Latin and the Professional Rising Star Standard. My favorite Senior Latin couple from last year, from Spain, did not dance. I was sorry not to see them again because the lady in that couple was so strong and sexy and soft and mature and classy -- all the things I like to see in a lady dancer. The quality level of the couples improves every year; the friend I was sitting with turned to me at one point and said "it's so nice to see adults dancing Latin."
The big event of the day was the Professional Rising Star Standard. I noticed right away that former Blackpool and World Amateur Standard Champion Edita Daniute was back with a new partner. Judging from his name, Angelo Madonia, he's probably from Italy. They danced very well, and won the event. There was an Australian couple in the final, Matthew Rooke & Anna Longmore, who I also quite liked. The lady had a white dress with large wide silver metallic strips on it -- a sort of "mirror ball" dress. I loved it, but I can't say it was universally admired.