Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Part Two: Where I'm going

Okay, so now that I've got all that house keeping out of the way, the next burning question is what the future holds.

Honestly, I have no idea.

There are plenty of people who have gone back to Irish dance after having kids. Some are better than they were before they got pregnant. Hell, there are plenty of people out there that don't start dancing until they've had their kids and they still compete in and overs. I've already been told that I can come back whenever I'm ready.

Here's where it gets tricky...While I made it work dancing three days a week and competing twice a month...it was really exhausting. I would get home after nine, I'd be gone all day on the weekend. I would have to work once a month or more to afford my competition fees and what not. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret a minute of it. I pushed myself to places I never thought I would get, but it was hard on my body, on my relationship with my husband, just in general. This was one of the reasons why I was "not ready" to have a family because that meant slowing down.

Now that I have had to slow down,  I can see that is was A LOT. It was a lot and it was just the two of us. I feel like my relationship with Jon has improved. I think that I'm much more relaxed. I feel like I'm turning into a ball of dough, but overall...I am surprised at how I'm feeling otherwise.

I'm going to have a person relying on me in just over three months. I'm hoping that I will be able to provide him sustinence as long as I am able. It's not that I don't think my husband can handle watching my kid or my mom couldn't watch him, but is that fair to do three nights a week? I'm honestly not sure if I'm going to want to be gone that many nights a week. So I originally I thought I might do one night...but then I think about how far South Windor is and I'm not sure if I want to make that commute and come home at almost 10 o'clock at night.

I'm sure some of you guys are reading this and asking "so why don't you transfer closer?" I'm sure I probably could, but this is one of those "principal of the situation" kind of things. My TC is more than just my TC. In 4 years she has become one of my close friends. She's taught me so much, been there for me through thick and thin, and been so accommodating. It would not be the same, and she didn't do anything to make me want to leave. I would rather find something else to do near by for mommy alone time than start over somewhere new, if they'll let me compete as an adult at all...remember my old TC?

So am I retiring from Irish dance? I don't know...ask me after my boy is born I guess.

In natural Kay fashion, I've been researching and trying to find other hobbies that I find interesting and challenging that most people out grow by college. Some people think it's weird...I'm going to say that it keeps me young.

-I tried an adult ballet class early on in my pregnancy before I had my placenta previa. It kicked my butt and I wasn't the oldest! It was about 20 minutes from my house. I would have liked to keep doing it this summer, but I may ask my doctor what she thinks.

-I have considered going back to a mainstream studio. There are like 5 billion of them where there are like 10 Irish schools in CT. I found options in Torrington as well as Burlington (The towns my town touches) I don't necessarily want to do an adult class because I feel like they are watered down and my competitive nature desires more than that but I think people would hopefully be willing to work with me. I might be able to use the studio to practice Irish too and maybe meet with my TC biweekly or once a month or something.

-Gymnastics. Remember the days of old before I started dancing where I went to 12 and over "open gym?" I have never been more sore in my life. Even with conditioning and champ class, it never came close. I was able to get back a lot of my tumbling in the short while I went there and it was a big class where I was often working on my own and didn't always have a spotter. Well...I know I've alluded to it before, but one of my closet interests (except its more of an obsession than a secret) is Womens Artistic Gymnastics. I watch the competitions, I follow the athletes, I listen to podcasts, I've read biographies. I just can't get enough. There are several gyms that offer adult programs, but a few gyms even closer to home offer private lessons. This is like the one instance where I'm not sure if being in a class with a bunch of kids is a good idea, so I would see if they would let me work one on one with someone. And I don't want it to be like before where it was kind of every man for himself. I want to learn a level one beam routine. I want to lean a pullover on bars, the right way. Maybe finally be properly taught how to do a back handspring so I won't break myself like I did when I was 15. There are also opportunities to compete (cough, you bet your ass I looked it up) and if I did the xcel program, I could potentially be competing not too far down the road. Not sure if I would be allowed to do that without being on a team, but those are all questions to ask. Adult gymnasts are probably even more rare than adult Irish dancers (Jon's gonna love that. LOL) but as I always say...bring it.

