Allie and Kyle Spinder on Practice, Marriage, and Reaching for the 9-Dance Championship

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When and why did you start dancing?
Kyle: I was nine years old, I saw a ballroom concert. It was youth dance team dance and it looked fun. Also, I liked the idea of dancing with a girl. I had a neighbor help me learn a little bit so I could try out for the youth team. I Didn’t make it at first. The youth team beginner classes and six months down the road, they put me on the team. So I guess I grew up competing, and being on formation teams.
Allie: I began with a studio dancing, ballet, tap, jazz when I was 3 or 4. Both my mom and my grandmother were dance teachers, and my grandmother had a dance studio in her basement. I was put in at a young age, and immediately fell in love with it. I Start ballroom dancing when I Was 8 or 9. My mom paired me up with a boy in our neighborhood. When I was 14, I stopped dancing ballet and jazz and decided to focus on ballroom.

Is it challenging being married to your partner?
Kyle: Yes. It’s difficult because it’s a different way of having to relate than a regular husband and wife.
Allie: The competition aspect brings out a sense of seriousness and determination and with that, sometimes comes anger or hurt feelings. It’s more amplified when you’re a husband and wife. But, there are also a lot of things that are easier. The best part about it is that we get to do it together. We get to spend so much quality time together which is super rewarding.

What is your favorite dance memory?
Allie: Ooooooh. So many good ones!
Kyle: Blackpool Smooth exhibition.
Allie: Yes, definitely. It was just cool that Smooth was over there for the first time, something that was so new and exciting. Being on the Blackpool floor is pretty awesome, but to actually be invited to do an exhibition…..no one ever gets to do solos at Blackpool unless you’re doing a cabaret or retirement dance. It was really really cool.

Why do you choose to dance both rhythm and smooth?
Kyle: we thought it would be advantageous in getting ourselves a different perspective for judges. We do have a 10 dance background, so we have those Latin skills. Naturally, as our dancing skills developed, we thought it would be a good idea to go for the 9 dance title.
Allie: We really enjoy working on rhythm, fine tuning the skills and applying them into our smooth dances ……dynamics, speed, weight connections. We haven’t competed in rhythm very long, but we are really enjoying it, and finding its helping our smooth development.

Which style do you practice more?
Kyle: It goes in waves, of what we feel is most in need.
Allie: It depends what we are competing in next. We practice both styles fairly equally.

What do you enjoy about dancing the most?
Kyle: Dance is way for people to express themselves to music. That is something I’ve always enjoyed.
Allie: Combining the music with your body movements, when that happens, and also when you’re connected to a partner, for lack of better words, its just magical, and puts you in a different state of mind. It feels good!

Do you think what you wear to practice affects your dancing, and if so, why?
Allie: For sure. I always practice better when I feel like I look good. I go in a little bit more confident. With dancing, we are constantly looking at ourselves in the mirror, so you need to think you look good, not your just partner. The clothes need to be functional so you can dance your best in them, but also make you feel confident.

What are your favorite/ least favorite qualities in each other as a partner?
Allie: Kyle is really good at finding music, which is one thing I’m not good at. He’s always searching for new good music to dance to, or music for our show dances. I love dancing to good music, but I’m not very good at finding it.
Kyle: She’s someone who wears her emotions on her sleeves, so she’s very good at portraying different emotions. That’s something that a lot of men have issues with, including myself. I appreciate that because it helps bring the emotions out of me.
Allie: When we are in practice, Kyle can find a very fine tuned detail and picky about it, where we can spend a whole hour on one small detail, and that drives me nuts. He also loves changes and try to change things on me the day of the competition!
Kyle: Allie can be afraid of change sometimes. I like to change things spontaneously.

If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?
Allie: I always thought it would be really cool to be on Broadway. Also a news anchor, or broadcaster.
Kyle: I always wanted to be a Sea World trainer, or marine biologist.
Allie: although lately you’ve been talking about how you wish you could be an astronaut!

We can't help but ask, what was the inspiration behind your show dance at Ohio Star Ball?
Allie: We were going for hillbillies, trying to be good old southern hillbillies. Toni Redpath came up with the idea. Kyle is really good at it! He was a natural

Best piece of advice you ever heard from a coach or teacher?
Allie: Surround yourself with people who believe in you. That pertains to your coaches, your family, your friends, your dress sponsors. There is a lot of easy ways to get torn down. If you have a team that will always be there for support you, they will help lift you when you’re feeling down.
Kyle: Practice makes perfect.

What are you plans and goals for 2017?
Allie: I have a goal to just enjoy each competition experience. We compete so often, and its easy to get tied up in what it is you have to get done, and worrying about the result. My personal goal is to enjoy each competition and enjoy the people there. We have a lot of friends through ballroom, and I want to make sure I’m enjoying all of that good.
Kyle: Improve our dancing, improve our Rhythm and Smooth.
Allie: We want to just keep going onward and upward.

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