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

Monday, August 13, 2018

#PRELIMPREP

Hey!

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer. Mine has gone by in the blink of an eye. I worked alot at my summer job but I also spent two weeks helping my TC and my lovely friend Annabelle teach our beginner and intermediate camp. Sometimes I think that my life would be easier if I just showed up for class and didn't do anything extra (especially since JB whines that I'm gone alot) but not only has it helped me dance (minus competitions) virtually for free, I feel really accomplished when I am able to teach kids how to do something. I taught a class for a main stream studio in July and even seeing them pick things up was cool. Now I have students that are competing and placing and it makes me happy.

So now we're in August. Mid August just about. My week of Champ camp starts tomorrow. The concept of me attending champ week is both exciting and a little frustrating. I'm proud that I am able to keep up with the girls that are true champs. However, it makes me sad that this doesn't seem to show in my competition level and results but I'm hoping to change that. I've entitled this entry #PRELIMPREP because that is what I am calling this fall season. I've committed to not going to the Oireachtas for Trad Set. I'll be able to focus on my core dances while others in my competition are worrying about a dance for November. I plan on being relaxed and just enjoying the fall instead of falling into the downward spiral I was in last year. If I am able to win my Reel and Hornpipe by Septemberish, than I will go for solos with the expectation that it will be for experience and nothing more, great. If not, I will continue to work and get my technique ready for Prelim. I will finally be going to class regularly. I feel like the past year was like spinning my tires in mud. While I don't think my dancing necessarily got worse, It really didn't get any better. I spent almost the entire year learning a slip jig that I probably could have done in half the time if  I had been at class consistently (and after all that we're throwing that slip jig out, but that's another story.) I also mentioned how I was going to soft shoe class this year almost primarily and only placing in hardshoe so...what I'm getting at here is how I CANNOT WAIT to be going to class twice a week for me in addition to teaching classes.

I feel like the weeks of teaching camp were really helpful to my technique. I feel like my crossing has gotten better and so has my upper body (I have literally been dancing with paper plates in between my arms and body) so I'm looking forward to seeing what this week will be like when the focus is on me and not demonstrating.

Also...I need to learn this new slip jig. I managed to get my third step of Treble Jig (Incidentally I learned this one in an afternoon, when I had been struggling with the second step for MONTHS). I actually think it's better than the 2nd step, like I may throw it into the ring at East Durham in two weeks if my TC thinks it's ready. It's really rhtymic and no clicks! On the other hand, I have like 4.5 slip jig steps and I'm not very good and/or confident with any of them for different reasons so here's hoping I'll have two steps that don't give me anxiety by the end of the week. (Ideally 2.5 because #PRELIMPREP)

Just a quck update for now. I'll probably post next weekend when I am recovering. (Seriously I have a bag full of just medical supplies for my shin splints). Wish me luck!

Kay

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Three Competitions, some Downtime, and a Game Plan

Hello there,

It's 1:37 AM which should tell you that I am on summer vacation! June was crazy but I got through it and it feels so weird to be home and not running to dance after working or waking up on Saturday to teach. I am at Big Y more but it's only a few days a week. I've been mostly doing relaxing, non dance related things like video games, writing (finally), and knitting, but I've got a few other things cooking. Let me catch you up on the end of my competitive season. I'm taking a much needed hiatus until August.

May 20th: Putnam County/The Birthday Feis

So I feel like I'm learning as I go along this journey. One of my newest lessons: Don't feis the day after your studio's dance recital. The show was great! I had to dance with one of the classes I taught because a parent decided to be super rude and not show up to the recital with her daughter for disgruntled reasons, but I had a feeling this was going to be the case so I was prepared. My baby class were super stars and all the numbers I was in went well. However, it was a long day and I was shot when it was all over. So...I'm attributing that for a mediocre day at the feis. Coincidentally, it was also on my 29th (*SOBS*) birthday so I think I was hoping for spectacular results...I ended up not placing, like not even my usual almost there experience...but oh well, lesson learned.
I looked fabulous though!

June 3rd: The Hartford Feis

Learned lesson #2: Don't compete the day after your drama club has their performance. At my job, I am contractually obligated to head an after school activity. I did drama club and my kids did Annie. They did a wonderful job, but I also stood behind the curtain for almost two hours in shitty shoes, just like the last feis, my feet were toast. The Hartford Feis is relatively local for me (I think 40 minutes) and almost all of us dance there. I didn't go last year and the year before it poured so I was excited. All my students that went out got second in something which was amazing! Me on the other hand...I did not place again. This feis is old school and they make you pay for marks the day so I don't know how close I was. I was feeling a little down. I feel like I always try to be happy for everyone else's successes and would like the karma to come back my way, but still thought I danced well despite not getting anything. I also got a ridiculous sun burn (I get one annually) and a tee shirt.