Pretty much, I will be doing something to get back in shape after my kid is born and preferably in better shape than I was before I was pregnant. I have already started to doing some safe upper body workouts because regardless of ballet, dance, or gymnastics...I have no upper body strength and that needs to change. My thighs could stand to slim down a bit as well.

Am I retiring? Not sure? Do I have some sort of genetic issue where I refuse to truly adult...even with a baby coming. Sounds like it. Wouldn't want it any other way.

Kay

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Part One: Where I have been

Hello there,

It's been almost six months since my last update. 6 MONTHS! There's alot to say though most of it is not Irish dance related. The biggest part of it, though at this point I feel like it's only still a secret if you only follow me on here and not on any other form of social media is...

Image may contain: ultrasound

I am having a baby. A boy baby at that. It was a bit of a roller coaster in the beginning there, but I think I'm at the point when the ride comes back around after its all over and your heart is racing and your body is full of adrenaline. I'm 24 weeks long and due at the end of September.

I guess I should back up alot. Let's start in January...not long after I last posted. I had the weirdest thing happen to me where I was sitting at my desk while my kindergartener's were working and it was like someone was suddenly spinning me violently in my desk chair. I shut my eyes and the room still felt like it was spinning. I was convinced I was going to throw up in front of my students. It was WEIRD. But it passed and life continued as normal. I went to class, I was preping for grade exams and my double feis weekend.

The week that I was going to be dancing at Fairfield County and at Feis Na Blain Nua I never got my monthly misfortune. I tried not to be too wrapped up about it, though I've always been pretty regular. Days and Days went by, and eventually while I was away at the feis with my mom (we ended up spending an extra day in Tarrytown due to weather. It was Martin Luther King Weekend so there was no need to rush. I was kind of tired anyway so it was nice to rest) I knew something was up. When I finally got back to CT and class later that night, I decided to leave early because the anticpation was killing me...I had to know so I bought a test (actually 3...lol I wanted to make really sure) and sure enough...I was pregnant.

Honestly, I went through like the seven stages of grief, which looking back was RIDICULOUS. This post is getting real, but I knowingly and willingly went into this being like "well if it happens, it happens" knowing that I'm not getting younger (I turned THIRTY a couple of weeks ago. GOD) but I there was definetly some shock that is happened so quickly. I would not say I was in denial about it. Trust me, that's why I bought three tests...but there was guilt. So much guilt. I thought of how hard I worked, of how close I was starting to get to prelim (I can get to that in a bit) and I was upset that that plan would have to deviate. I thought about my dress not fitting. Not dancing solos at the Oireachtas. All this unfinished business that I had. It was rough for a while. Then so much stuff changed at dance and I was in the angry and bargaining phase. My TC hired another teacher (WHOM IS AMAZING and I'm so glad is on board with us. Hard to imagine life without them now) but at the time I was having issues with my own personal dance journey and then I started worrying about being forgotten and replaced. Then like...7 transfers joined my class and I didn't know any of them really (still really don't.) When all this went down I was in that part of your first trimester where your tired and gross. I was trying to go to class for a while when I was feeling up to it and had some complications afterwards so I had to stop taking Champ class all together. That was a rough patch. I think the lowest of the low was when I switched to the depression stage. There was a night I packed all my awards up. (My shelf had fallen down and we're working on decluttering the house) and I sobbed the entire time. I had a non SRL dance friend finally notice that I was MIA and I had to let my secret out. I found out I was having a boy and my mom asked me if I was happy and I cried in the middle of a resturant because I was hoping to have a little baby dancer and having a boy feels like those chances are pretty slim (and all year long I've had a douche bag student that still gives me nightmares about having a son, but I'm working through it LOL) This paragraph has become a novel, but I'm not sure where the corner came exactly, but at some point the working through it and acceptance happened. I don't know if itwas the first time that I felt him (It's weird) or when I had some scary bleeding that made me be a step away from bed rest and could have killed the both of us potentially that I realized that dance is great, but there are more important things. I know, hearing that from me is crazy.

