At the Charlotte Hornets vs. Denver Nuggets basketball game on Mar19th, 2016 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, I participated in the Zumba Half-Time Performance with about 200 other dancers!
This was my second time at the Arena–the last time being around five years ago when it was still the Bobcats Arena. At that time, the sound system had very good bass at which I could feel the vibrations even on the second level. however, they’ve since changed the arena such that it is now more concert friendly–this makes it difficult for me to pick up the bass vibrations, which I rely on to feel the beat of the music. As such, the lack of vibrations threw me off at first, but I finally caught on.
The amount of white–which to me looks like a sea of nurses or a sea of martial artists (I was wearing my GI pants)–also made it difficult for me to follow my 12 and 6 at some points because there was no contrast with the floor.
This year, I only learned the dance enough to follow my 12 and 6 dancers; however for next year I plan to learn it down to the beat so that I’d be able to develop my own stylistic variations. This requires I actually have a good sound system at home I can pick up the vibrations from on the first floor–which is hard wood.
As for the game itself, I had two tactile ASL interpreters with one providing haptics of the game’s court (shown in the second part of the video from the 4th quarter). So while the ASL interpreter provided details, the haptics specialist was able to keep up with the court (mostly the ball) and I was able to keep score though I still struggled. As I’m still getting used to that form of reception of information, it’s still a work in progress.
For next year, I plan to request accessible seating in a wheelchair area to use normal folding chairs which would make tactile interpreting much easier, as well as checking out an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) offered by the Arena Guest Services so that I could wirelessly send the audio directly to my hearing aids and feel the beat that way. An alternative option is to hook a pair of professional grade Beats headphones up to the ALD receiver and use the headphones without my hearing aids to get better quality sound/beats.