June 10th: United Irish Counties

By this point in June I was burnt out. I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to go to dance class. I just wanted to lay on the couch and sleep on my husband. Still, I had paid for this feis so I went. I didn't want to get up early so I wore my bun wig and just tried to be as relaxed as possible. All my dances were in the same room so I was able to sit on my zucca in between dances so my feet weren't sore and I thought that everything went really well. I also danced with someone much older than me in grades and that was super exciting! Keep dropping down everyone! It's great! Any who, I got a third in treble jig and got 4th in everything else so I was super happy with the progress. I would have had third in hornpipe but there was a boy in that comp (He is a very nice adorable boy, so I can't be mad at him). I decided that I was going to take a break from competing to relax and rejuvenate.

So here's what I've been up to since then:

I had two private lessons in addition the the final classes of the school year. I recently changed something in my dancing that I really hope will set me apart now. I often get comments about being up off my heels while dancing hard shoe and I just thought it was physically impossible for me to do it like my TC was asking...well, I never really tried it and when she made me do it it was clearer, I hit more of my small clicks and over all everything just sounds and looks nicer. I didn't really practice this week (again, I'm saying this was my rest week) but I'm looking forward to working on it. I've also been making sure that my clicks don't get wonky, I do something weird when I land sometimes. As for soft shoe, I keep working on crossing, especially on my hop backs and I made some really cool progress on my turns in slip jig. 

Outside of dance I'm about a week into what I guess I would call my conditioning for the summer. I've taken the plunge and started P90x3. I've been watching my husband do it for months now and I feel like my crazy life has made the fitness aspect of dance difficult. I do okay, but I'm sure trying to hold up my heavy body is not easy. I'm hoping it will make me leaner and help with my stamina though I still plan on going to the gym to run once rest week is over haha. So far it's not as awful as I thought though my push ups are pretty weak. Lots of lunges and squats, I feel it when I walk haha.

Now for the game plan for the end of summer/fall:

I help teach two weeks of dance camp at the end of July (not counting the mini workshop I'm teaching for a mainstream studio on July 18th) I have a week of camp where I'm actually a student mid August and I'm hoping to be a bit fitter and learner by then. I will still be working on all four dances, but alternating days. I have third steps to learn! I also have three competitions on the books (though not paid for yet,) starting August 4th. Finally, still not sure what's happening for Oireachtas 2018. I don't want to put unneeded pressure on myself and I rather focus on getting into prelim than learn another trad set that I would only need for a few months (I mean someday when I take grade exams and then the TCRG exam). If I get my firsts I guess I can revisit this...but I think it's really the best decision. Please remind me of this in a few months lol.

All in all, things are going well and I really hope that I'll be having fantastic results in the coming months.

Bye,

Kay

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The WEIRDEST Feis

Hey everyone,

It's almost a week later, but I went to the Lynn Feis on Sunday and had a pretty good day despite having SO MANY WEIRD THINGS HAPPEN TO ME!


First, I'm so in love with my new look. I'm not sure if I explained it in a previous entry, but I was inspired to go Burgandy after watching figure skating at the Olympics back in February. One inspiration was Tessa Virtue and her Moulin Rogue dress and the other was my girl Evgenia Medvedeva and her Anna Karenina Free Skate dress.


I was lucky enough to meet with Shauna Shiels at Inishfree and I told her "Burgandy and you can do whatever you want for the rest". I was not disapointed. Honesetly, I cried when I took it out of the box. It fits really well and is super light (it was a must!) I also took a plunge and did a new wig. It is going to take some getting used to (though it was rock solid on Sunday) but I'm a fan!

Anyway, back to this crazy day...I looked at the schedule earlier in the week and saw that I didn't have to get up super early. Somehow I got in my head that I was dancing at 11 so I took my time getting ready. I was about twenty minutes into my journey before I had this feeling that I should check again, and I saw that Novice started at 10. Needless to say, I drove a little fast, but found a great parking spot and was able to get my number and be dressed just before Slip Jig. As I was waiting in line I realized that my dress didn't have a number clip, so I used Electrical tape to secure my number and it surprisingly gave me no issues.