Okay, if you are still with me after all of that, bless you and thank you. Sitting here six months pregnant is not where I expected myself, but I trust the process. I have been extremely lucky. I had NO morning sickness. None. Don't know how I got through that unscathed. I was tired, but because of those complications, I got to go home early and rest instead of stay at class till 9 and get home at almost 10 twice a week. I still got to teach dance three days a week so I wasn't cut off cold turkey and I guess I need to give myself more credit, because at my last doctors appointment, I had only gained 8 pounds. I've been able to eat most things I ate before I was pregnant. besides several weeks of pelvic rest due to Placenta Previa (The scary thing I mentioned earlier that is now gone) I have had an easy pregnancy. (Minus the peeing...that's been annoying and almost constant.) In a few weeks, I'll be done teaching for the year and then all that's left is the preparing and the waiting.

I had always been scared to get pregnant because I didn't want to lose myself. I didn't want to become fat, to have unfinished business. I still struggle with the earlier of these two issues (I hate things that show my stomach. Don't tell me I look cute. I don't want to hear it and if you touch my stomach I will cut you LOL) but the unfinished business scares me less. That will probably be the subject of another post soon. As for having a boy. I'm just happy if he's healthy and he loves me. If he wants to dance I'll be happy to show him. If he wants to play hockey like his father, I will support him. If he wants to be an NCAA gymnast (do it! get money for college babe!) I'll be happy for him too. I don't know how to explain it, but I haven't even seen him in the flesh (just sonogram pictures) and I might love him more than his father. HAHAHAHAHA. Okay, okay equal.

In other, actual Irish dance news. I did two competions very early on in my pregnancy as well as grade exams. It feels like ancient history now. I didn't place at Fairfield County, but I got a third in slip jig, and a 2nd in Hornpipe (SO CLOSE TO WINNING IT AHHH) at Feis Na Blain Nua. I also took grade exams 1,2,and 3 and passed two with distinction and one with honors. I had plans this summer to visit my brother in Seatle to take at least 4 and 5 (and I had hoped to dance in prelim) but life had other plans.

In February, I danced at Shamrock and one of my former McCardle dancemates almost front clicked me in the stomach...I didn't place which totally stinks because it was my last feis...I was supposed to do the one in Brooklyn but I was just too damn tired at the time. It was definetly not how I wanted to go out...but as I said before, life has other plans for me. My students all did great at their recital a few weeks ago and many KILLED it last weekend at one of the local competitions. I'm still ready for things to die down...I spend more time in the car than at the studio these days.

Welp, it's past my bed time so that's all for now. Look for part two soon.

Kay

Monday, December 31, 2018

Peace Out 2018

Happy New Year!

I went back to see what I did for an end of the year post last year and forgot that I never did one. This time last year, I was pretty much at rock bottom in regards to dance. I had made an appointment to start therapy (but hadn't started going), I had gotten last at the Oireachtas, and my results at competitions weren't much better. I'll be honest and even say that I wasn't very happy in other aspects of my life as well. Here I sit over 365 days later (My last post in 2017 was on December 1st), and I am stunned at how much things have changed for the better.

First of all, I am a therapy graduate. Have been for almost six months now. I hope that I will never have to go back, but I know that if I do, I will be given strategies to cope with my anxiety. Even if they are placebo ones. LOL

I am proud of my dancing. Yes, you've heard about my first places a million times now. But I really don't think I would have gotten here without picking myself back up after Oireachtas 2017, buckling down, having priorities (even though I hated only doing my least favorite dances for months), and listening to the support system around me. Yes, I had competitions where I got nothing. Yes, there are still times that I try to do what the prelim and open girls do it makes my skin crawl because it looks and feels so awkward, but I know that I can keep on improving and get better. I also really think watching my friend recently drop down and do so well is also spurring me on. You can be 29 and keep up with teens. I cannot wait to show everyone how much I love dance, and how much I want this.

