Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dance Camp 2016

I am shocked at how quickly the week went by, but here I am, this years dance camp and Oireachtas boot camp behind me. I was sad that I didn't get to CRC this year, but I really feel like this week was just as vigorous. I was literally waddling on Tuesday and having trouble sitting down and standing up today. I've got bruised toenails that I know I'm going to inevitably lose, sore muscles pretty much everywhere, bruises all over my legs (some of which I don't think are because of my hard shoes) and a nice blister on the ball of my foot, but all those annoyances are SO worth it because I am a lock for the Oireachtas.

To be honest I wasn't too concerned about being allowed to go, I got that second back in May and I've been dancing Jockey for almost a year, but it was so nice to hear it from my TC herself. (She gave us report cards Haha) Obviously I still have to work and begin to place consistently but I am SO happy and excited that I'll be doing one of my dance bucket list items especially when my old TC told me that I would be an embarrassment if I ever went.

We did three days of Traditional Set work (Well Technically I did 2.5. I had to make a first aid run and Jockey ended up being solid enough that I could move onto other stuff today) and I am very pleased with my progress. Some of the things that used to be sloppy have been cleaned up substantially. My boxes are more balanced and I'm hitting the clicks, The middle section in the set is no longer missing any beats and I don't lose balance when I stamp and swing towards the end. I need to keep working though. When I was preparing to come off my transfer ban I would run Jockey at least three times every time I practiced and I got that first that time, I want to do that and more this time...but that is for another post.

Not only did we have two hours of soft shoe and hard shoe each day, but we had yoga twice, a dietitian came on Wednesday and the days where I was the most sore was because of a guest instructor that taught us how to sprint and do jumps that would make us stronger. I always thought I was pretty good at sprinting, but this definitely helped me run faster and hopefully jump faster. If nothing else, it made my legs stronger and gave me something to add to my workout plan. I'm really hoping it will help me with my birds someday.

My arms should look like Gabby's but look I'm sprinting!

Soft shoe started out rough in the beginning of the week. Even though we figured out what was wrong in my prizewinner reel step at my private lesson, on Monday and Friday she had all 22 of us at the same time; ages varying from 5 year old beginner to So she was literally having us step down the line one after the other and there wasn't time to stop or fix things and I was getting a little flustered. (It was also the day after a week long vacation where I really didn't think about dance too much so I blame that too) ANYWAY, It was much better on Tuesday and I'm not too upset because I don't think I will be competing it until January (I'm hoping many more of my dances will be moving to prizewinner by January too.) I spent the rest of the week on slip jig and I think it's finally growing on me. Just like my set, we worked on the little things like making sure that I move the right way, but don't swing my hips so much that it's a distraction. We also drilled that changemant part so much that I could probably do it in my sleep. I even video taped myself doing it! I'm proud to say that 9 out of 10 changes are now crossed and occasionally they all cross. I'm doing this slip jig next weekend at Catskill Mountain and I feel much more confident than when I tried it in May, got a 6th and then went back to my "old reliable" 2nd step. That being said, After I take the weekend off to rest, I will be drilling and video taping that you know what, until right before I step on stage Saturday morning.

Most of Hard shoe was devoted to traditional set, but we did have a hornpipe day and a treble jig day (plus I got a bit extra yesterday because Jockey is in good shape.) Hornpipe day was like everything else, drilling and cleaning up things. My teacher complimented me on a rhythm that I thought I wasn't doing that great, but apparently it's really clean. Who knew? I also found out that I have been doing the ending of my first step wrong since learning it back in February or March. Granted it was a very minor difference but still. That's resolved now and I'm hoping that Saturday will be a much better go than the New Haven Feis. Thursday was Treble Jig day and I'm proud to tell you that I now have my Prizewinner Treble Jig. It's still pretty rough to music, but I LOVE IT! I don't know when I became this hard shoe dancer (Seriously...I did ballet for 10 years...I only did tap in my Senior Musical and it was pretty sub par, it perplexes me...) but I literally picked it up in like 2.5 hours when I learned my reel in May and I feel like I'm just starting to not panic while I dance it to music. It's so fun though, It's got some harder rhythms and some fast trebles that I need to make looser. Also can we talk about how I barely hit a single click in my Novice one but I hit nearly all of them (minus the big clicks on my left side, just like hornpipe) in my prizewinner one? I have no idea what's going on...but I'll take it. Going to practice my current steps a lot so that I can do that fun time come January as well.

I think one of the greatest things about the week was something I didn't expect. While I'm friendly with many of the "older girls" (I'm still about 10-15 years their senior with the exception of one girl in her twenties) I was really clingy to my one friend Siobhan who is about to move into prelim in the winter so she is going to a different week of camp. This week caused me to get to know the other five girls a lot better, one especially who was always kind of quiet. By the end of the week we were hanging out the whole time, talking about swimming, (she swims laps too, much more than I do though) how we both want solo dresses, and other things. I am excited to head back to class in the fall and make these connections with all the girls stronger.
Forgot to mention that it was an Olympic theme. I had a pretty good day for awards. This was 2nd for "Most Spirit"

2nd for Sportswomen Award (Best Overall Performance)

1st for leadership! 

Well that's it for me. As I said, I finally have a feis this weekend! That feis break seemed really short. I will probably post during the week since I want to talk more about the Oireachtas and I feel like this has already become super long. Hope everyone had an amazing two weeks since I last posted!
"Positive Backstabbing" I should take a picture of what everyone wrote. It was cute!

Two of  "Team Tall" are missing but it was wide variety of skills and personalities for sure!


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