I finally debuted my new slip jig steps. I had been playing with them for almost a year, but they were prelim level steps so it took a LONG time for me to get comfortable. Honestly, I'm still not completely comfortable but I got dead last with my old slip jig last feis and my TC and I decided what did we have to lose? It was probably ready at Lenihan last month, but I chicken out at the last minute. I thought it went pretty well for not having time to warm up. My ankle did something weird (I think I may start wrapping them for competition) so I ended up on the wrong foot on the left of my second step, but I ended up getting sixth and not last so I'll take it as a great starting point.

Next was the pinacle of the weird things that kept on happening to me. The new dress came with these gigantic golden bloomers. I had practiced in the dress in front of my TC and I had noticed that they didn't really fit right, but I figured I'd get used to them/I'd make the best of it. Well...I had run reel and slipjig in it that day. This was treble jig. It started of great. Even dancing three at a time I was happy. Then I got to my second step and I felt the bloomers fall down. I was able to grab them before they dropped completely but I had to hold onto them and dance. Eventually, I was so off that I had to stop completely. I still came back in and finished but I was a mix between angry and laughing because did that really just happen? At this point I was convinced that Novice had been a waste but what could I do? I even texted my TC to tell her that maybe this feis was going to be for figuring out the kinks. Honestly, I was okay with it. That should be proof that my mental game is improving. The old me cried all over my TC when I messed up my Treble Jig over a year ago. The old me would have left early if things weren't going her way so I call that a victory.

After buying some new bloomers with an elastic band and meeting up with people from my school and from my prizewinner groups, I did my prizewinner dances. I tought reel went well, but it wasn't amazing. My hop backs could have been bigger and I feel like while I'm calmer dancing with other people, I still think I worry about where the other dancer is when I should be focusing on being crossed, etc. I ended up with a fourth and was just out of placing so I'm not heartbroken.

I ended the day with Hornpipe and while it was rythmic and I hit clicks, I had some flexed feet towards the end and I still have a few awkward moving things in my second step. Despite not thinking it was my best go, I got a third which was an improvement over last feis! This dance has really become my favorite and I have a feeling it may be the first to get out of grades.

I went to get my medal and was shocked when the volunteer handed me two third places. I even asked her what it was for. Shocker...it was treble jig! I thought it went so bad that I didn't even check the paper. At first I was worried that maybe my placements were mercy placements or that everyone got something but that wasn't the case so I guess the Treble jig disaster went better than I thought. The best part? I finally placed with the harder newer steps!

I left the feis feeling very happy, very motivated, and a bit confused. You see, I have pretty much only been going to softshoe class because of my teaching comprimise with Jon. You would think that my hard shoe would be suffering. I mean I drill all the time and I work with my TC on the weekends when she can meet me, but I haven't placed in softshoe since December of 2017. I know I've been learning new steps, but still. I also feel like I'm doing well overall, but it could be better. I want seconds next feis so I started to up my game with my stamina work. No more bike. I started running on the treadmill, say a prayer for my shins. Honestly, I'm thinking about Reaching New Heights Academy. It's so expensive, but I have seen other people be successful so maybe it could work for me.

Okay, it's getting late. Thanks for reading and looking forward to the next one!

Kay

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Born to Make History

I'm going to start this entry off by talking about something slightly off topic. I'm like...a year late to the rodeo, but I just finished watching YURI ON ICE and it was SO good!

Okay, so besides getting really into figure skating after this years Olympics (Evgenia Medvedeva is my favorite!), the plot really struck a chord with me. Yuri is a self destructive, older figure skater who thinks he'll never be good enough. Without giving too much away, he has a complete transformation by the end of the season and I really could relate to him (well, minus the whole secretly being in love with his coach Victor thing. Haha Super cute though!) The theme song (and lyric for today's entry title) is called History Maker and I have started listening to it (and subjecting my Saturday beginners to it when we stretch lol) Who knew an Anime could help my mental game?

Plenty report since my last post. The two months have been quiet but not unproductive. My St. Patrick's day was pretty low key this year. I only did three shows, but I did dance for the preschool-second grade at my school in my old dress which everyone gushed over haha. It went pretty good, but it is so hard to dance solo one dance after the other. Haha. My actual St. Pats performances we fairly easy, I danced in our annual parade, at a children's book store, a local restaurant, and a nursing home. I got many compliments on my dancing which was nice. 

I think one of the coolest things that has changed in the last few weeks is that I am now responsible for our satellite location. This was always the plan for next year, but long story short, I started teaching for money after Easter! Including my Saturday class, I have two beginner classes and an advanced beginner hard shoe class. That's two numbers for the recital this year! There is a part of me that thinks back to the girl that did lyrical, jazz, and ballet for ten years and wonders what she would have thought if she knew someday she'd share a dance school with someone (well not really because I pay no bills or what have you, but you get it...I teach, I give my opinion towards decisions, etc). I don't know if she'd believe me. The best part is that I'm only at the grocery store once a month and during the summer so that's GREAT.