Okay, okay...I know I'm getting weepy and preachy. I'll wrap this part up by saying how great a year 2018 was. It taught me perseverance and tenacity, and that hard work will pay off. Even if it takes two years. LOL

Same Feis a year apart. I would say things are going better!

I will say that I need to get my shit together in regards to a diet. I am the type of person that when they are stressed or tired, eats poorly (FAST FOOD). Despite this, I'm able to do lots of difficult Irish dance things, but I'd like to eat healthier to not make things harder for myself as I continue to add more difficult elements to my steps. Also you know, not looking like a sack of lard in my solo dress would be good. Tomorrow is like Fat Tuesday because the diet starts Wednesday and dance classes resume Thursday.

I'll give you a quick update while I've got you. I already mentioned that I'm doing Fairfield County Championships (This might be my 4th time now. Woah) and Feis Na Blian Nua (haven't been to this one since I was in advanced beginner) in a few weeks. I'm also taking exams for grades 1-3. I feel prepared with the exception of primary reel because we had to make up a step but I've still got time to make it solid. I'm also excited because I'd like to continue my upswing and get even closer to prelim. Here's hoping the confidence and hard work continue to come!

I FINALLY tweaked my reel lead to make it less uncomfortable for my spazzy brain. I'm able to do it on each foot separately, but due to lack of space I haven't had time to run the full step yet, but planning on it on Thursday. I'm not as worried about nailing this one yet, because I still really need to be focusing on slip jig, but it would be nice to finally go out there and kill it. I am also in the process of upgrading my hornpipe lead. I can do it, but it's just not solid like what I currently do so I may keep it the way it is for now. I also learned my half step and can actually do it, so hopefully they will keep senior ladies Reel/Hornpipe so I can actually put it to good use. Slip jig is coming along nicely! After being so close last time, I may use the harder second step again to see if it can push me over the edge.

I'm hoping that 2019 will be successful and everything that I am planning on it being. I hope you all had a great 2018 and that your New Year will be bright with prospect as well!

Kay

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Speaking it into Existence

Hey Everyone,

Because I had to...


I'm the type of person that always likes to be thinking about what's next in terms of crushing goals. So while I might be on a short feis vacation, I'm not resting, I'm going to work harder than ever to get ready. Now that I only have three dances to focus on I'm hoping this time of drilling and preparing (the champ girls are switching steps so I'm fine tuning mostly) will be fruitful and when I compete next month I'll be confident and looking good. I practiced my hornpipe for almost an hour over the weekend and I was able to sneak in a few slip jig drills tomorrow before I started teaching yesterday. 

I finally am starting to see the results I want, but I think it's important to continue to build my confidence. So I'm going to work on positivity, and I'm doing that by doing things to motivate me. I'm going to "speak it into existence" so to speak. So I made a chart to keep track of how many wins my fellow prizewinners in my class and I have left. (I did it for myself when I first got into Novice but I think it might be fun to have it hanging in the studio to inspire and celebrate.) I've also made myself some motivational drawings, the most motivating of all of these is the one that says "I will dance in Preliminary Championships in 2019." With how things are going, I feel confident in saying that I will be doing just that soon. :)

Have a nice night,

Kay


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

55% PRELIM

It's been over 48 hours and I still can't think a witty way to open this post. Nope. I've got nothing.

4 more firsts till Prelim. 55% there. 50% qualified for solos at the Oireachtas. I finally won a prizewinner dance. Incidentally, it as treble jig. Who would have thought after two years and change with having it stuck in novice, of getting 2nd and 3rd a ridiculous amount of times, that it would be out after its second time in prizewinner. I was so surprised I didn't even cry and you know I'm a big old sap. I'm disappointed I didn't take a picture of the board. It almost seemed like I made it up until I got my marks.

