Think of it this way. I received multiple compliments on my dancing ability--and I don't think they were naive, I don't think (except for the one immediately made to our entire square after the mystery call) they were said just for the sake of being said, nor do I think that it was all about my round dancing which I admit is better than most (though still not great for a phase 6--it's just that not great for a phase 6 looks awesome to phase 4 dancers).
I think that some people, legitimately in the know, were complimenting my ability as a dancer. And as I said in a previous blog post...I've been competing for fifteen years in some form or another. Fifteen years, I as an apparently strong dancer, have been competing. In all that time, how many times have I won? Grand total of once, apparently, a Junior year I don't even remember. There was that one year we got Best Display, but still lost (we were happy to lose, though).
In fifteen years, I have always been on the losing side. I've been having fun, and did thoroughly have a blast. (In particular, my mask was a grand-march only item that I wore throughout the whole day, save for when I was competing.) So it's not like I'm bitter about dancing itself. I'm not bitter about myself given the above. So not me, not the event itself. Yet there's still that bitterness, mostly about the circumstances. Particularly the politics.
It's not like we'd have even won with our original square. We maybe, MAYBE would have gotten third place, with a TIGHT competition between all five senior squares. (My sister's club got second, but were good enough to take it; the other Washington club associated with hers I thought actually WOULD take first but didn't place, meaning Canadians unfortunately got first and third.) Nobody would have been able to tell who would have won. We might have been able to keep the senior tradition for final mysteries of coming out in a weird, quirky formation, a tradition that's been around as long as I have which was broken this year.
We certainly would have had more fun, and while it was enjoyable...it was just pathetic to look at.
My club still did fairly well overall, though. Took first and second in Advanced rounds, with second place getting best compulsory (these two victories are particularly satisfying because they mean that the Canadians that have a VERY poor reputation got a mere third, though sadly that meant my sister's club's advanced couple who HAS placed before didn't this year), second in Intermediate calling, best singing call in said Intermediate calling, and best singing call for a Novice. (There may be more, but that's what I remember.)
It's just that...the competition's not what it used to be. So many traditions for fun lost, in favor of rules enforced for "tradition" that kill the spirit of the dance.