I sold my dress! It was quite an ordeal actually, but thankfully it all worked out. I had someone commit to buying it, pay me, and I shipped it to them only to have to refund them and have it sent back later in the week. It was all for the best because one of my good feis friends ended up buying it instead. Not only does it look better on her than it ever did on me, but I'll still get to see it from time to time!

I have only done one competition since I last wrote, but I'm continuing to be happy with my progress and how things are going with my mental game. I had to dance three at a time in large groups at Lenihan. This used to rattle me, I would be so worried about not hitting anyone that I would be a bundle of nerves. No worries this time around. I just tried to be relaxed and sure of myself that I knew what to do and I was not disappointed. Just out of placing for everything except for Hornpipe. Now I know that I often talk about a judge that dislikes me through association and maybe if I looked back I would remember if I talked about a different judge, but long story short this judge likes what he likes. For two years I've gotten nothing but TURN OUT, UP OFF HEELS, or CROSS MORE from him. I think he placed me one other time when I was all novice. Well, lately he's been just placing me out but seeming to be into my dancing. At Lenihan I didn't freak out when I saw him like I used to. I just danced my best and tried to think about all the things I've been working on. HE GAVE ME 4TH OUT OF 16! I got a trophy and everything. If he placed me in a prizewinner dance that means that things are definitely improving. Anything is possible!

Before results. Back in the school dress because my old dress was hanging up for sale!
I've been working my @$$ off. I have been drilling and working on stamina and doing so much that it's my first day of spring break and I'm laying down because my feet have been hurting and I think they're telling me I need a break. Haha. Regardless, I think it's paying off and my TC seems happy. I still have a long way to go...especially with slip jig. That's back to being the roughest of the four at the moment, but it will be worth it (Prelim level steps are hard! I don't even have a half yet!) Sat down and made my game plan for the next few months. Going to try to do 9 competitions between now and September. I think the more I can work on improving and getting my mental game strong the better. As I write this I'm feeling very inspired and motivated. Ready to put my shoes on tomorrow morning! My next competition is Lynn and if you'll be there say hi! I didn't go last year because of my elbow injury!

Finally, my new dress arrived Monday! IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL I'M NOT KIDDING, I CRIED. I have been super secretive about it, mostly because I'm thinking about doing a big reveal or even having someone take artsy pictures of me in it. When I met with Shauna I had asked for it to be flattering and make me feel confident. I've only worn it in my bedroom and at class to show my TC and I can tell you that it does both. It's so light, I can't wait to wear it to Lynn. That being said, I tried the new hair piece with my bun wig today, and I'm not sure if it's because it's new or because I'm committed to a new me...but I think going to get a full wig. I mean, people cosplay all the time. Why not cosplay the princess version of myself? Haha Either way, you'll be seeing the new look on May 6th!

Okay, I think that's everything,

Kay


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Process Towards Progress

Hello,

Isn't there a quote somewhere, something along the lines of, "work hard and the results will follow?" Well, this post is going to follow that mantra.

I went to the Inishfree Feis a few weeks ago, and it was my first time since transferring that I went home empty handed. Honestly, I'm not that hung up on it so that should prove that I'm making progress mentally. I was actually very happy with how I danced, I've upgraded all my steps and the Mid Atlantic Region can be beastly, so the fact that I was 4th and 5th was very promising. The only disapointment was that both my parents came, so I was hoping it would be a movie-like victory, but oh well. My dad hadn't been to a feis since I danced in adults, so I'll take it.

As mentioned previously, I am now doing steps that I'd never imagined I be able to do. It might have taken longer than I wanted to, but I'm doing things I used to watch be done when I was an advanced beginner. There were pieces in my reel and treble jig that I begged my TC to change and I can do them now. There were days I'd flake out and go back to easier steps in my hardshoe and now I feel like I can do them no problem. I can confidently say that I am dancing better. So yes, maybe it sucks that I'm not placing where I would like, but I know eventually it's going to click and I'll be all set for prizewinner and beyond. An added bonus was I didn' get any "up off heels" comments at the feis. Now to get less comments on crossing.

My other exciting piece of news is that I'm getting a new dress and I'm almost positive that my old one is finally getting a new home. I'm still bracing myself for some fallout, but hopefully it will all work out. It's a Doire!

Bye for now,

Kay