It was a pretty good day overall. I danced slip jig alone and ended up getting second so that was promising. I also got 4th in reel, but I'm feeling kind of iffy about that one because that judge placed everyone, but I'm just happy with prizewinner placements because I was feeling burnt out and kinda wanted to stay home on Sunday.

I am going to be completely honest and I know I've said it before, but adulting is hard. I have a tough class this year (they are soooooooooooooo needy) and my drama club meets until 3:30 on Tuesdays (I made this decision and things are going great, but it's just one more thing in my already overbooked life) Add teaching three days a week (granted two days are nights I have class anyway), plus working at my grocery store side job last week too, and I was running on fumes. That kind of week is not typical, but I was not looking forward to getting in the car and driving two hours both ways. Well I'm glad that I did, not only was I calm, but I had a nice time with the girls in my competition and obviously the results were worth it! I left class last week kind of in a funk, but now I'm feeling more motivated than ever. I'm actually a little sad that I'm not dancing this weekend as I'm so revved up to win again, but I know that I'll be thanking myself Sunday when I'm not on the Mass Pike again.

You all know that my end all be all goal is open champs. When I'd started this I wanted to go as far as I could, be something that people talked about. That girl that started late but did incredible things. Maybe she even went to worlds. These past almost three years in & overs and even the year before it have been a roller coaster and there was a point last year and even just a few months ago that I thought I would never see that. That my goal of being in Prelim by the time I was 30 was ridiculous and that I should just accept the fact that I'm going to only dance in grades and just be happy I got to dance out of adults at all. Sunday and Coogan proved that maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought. Sure maybe I walked away with nothing at Harvest Time and Southern CT and that sucks, but I'm more than half way qualified for prelim. I had a year where I was pretty much stuck in neutral, where I was only going to class once a week. Where I was convinced that I was not good enough. I believe that I can do it. Hopefully by my 30th birthday. But if not, I have a feeling that it will be soon after. I mean slip jig was SO CLOSE. So far my prediction of Hard shoe going first wasn't wrong though.

So things to think about going forward:

-More positive affirmation. Maybe blogging more. Maybe motivational charts. I made one for all of us on the cusp prizewinners that we are going to hang in the studio. One of my friends recently won the adult trad set group at the O and she had a poster telling her she was going to win hanging at the foot of her bed, so I may do that.
-Work on Stamina. My Hornpipe, which I will need when I crush that other 45% has kind of become messy with all the focus on treble jig.
-Let the karma flow. I try to uplift my classmates. It seems like the good vibes are finally raining back down on me.
-Keep on competing. Now that I'm not getting so nervous, I really am enjoying it more than ever.
-It's in the details. We're past running things. It's time to iron out little issues so that I stand out. Slig Jig I'm looking at you.
-Inspire my young dancers. Inspire other people in my age group. Inspire people who want to dance. Again, karma.

I'm done with competing for 2018, which feels weird. My next feis (and grade exams eek) are Martin Luther King weekend. If you will be at Feis Na Blain Nua and Fairfield County Championships come say hi!

Kay

Friday, October 19, 2018

80% Prizewinner but more importantly 45% PRELIM

So...this post was already completely drafted on Sunday night and then I had some weird internet glitch and it didn't post...or even save for that matter...so here I am trying it all over again.

Two years, two months, three weeks, and a few days since I won my Novice hornpipe at the East Durham Feis in August of 2016. I have literally been through hell in back in that time. Minor injuries, first place wins with not enough dancers to count, getting second by a point or even less, unsupportive spouses, two non-recalling showings at the Oireachtas, unfair treatment by an adjudicator due to association, collisons and wipe outs on stage, but I think the biggest obstacle I faced since winning that hornpipe that day was putting so much pressure on myself that I was a mess. I might have loved dancing but god dammit if I didn't win. I was a self destructive implosion. I might have looked calm waiting in line but I was a clammy palpitating bundle of nerves. I was truly beginning to believe that I was never going to become anything in dance. That I was wasting my money and time and that no one thought I belonged there. I went to therapy (for a variety of reasons...but partly for dance) for almost five months and I think I'm finally starting to see results.

