Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy National Dance Day!

In America I guess? Someone had it on Instagram and I googled it. Either way, YAY DANCE!

I have a lot to update so I will split all my news into two entries, one having to do with the actual act of dancing and the other will be more of a "what's in my dance/feis bag?" sort of post because...I've made some purchases since last we spoke... *shrugs*

My entry forms for the Constitution State Feis have been mailed. Entry forms? Yes two, because as you remember from my last post, I felt that doing my hornpipe would be a mistake. So I sent the original form with light jig and reel on it off with a check without checking my email. Well, TC wanted me to to do Reel, Light Jig and Hornpipe (he said I could decide at the feis if I wanted to dance it, better than wanting to and not being able). So I emailed school hosting the feis, made sure it was okay, and sent an additional form for hornpipe. I'm supposed to be getting an email confirmation, but registration is open for five more days so I'm not worried yet. But unless I hear otherwise, I'm registered for my first competition. Holy crap. Sounds like my husband is going to try to come and my Irish dancing college friend is going to try to make it. It would be nice to have the moral support, especially for my first dash with a competitive sport ever.

Possible Second Feis in September but I'm holding off from registering just yet. One: it's in Long Island. It's not too far away, just over two hours at Hofstra University. However, I don't want to drive that far both ways for reason two and three. Two: They don't have a light jig, so I'd only be competing hornpipe and reel. Granted I'll be three weeks into class by then and might have my slip jig up to snuff, but I feel like it's a long way to go for only two dances. Three: As usual, I'm concerned I'm going to drive all that way to dance by myself. The results from last year had 1-3 dancers per dance in beginner but again, cautious. I get the feeling that TC and I may be like..."Well... &overs might be the way to go after all" if all these local feisanna are like this. We'll see.

I'm proud to say that I practiced my steps 6 out of 7 days this past week. Today and yesterday were fantastic because my in laws went away and I was able to practice on their huge deck. It's so great to have space! I've mainly been focusing on the three I will be competing, but today I did everything plus a decent warm up and stretch. I've also been tread milling and did that zumba class. I've been trying to make healthy food choices and keeping track of what I've been eating. The scale hasn't moved, but it's only been a week and I'm being optimistic. Best thing? Minimal pain in ankles. Though earlier in the week I saved light jig for last and my left ankle was rolling and giving out. The remedy seems to be wearing a support sleeve thing. It bothers my foot (circulation) after a while though, so I may just wear it during that one dance if I need it.  (Will be easier in poodles than tights...)

Finally, I videoed myself dancing today for the first time. While I'm not comfortable enough with my body image to share on here, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of good points along with plenty of room to grow. Sometimes I need to remind myself  (HUGE perfectionist) that I've only been doing this since April. I will kick ass, but it will take time. :)

Pros: Kick height is decent. Pointed toes. Crossing and turnout isn't as horrible as I thought in hornpipe. All steps are memorized and can be done to music.

Cons: Stamina in general. Hop backs and overs could be higher. Timing slightly off at the end of second hornpipe step. Turn out goes out the window on the "hop back" part of batters.

I'm most concerned about one thing right now and that is how focused I look when I'm dancing. While it is clear that I know my steps and I'm doing them in time with the music, it literally looks like I'm a robot just going through the movements. I don't look like I'm enjoying myself. I think I need to add a smile and be a bit more bouncy. I don't think the cheesy grin from my regular studio days is appropriate, but I think I need to show everyone that I love Irish dance and I'm happy to be a part of something so great. The other thing about being so focused on what's happening from the waist down is that my arms start out great, but over time they turn into orangutan arms. Definitely something to be more mindful of. I feel like I learned a lot from watching the videos so I will do it again as the feis gets closer. 36 days to tweak, fix, and polish.

Well that's it for part one, I'll write more tomorrow or Monday. There will be pictures!!!


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