Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finding the Silver Lining

I had high hopes for McGough as it was my first feis where I would be dancing with five or more people. I wanted third or better in the grade dances and I wanted to be in the top half of the adult championship. I'm not going to lie...I had day dreams of hearing my name called last, bursting into tears of joy and shaking as they helped me put on my sash. I knew it was a long shot but I thought it would be so cool to stand on that top spot. didn't happen.

I could have been like one girl I saw yesterday who was sobbing about how something went and being rude to her mother, but that's not the right thing to do. Sure I was disappointed, but being a baby, being's not worth it. Yes, it sucks, but It was a learning experience. You learn from it and you move on. I'm also going to find the positives with you.

Let's start with the championship because that is what I am most disappointed about. In reality my perfectionism (SUCH AN UGLY HABIT!) is what was making it seem as bad as it is. I got 12 out of 14. Okay, it's not top half, I didn't get a trophy or get to stand near the podium or on it. But one of my goals with this whole thing was to not come in last either. I'm looking at my marks and my reel was so close to some of the people that were up there. My set however, was a disaster. That's another reason why as much as I'm sad, it's not really a shocker. The left foot on the first section was so jumbled and off time I had to stop for a few seconds to get back on track. I also got a comment about my rocks and once again I'm not surprised. That has been the one part of St. Pats that with practicing and class, still hasn't locked so once again...I'm not surprised. I AM disappointed in myself for having mental weakness. It was like I knew it was the weakest thing I was doing at the feis and I made myself believe it. Add nerves and really talented people and I was done. I knew the minute I got off stage that I wasn't going to be on the podium, but I still hoped for a reel miracle. Oh well. It would be interesting to see how I would have done if the rocks had been my only issue but for my first championship ever, I really shouldn't complain. The biggest silver lining: one judge put me in 11th! Thank you generous judge!

The grade competitions are a bit easier for me to swallow. There were no hard shoe grades for whatever reason so I only had reel, light jig and slip jig to worry about. They were pretty good, but not perfect. My reel was definitely better in the championship round and I had an awkward over in my slip jig step. Other than that, I was really pleased. Except for my feet cramping while I was waiting for everyone else to dance, at least. I HATE DANCING IN TIGHTS! This whole crappy rule were they want everyone over 18 to wear tights except in opens better not happen because I have blisters and soreness that I don't usually have (and I didn't really get to stretch before I danced yesterday, though I got to warm up my St. Pats a lot (grumble) but I'm getting off topic. The results were posted quickly and once again, I was not up there. I was told that the marks for grades wouldn't be available until Monday but they were already posted by the time I was having dinner with my parents. I'm still in the state of mind where I'm pleased but pissed off at the same time...

Every dance I was just below placing! Reel and Slip Jig had ties for third place so there was no fourth. I was fifth in both. In light jig I was fourth! So as much as I'm feeling down about not moving up to Novice or getting any hardware to add to my box and eventual shelf, this news definitely brought me up from my disastrous St. Patrick's Day round. Before this I was thinking that I'm not as good as I thought I was, that I practiced everyday and drove all the way to New York for nothing, but as I said, it's not worth it to be like that. Not to mention I wasn't in last place either! I was ahead of 2 or 3 people each time.

-This was my fourth Feis
-This was my second feis I wasn't dancing alone
-This was my first feis dancing with enough people for it to count
-This was my first feis doing a "championship"
-This was my second feis since having an injury that still flares up sometimes.

I have to remind myself that I've only been doing this for 14 months. 6 of those months were the summer and recovery from shin splints. 8 months of real work and I almost placed. 8 months and I didn't come in dead last. I met lovely women and men yesterday that have been at this for years longer than I have and some of them did just as well or worse, and obviously better. No one was rude or catty, it was really cool to be with so many people with a similar passion. It was a fantastic experience too if nothing else. I can now say I've danced with three people at once and I didn't hit anyone! I've also had experience with how championship rounds work. I'm proud to say that my dancing has gotten a bit more aggressive. The judge wasn't watching me during my light jig so I purposely danced in front of him and made him look. I used as much stage as I could (it was pretty big too!) I smiled when almost no one else did. I tried to be confident (Maybe not in St. Pats...but...) I even made eye contact! The judges comments were also not surprising. Besides "Timing in set, rushing in set, rocks should be picked up to back" (no duh lovely judge.). They were my typical demons: Crossing, turnout and pointing my toes when I do overs in slip jig (during the step I hate!)

I promise I'm wrapping up here! I have been working hard on a lot of those issues and they are improving. I have one more feis next weekend and Reel and Treble Jig have 5 people, the rest have less, but I still want to try to do my best. I'm also thinking change is good. To go back to basic steps that really focus on technique so that the crossing and turnout doesn't have a chance to go down the crapper. You know I have a decision to make. I will know by this week what I'm going to do.

Sometimes you have to be knocked down to stand up even stronger.


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