Where I'm going with all of this is...all that struggle and hard work and what not? It finally paid off. :)

But first I'm going to leave you in suspense and recap what I've been up to since dance camp when I posted last. Sorry.

East Durham Feis

This really is my favorite feis I do all year. However, I will be honest and I always hope I'm going to have the same luck as I did in 2016 and I think I set unfair expectations for myself. I also goofed this year with the timing and we got to the feis and I checked things out as my group was going up for their slip jig and had to do that obnoxious thing I hate where I asked the stage hand if they would let me dance even though I was late. Despite that anxiety inducing experience (not to mention debuting new steps in the dance I was late for and had to dance alone in), I thought my dances went well enough. I didn't place in anything but it was the first feis of the season so I tried to walk away thinking of what went well before classes started the following week. I got sixth in all my dances in large groups so it could have been worse.
I ran to my stage, so my wig slipped back.

Constitution State Feis

I hadn't done this one since I danced in adults! It was not a great day placement wise. It was the typical song and dance where I won slip jig and got second in treble jig but there were not enough people so cue the sad trombone. It was also my last feis doing all four dances as the plan was to focus just on the ones that I needed. I didn't get anything in reel or hornpipe though I was a little rattled because I promised some of the girls in my class I would ride this ride that went upside down and I did. (Eventually twice because I am a saint or a masochist...) I also rode a roller coaster (with my wig on...but wait it gets worse) before Prizewinner so I think the fact that I even got through them is a miracle. After Frantic a second time and some water slides (In my wig...yes...I think I had a serious lack of judgment.), I ended up going to bed as soon as I got home from the feis because I felt GROSS!
Horgan has the cheesiest trophies, but now I have THREE from their competitions (2 from not dncing with enough people)

Great day with dance sisters like G.

My Prizewinner People C and E

New England Autumn Feis

My first feis just doing the two novice dances. I was the first competition of the day and had to get up super early. This was also the first feis that I took a natural stress reliever before I danced and while it didn't work as well as I thought it was going to, I still thought my steps went better than they did at the previous feis. I ended up getting fourth in both, though only slip jig got a placement because of how many girls were in it. It wasn't perfect by any means, but I was still happy overall.

Never got a ribbon before

Classes so far

I think one of the biggest things that has helped me this year is how well class has been going for me. I think this is for several reasons. 1. I'm actually attending class for myself regularly which heaven knows I'm not able to practice enough so yay. 2. I've only been doing slip jig and treble jig so we've been able to iron out the details. 3. I'm not a hot mess dancing in front of my class mates anymore. Thanks to summer camp, I feel much more accepted. I've already mentioned this but it took me almost an entire year to be able to do my old slip jig and I'm planning on doing my complete new slip jig from camp at Harvest Time next weekend. With the exception of a weird turn thing in my second step, it's pretty comfortable now too. I'm scared to know the state of my reel after not doing it for two months though...

We recently changed something in my treble jig to make things look cleaner and it's worked wonders. It was clearer, more crossed than what I had done previously. Unfortunately, my third step is not going as well. In my defense, the last two weeks have been ladders and stamina and my legs are gelatinous by my third step, but lucky for me I don't need it right now. I was reluctant to just focus on Treble Jig after camp, but I'm glad I did because...

