Monday, May 4, 2015

Updates and Things Part 1: The Lynn Feis

So I had a pretty fantastic time at the the Lynn Feis. I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite. It’s huge, the vendors were amazing and everyone was so nice! I will definitely be back next year.

I woke up insanely early to do my hair and makeup and make the trek down to Stamford. After getting really confused in the downtown area, I parked and made my way into the largest high school ever. I met up with a girl and her mom from my school and we warmed up together. Before long it was time to get dressed and head to the stages.

This was around the time that I met the two other people I was dancing with. It was so nice to not be alone! Both girls were nice and down to earth thank goodness! We talked about how long we’ve been dancing, we decided who would go in what order and explained where we move in our dances. We all went up to results together and we even hugged when it was all over. How awesome! It also made the whole thing (especially being there without my parents or husband) extra fun.

The girl in the middle used to date one of my really good friends in college. Small world!

So I’m sure you are wondering how it went. So here’s how I did with everything but my set. Since I danced it later in the day I’ll save it for later.

Reel: 2nd out of 3. Maybe it was the adrenaline or the fact that I recently upgraded my steps but it felt really good. I also travelled a lot!

Light Jig- 2nd out of 2. Not my best go. Mostly just that it felt rushed and a little out of control. Obviously its no secret that I am scared to jump and that is what light jig is all about.

Slig Jig- 3rd of 3. Honestly not surprised by this. Not only was it my first time competing with it, but the second step was pretty bad. As I said in a previous entry, I had to make up movements on the spot, and lets not even talk about the overs. I’m going to talk to my TC about possibly tweaking it for the next to competitions.

Hornpipe: 2nd out of 2. Between turnout and yet another timing issue (three strikes you're out?) I’m once again not surprised. However I am disappointed because this usually goes quite well in class and at home. Oh well, learn from it and carry on.
I almost look like I know what I'm doing...

Treble Jig: 3rd of 3. See as how I finished learning this dance maybe two weeks ago I’m happy I didn’t stop in the middle or majorly f it up.

After that, all I had left was my set and about two hours to kill until it was time to dance it. So I watched my friend to a few of her novice dances before I checked out how I did, picked up my medals and took a few pictures.

Next came the exciting and expensive part of the day. I went straight to the Rutherford booth and explained my whole “I have shoes that give me shin splints, make my technique suck (more than just because I stink at hardshoe) and I generally hate them. Please help me.” The woman was super helpful and I must have tried on three or four pairs of shoes before we found one that my foot fit into snuggly but not so much that my toes were curling. Um...I ended up buying a size four! Yes, that’s 2.5 sizes smaller than the hard shoes I currently wear and 3 sizes smaller than the first pair I ordered and returned. Holy crap. My feet look so tiny but it is going to be a rough couple of classes while I break them in. (Currently wearing them to try to get ahead of the game) I was able to go up on toe without any breaking in so I’m really excited to see how these babies are once they are perfectly supple. Maybe now my shins splints will stay away and hopefully my technique will improve (you know with lots of practicing too).
So cute and dainty!

Old shoe next to my new shoe. Is anyone surprised I had shin splints now?
I also went to a clothing vendor and bought two shirts and a pair for shorts for much much less than I paid for the shoes. At that point I decided eating lunch was more important than blingged out poodle socks so I went and did that.

I had my traditional set after lunch and I loved  watching everyone on three different stages doing them in unison. The competition before me had like twenty girls in it. Mine on the other hand had watered down to just me. One girl didn’t sign up at all and the other didn’t want to wait to dance so I won first by default. I expected to get another medal but then I was handed this bad boy when I got to the awards table.

My first trophy!

I have mixed feelings about it. The negative part of me is like “But it was just me.” and “it wasn’t that good.” But then the other part of me is screaming “HOLY CRAP I JUST EARNED MY FIRST TROPHY!” Not to mention that I did my set from start to finish at competitive speeds and I didn’t stop or confuse it with my treble jig. This result and all of my previous ones are also a reminder that while I didn’t sweep first in everything, six months ago I wasn’t dancing at all and was in so much pain that I could barely walk let alone do St. Patrick’s day or my Slip Jig. Don’t get me wrong, there is much work to be done, but I’m proud of how I did today. That first place trophy will be an inspiration to get that same trophy someday when I’m in & overs (More on that in a future post).

I’ll end like this. I’ve come a long way on my irish dance journey. I’ve come from knowing nothing to competing six dances in one day and in two months I went from rehabilitating and relearning and (somewhat) contending.

However I need to work on…

    -Fine Tuning. It’s obvious now that I know my steps and can do them to music. Now it’s time to work on little things like timing, technique, crossing and turnout. Practice sessions should no longer be running steps at feis protocol but working in chunks.

    -Travelling while dancing. I think this is how I did the best in my reel. I move more than any other dance. There were a few times that the judge was not paying much attention to me because whoever I was dancing with was doing something more interesting or moving more. So maybe I would have placed better (in light jig maybe…) if she was looking at me more. So we’ll see. Lot’s of stuff to think about.

Speaking of that, look for a post about other dance things in a day or two.

Kay

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