I know I've told this story many times on before, but just in case you are new, I danced throughout my childhood, just not Irish. It started off with ballet once a week, a few years later we added Jazz to my schedule and by the I was in high school I danced four days a week, I was a teaching assistant in the "baby" ballet class, I did acrobatics (and was pretty shitty at it) as well as my own ballet and jazz classes plus I was in this really cool select group that danced a combination of ballet and modern called lyrical. My favorite dance was to "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt. I loved expressing my emotion through dance. I still do. I live for a melancholy hornpipe or an energetic reel, but I'm getting off topic.
|I cropped everyone out but my cousin! I loved having her in class with me!|
|This was from "When You Believe", there were six of us. It was seriously one of the best dance moments of my life back then.|
I didn't know much about Irish Dance. I mean I knew about Riverdance, my old TC used to hold a feis where my mom taught Sunday School (This was way before I was ever his student.) I would say I got my first inkling to try in high school. Every year we would have a diversity day assembly where different cultures and ethnicities would dance, they would do a scene from the school musical, etc. This is when my old school would come in and they would dance. This was where I learned that Irish dance had two kinds of shoes. I loved it, I wanted to do it, but it wasn't offered at my current studio.
The Kay of today would have asked her ballet teacher for advice, the Kay of today would have advocated for herself, promised to make sacrifices and do what she had to do to make it work. The high school version of myself did not have the confidence I do today. While I'm proud of who I have become, I'm sad that I held myself back from a lot of opportunities. I was shy around people who weren't my friends. I was always worried about what other people thought of me (this is still true, but not nearly as bad). I didn't want to embarrass myself. I'll be honest, my childhood dance teacher was really intimidating sometimes so I was afraid to ask her questions let alone give up one of my dances to dance somewhere else. (I still wonder what she thinks when I post on Facebook about my current TC being the best dance teacher sometimes) So when my best friend and I joked about taking a dance class with four year olds, it was just that. A joke.
I think about it all the time. Where would I be right now if I hadn't been timid and afraid? Would I be an open champ? Would I have gone to majors? Would I be a TCRG right now? There are times in my journey that I'm convinced that I'm fighting the clock. I have to accomplish these goals before being a competitive dancer becomes inappropriate. (In my heart I know that this ridiculous I have met people 20 years older than me that still dance competitively. It's my head that gets the better of me sometimes, makes me think I have to accomplish everything now) I try to reason with myself, especially after reading so many stories of high school seniors who retired, or seeing how the numbers in anything 18 and over pretty much bottoms out in most regional competitons, that if I had started dance back then that I probably would have been burned out by age 26. I mean I know how much I love dance now, but with college and grad school, it would have been hard to balance everything.
I also think about how sometimes when you are older you appreciate more. I feel that way about my parents, the backstreet boys, and definitely dance. As I have said probably a hundred times and will probably say it more before you I reach my ultimate goal, this journey is for me and only for me. And While I know that I'm a lot more independent and I don't need anyone to hold my hand I know that fate plays a part of it. I don't consider myself to be overly religious but I believe that God or a higher power makes us take the paths we take, that everything happens for a reason. Who knows where I would have gone, I may have been with my old TC, I may have been competing against my current TC, who knows, maybe I would have even been one of her classmates because that was an option when I was googling. Who knows if I would have had the time to practice as much as I do now (which really in the grand scheme of things is not enough, but I'm hoping to change that.) if I had other dance classes and music commitments. As much as I am envious of those who have been dancing forever, who have been champs since they were 11, I know that this was the best time for me to have found this passion, this was the right path for me to take. Maybe I'm a late bloomer, but I will prove to everyone that it's not too late. I would love to be part of the reason that CLRG has to become like other organizations and offer under 25, under 30 and 30 & over categories at majors. I know the southern region hears me.
Okay, I think I ended this how I wanted to. I still owe everyone how I'm feeling about feis things, but it's coming, I promise!