Coogan Feis

I FINALLY WON TREBLE JIG! After getting third place something ridiculous like 30 times and second a handful of times it finally happened! I've still been working out how many Rescue Remedies (the stress reliever supplement) to take and how long before etc. I had a private lesson where I took two and felt almost too calm and I only took four (they're like cough drops) in the course of an hour or so before I danced at the New England Autumn Feis and I still felt pretty nervous. I ended up doing five this time and it hadn't really kicked in for Slip Jig. (I still thought it went better than the previous feis though. I think I'm just getting more comfortable with it) but by Treble Jig I was calm cool and collected. It also helped that many people from my school were in front of my stage cheering me on so I felt like I was dancing for them more than I saw dancing for the judge. I thought it went well enough and I was hoping for a placement. When I went to wait for results I was initially disappointed that I didn't get anything and slip jig, but decided I would wait for treble jig instead of going back to the gym. I ended up seeing my number in the top spot before the volunteer even glued it to the board. I teared up but it wasn't until "it was official" that I burst into tears. Like I'm not even kidding when I say that I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I was beginning to tell myself that I might never get to prelim and that maybe it just wasn't in the cards for me. Or maybe I'll have a baby in the near future and then come back to dance. More and more people are dropping down, etc. But I finally broke through! I proved that I could do what I thought was impossible.

Last time I won, I was at a feis with my mom which was cool. She wasn't able to come last week, but so many of my dance family was there that I got so many hugs and excited congratulations. Even better, some of their moms, who have been watching me go through this celebrated with me and told me how proud they were of me. It was a great day, and honestly I was so happy I wasn't able to sleep. LOL.


Had a thing for work after the feis so I went the natural hair route



So I have one novice dance to go, thus the 80% prizewinner title. But I'm trying to think on a much more broader scale. I really have five more wins until Prelim and since I've already got my four previous wins (Light Jig, Reel, Hornpipe, and now Treble Jig) I'm at 45% qualified for prelim. I feel like that makes this task seems much less daunting...

I will say that the work is never done. Two of those firsts are slip jig and while I feel like slip jig and I have a much more healthy relationship, I'm still predicting my hard shoe will be out first. Stranger things have happened I guess.

My stamina isn't great, but I guess that's not exactly a new problem. The bright side is that during ladders I've been doing three steps when I still only need two steps at the moment. I also find that my soft shoe stamina is better than hard shoe so that is promising for slip jig.

Now to focus on the little things so that when I'm calm while dancing that they'll have no choice but to place me. I'm certainly motivated so I hope the coming months are GREAT.

Okay, that's it for me. I feel like this might be choppy and disjointed because I've sat and worked on it four separate occasions. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Kay


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Camp Recap and the Road Ahead

Well it seems that all good things must come to an end. I've got about a week and half to go until my first day of school with students and the final camp at my dance school concluded yesterday. That being said, I'm getting into gear for the fall. This is mostly because it has been so humid this summer and I'm ready for those crisp fall days where you can where a sweatshirt and be comfy. I finally went to my classroom today and was starting to get excited about meeting all my new little beans. I'm NOT excited about getting up early but I haven't been that way since...well I remember my mother trying to wake me up in high school, so I guess never. I'm also ready because I'm feeling really pleased with my dancing and I'm ready to prove to the judges and really myself that I have what it takes.

Now don't get the wrong idea. There were times this week where I cried, where I swore, and where I growled during dance or about dance, but I left yesterday feeling really pleased with myself. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a better dancer than I was when I got there and absolutely better than this time last year. I guess the easiest thing would be to break it down by dance...

Reel: This one is probably the strongest of the four, so I feel like the work on it was much more specific. We worked on being sharper, crossed, and more pointed throughout as well as making sure that my left jump is just as high as the right. I also feel like the crossing on my hop backs has improved. I think the biggest achievement this week was not even in my reel steps but in drills. I have never been able to do a bird nicely. My shin would always hurt, I'd get maybe a few inches off the ground, my front leg was bent, etc etc. Long story short, I could actually do them! I was able to kick my butt and land without any pain or wonky landings. My front leg is still a mess, but I literally only thought I would be throwing them for shits and funsies so YAY P90X3! I'm pumped to see where I end up because I'm only half way through the program!

