By John Pierce

Convention hotels always have ballrooms. They are familiar destinations for over-priced banquets with rubberized chicken.

However, the ballrooms of the Marriott Waterside in Tampa this week are hosting, well, ballroom dancing. In fact, it is a competition with big prize money at stake.

Each trip up and down the elevators offers a striking fashion revelation. Some dancers wear robes over their flamboyant costumes while others let it all hang out — so to speak. Nattily dressed men with numbers pinned to the backs of their shirts pale in comparison to their brightly attired dance partners.

The final competition is tomorrow night. But my duties at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship meeting across the street call for me to be there. However, riding the elevators here is enough of a show.

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