Dancers all around the world gathered in Prague between 1 and 4 October, where PRAGUE OPEN 2018 competition took place this year. Prague Open Dance Festival (PODF) is the biggest international dance competition in the Czech Republic and it is also one of the most popular dance competitions in the world.
This year there were more than 300 dancers competing, among them also dance groups and solo dancers representing their dance clubs. Together they danced in 208 dance numbers total. Participants competed in many different categories, sorted by the genre and age (baby, mini, junior and senior group) and were graded by six international judges. One of the competing dancers was also a jazz ballet dancer, Kaja Ramšak, who is now in the 3rdgrade of our high school.
On D –day, 3 November , Kaja  was nervous all day – she had been preparing with her mentor, Mateja Rožič, for 2 months  and she had even made her own choreography. When the evening came, she got ready for the show – she made her own hair, make-up and dressed for the competition. Then she warmed up and stretched herself, while trying to ignore her own nervousness. She was ready.
When it was her turn, she walked on the stage and started dancing. Her family and friends were closely watching her majestic performance. She chose a pop-song Lovely by Lovely Billie Elish ft. Khalid to dance to, because it perfectly showed the gentle feelings she tried to show with her body.  After her performance all she could do was wait for the results. Finally the announcer said that the second place for jazz ballet in a senior age group went to Kaja Ramšak and everyone cheered. Kaja got her diploma and a silver medal.
When we asked Kaja what her impressions of her dancing adventure was, she told us, that it was an amazing opportunity to show and improve her dancing skills and that she would not have missed it for the world: “Even though the competitions can be really stressful, it is worth it, because being on the stage, dancing, is the most amazing feeling that I could ever imagine.”

                                                                                                                                                                        by Živa Verdnik