So this is my other post that I said I would do a few days ago. Look for another one over the weekend because I have class tonight and Friday.
I noticed recently that on my goals page 15 of my 20 goals had been completed. I felt the need to add some new ones. Some are obtainable and others are out there but it was great feeling to know that I completed so many things in just five months especially when some of that time was during the summer. I'm confident that it will be an even more successful year coming up.
This past week was the first time in a while that I've truly felt the stigma of being an "adult dancer". I know that no one is doing it to be mean, I understand that I am a total over achiever and always have been. But I'm coming to the sad conclusion that I have serious odds stacked against me. It's not like gymnastics where I had physical odds that were making things difficult, dangerous or impossible. No, I've finally had the speculative doubt of others break me down and make me crumble. I have come to the sobering Epiphany that there is no support for the adult Irish dance community in the New England region. Maybe that is too harsh, because if that were the case, there would be no competitions or classes offered for us. Okay, maybe what I should say is that people are set in there ways and believe that adults should be a fun novelty for those who didn't get to dance when they were young, but if you want to become a serious competitive dancer you shouldn't kid yourself. As you may remember I have talked to my TC multiple times about dropping down and having more competition. Well this past week several girls in my class asked if I wanted to go to split a room at the oireachtas with them. I now know two set dances and I knew that there was NO way that I would have a glimmer of a shot, but I figured it was several months away, and that it would be good experience. Unlike the Mid Atlantic or Southern Region, there is no adult category so I would have to drop down into the & over category. I had a feeling that TC was going to say I wasn't ready but I figured why the hell not. It was not a happy conversation...I had to try really hard to keep it together. :(
I love my TC, I really do. But I left on Friday realizing that it's not worth trying to convince him anymore. He's set in his ways, he's been doing this forever and I don't think I'm ever going to convince him to drop me down. He thinks it's weird, that people will know that I'm a lot older. That & over is really only meant for girls a year or two older than the cut off. When I explained to him about girls like Rince Go Bragh and Confessions of an Adult Irish Dancer he seemed surprised to hear that they had gotten where they had gotten so easily. I even dropped the bombshell that I wanted to get to Open Champs and he seemed impressed, but at the same time in the nicest way tried to tell me that I'm a bit awkward in somethings and that I'm not ready for that, especially the oireachtas this year. Again that last part was a long shot. I know I'm not ready but I thought if I got the idea in his head he would make me work until I got there. He tried to explain that he didn't want me to get a bad reputation, the girl who will do anything to get a placement and have judges not give me good scores. I know he's doing what he thinks is best and he did tell me that he thinks I'm ambitious and hard working, but add this to my parents telling me that I'm crazy for wanting to compete and that I should just be happy at class, and I had a nice good cry about the whole thing Saturday morning.
There are not many opportunities for an adult dancer in New England. You dance alone or with less than five people if they offer it at all. Or you have to travel hours for a few minutes of dancing. I understand it crazy. I understand it's expensive and that you don't get any money or anything besides glory. But I love it. I don't know how else to explain why I do it and why I want to compete. Maybe it's because I've never competed in anything before. Maybe because I want to be the best I can be. I don't know. One thing I do know, I can't move to Maryland to be in the Southern Region. That would be more impractical than asking my TC to drop me down. I suppose that I could try to find a more open minded school in CT, but even that I don't believe will help anything. My school is small and I get so much attention that I wouldn't get if I went somewhere else. I also feel like I need to feel lucky that I get to dance at all because if you remember correctly, I emailed 5 schools and only 2 replied. Same thing goes along with competing. At least I am competing at all and gaining valuable experience.
Now to try to see the positive again. Dance brings me great joy. I've gotten a lot closer to the girls and women that I dance with. I believe my stamina and fitness has improved. I dance in front of others and I'm not scared. I have the opportunity to compete in adult championships in 2015 and I plan on entering all of them so I will finally know what it feels like to not dance alone. I will love and honor all my medals and plaques whether I was alone or with 20 people. I have another feis on November 8th and I'm going to enter all the dances so that I have the short term goal of getting them ready for competition. I want to go to nations capitol this summer. I am just going to continue to work hard and be the best dancer I can be so that maybe TC will see on his own that I am determined to become the best dancer he has ever had (and he's had girls go to worlds).
As for my parents...I think they are more convinced after seeing me dance on Sunday. I'd still like to not be judged for traveling to an out of state feis but it'll take time.
Thanks for listening.