Emerald Ball - Operation Comeback!

Didio Barrera
May 25, 2006
Reprinted in part from Dance Beat

For many years now the Emerald Ball has proven itself to be one of the premier events in the USA with great dancing and huge participation. In years past the Emerald had close to 11,000 entries, a number only rivaled by the Ohio Star Ball and the Heritage to date. Last year, although it was a wonderful competition when it came to the art of dancing, there was a slight decrease in entries with just over five thousand. We at Dance Beat didn?t think this made any difference when it came to the quality of the competition, but in a climate where ?more is better? superficially the Emerald looked to many as if it had lost some of its shine. Mr. & Mrs. Eng, the organizers, are not people to take things lightly and making sure that the Emerald continues to be a leader in all aspects is very important to them. So within a year they have not only managed to once again maintain the quality of this prestigious competition, but also surpassed its goal by coming back with over nine thousand entries. You might ask yourself how did they manage to accomplish this fifty per cent increase in entries when others have fallen? Well, I would say it?s called ?Operation Come Back?.

From the moment the Emerald finished in 2005, Mr. Eng began planning this year?s operation. Some things were changed this year. He added a professional dance show featuring ?come back? presentations from some very prominent legends of the past, a dance show by one of the US most successful DanceSport schools, Center Stage (UT), a Pro/Am Team Match featuring some of the most well known Pro/Am schools in the region and in the country, he also remodeled the ballroom with a new look, a very simple but beautiful backdrop with incredible lighting and fresh flowers. These were some of the must obvious changes noticed by me, but knowing Mr. Eng, for this incredible surfeit of entries he must have pulled more than one string to arrive at this incredible figure.

Yes, it?s great to have lots of entries but how was the competition? Using the same scale of adjudicating that is famously used in ?Dancing With The Stars? TV show, I give it a ?10.??????

Not a "come-back" but definitely a Legend! I?m talking of Mr. John Morton who was awarded the first Dance Vision Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to dancing in America, especially for bringing and keeping international dancing strong in the west of the USA for a long time. A show was dedicated in his honor Friday night and performed by Center Stage under the direction of Rick Robinson. This was a wonderful show and perhaps one of the best I have seen from a dance school. It was very professional, with great quality and totally entertaining........ I want to congratulate the organizers, Wayne and Donna Eng, for always running a first class competition and also for their hard work making this fabulous ?Come Back.? They kept their jewel shining brighter than ever!

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