Slip Jig: All that swearing and growling I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it was because of slip jig. I finally learned those two steps that I was talking about in my previous entry, but had quite the week figuring out which skips or transitions where from the front leg or the back leg, which foot to start my turn on and other fun things. The good news: It's already better than my previous slip jig ever was. The bad news: I don't think it's ready for East Durham next weekend. The first step maybe, but I'm going to see how the week goes practice wise. One of my goals for the fall is to make peace with slip jig, so I'm hoping this new combo will do just that.

Treble Jig: I have all three steps to music! But I have this new stationary movement that happens three times in my new step that I consistently miss a beat on, but I usually get it when I slow it down. That being said, I'll be sticking with my usual combo next weekend, but I'm not really disappointed. We worked hard on sharpness, pointing my toes, and that section that seems to plague me has gotten more crossed (Had a nice cry earlier in the week about being frustrated with how mine does not look like everyone else's and got the whole "stop comparing yourself to others" talk. I do think it's better than when I started the step, I just want it to be as crossed and turned out as other things I do.

Hornpipe: My favorite, though probably second most confident, just because of stamina things. I had a pretty strong week with this dance. I hit many clicks (even on my left side) and we worked on pointing toes (notice a theme here) and being crossed on the moving sections. I have this push back thing that can be clickable (does that make sense?) and we worked on getting it higher too. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like this dance flows in a way that works for me. Can't wait to be Reel/Hornpipe in prelim!

This week is always though. There's the literal pain of being in dance shoes for hour or using your muscles for conditioning. I actually had my biggest injury of the week falling down the stairs at my own house because one of my ankles gave out. But it's always an emotional week as well. I often struggle with myself when I attend champ class or camp. I think I've said it before, that even though I can pretty much keep up with them, I still don't believe that I truly belong there. My friend Annabelle who's had been staying with my TC this summer reminded me that I wouldn't be at Champ camp if my TC didn't think I could handle it. That definitely helped, though I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was shaking the first day my TC wanted us to do our slip jigs to music in front of the prelim and open girls. My mental state can still be pretty fragile, but I think I'm going to keep working until it changes. I also had my first dance related blowup with Jon since like the winter so that was an extra emotional thunderstorm I wasn't prepared for. I won't get into detail, but I have to find a way to deal with those problems when they arise. Overall, now that it's Saturday and I'm looking from the other side, I'm feeling pretty good about things. I want to keep this feeling around.

Finally, I want to talk about how lucky I feel to dance for my school with all the lovely girls that I call my friends and dance sisters.  I know I'm easily old enough to be some of their mothers (honestly...all of them if I had been like 13 or 14, but I digress) but they are all so welcoming and sweet. I think I would be more willing to believe what my husband says that people say about me if they ignored or ostracized me. But they don't. They talk to me, hug me, get excited for me, and honestly, pick me up when I feel like I shouldn't be with them. Honestly, some of these girls inspire me for not only how they dance but for what they deal with in their own lives. I hope that I am able to make them feel proud of themselves too. Or at least haven them know that they have a friend and confidant in me. <3

Already missing the craziness!

My team won for the week too! I've gotten second the past two years! I'm hoping it's an omen for the season ahead! Speaking of the season ahead, I'm going to be competing all four dances the next two weekends (I've been watching gymnastics while I type this so I almost said all four events LOL) and then my TC and I decided that I'm only going to compete Slip Jig and Treble Jig until I finally win them. I cry because I love the other two, but I have made a promise to myself to get those two out of novice and learn to love them in the process. Well, at least I won't be spending all day at a feis and I'll be saving money??? Maybe Jon will be happier? I doubt it but I'm deciding to be like Elsa and just LET IT GO!
I swear I'm not that fat...it's just being next to child bodies

Okay I think that's finally it for me! Next entry should be after East Durham, this time next week!

Kay