Hello from Debrecen!  Tuesday was our first day of practice, although many of the other teams began on Monday.  We caught an early shuttle to the main arena, which is only about 5 minutes from our hotel.  While the weather in Debrecen was a little overcast and cool, the volunteers and staff made up for it by being overly hospitable.    The competition arena is lovely — warm temperature with a friendly and helpful support staff.  Our practice group consists of the 3 American dance teams plus the couple representing the Czech Republic, (who actually train in Canada).  Since we all know one another and all are from North America, it was a pleasant, friendly environment.  Fabian Bourzat was our lone coach for today, as Igor did not leave Novi until Monday evening.
Following our morning Short Dance practice at the main arena, we had an afternoon Free Dance practice at the secondary arena.  The secondary rink is about 15 minutes from our hotel, and in contrast to the competition venue is quite cold, although it is brightly lit and features a vaulted ceiling.  Both practices went well, even though we had such a long day of travel plus we are adjusting to the time difference.  We were pleased, as was Fabian.

Tomorrow we hope to get a little sightseeing in, as we only have one practice and our Short Dance draw scheduled. Plus, many of the shops and offices were closed today due to a national holiday.  March 15th  — Hungarian National Day — commemorates the anniversary of the start of the 1848 Revolution against the Austrian Empire.  The revolution had numerous goals, with one of them being the desire for freedom of the press…….which brings us to today’s Innovation connection!    Hungarian inventor David Gestetner created the Gestetner Cyclograph in the 1880s, which enabled individuals and businesses to quickly and inexpensively create copies of documents using a stencil and ink rollers.  This technology soon spread to schools, churches and political groups, as self-publication became a realization for anyone.  The Gestetner Company is still in existence today, under the auspices of the Ricoh Company of Japan.

Thanks for reading!

Ellie & Alex