Thursday, November 24, 2016

Goals, Not Resolutions 2.0: Discipline, Not Just Motivation

Okay, first things first I watched a video of myself doing Jockey over a year ago at the O'Shea Chaplin Feis and OH MY GOD I have improved so much since then. I would have gotten dead last if I had danced like I had in that video last weekend. That thought makes me feel even better about my first time dancing at the O and it segways nicely into today's topic of discussion.

I know today is November 24, but the end of my 2016 dance year has arrived. I know I did this last year around actual new years, but seeing as how I'm already working towards January, I figured I'd start this now.

I've had really great luck with setting small goals in my dance journey. I looked back at my original Goals, Not Resolutions post (Which you can find in the January Archive because I can't figure out how to embed just one post and not the whole month) and I'm proud to say that I've accomplished nearly all of the goals that I set out to do in 2016. Besides working on things like turn out, crossing, clicks, etc which are ongoing I said I wanted to:

-Place in Novice Dances (Done about 40 times which is crazy)
-Win a Novice dance or two and begin preparing for Prizewinner (Done x3)
-Dance 17&over for Traditional Set at the Oireachtas (No recall, but still DONE)

2016 was an incredible year! That being said, I want to continue that momentum. On Monday we dove into my Prizewinner reel because I no longer need my novice one (good times with that reel, the little girls that are becoming novices in the new year started learning it. The torch has been passed!) I am hoping in the coming weeks and months that I will continue to upgrade and learn new things and I'm looking forward to having almost two months to fix what I already have. I have heard that the dancers that win first in prizewinner are the ones who look like they are already dancing in Prelim. They have good technique and their basics are rock solid. While I believe that I'm starting to have the "look" of a higher level dancer, I would like my dancing to match. So not only do I want to set goals that have to do with placements and what not, I'd like to make a point of becoming more disciplined.

I will be honest, I feel very lucky that I've gotten so many placements with my crazy lifestyle. Maybe it's because I danced most of my life and my body remembers. Maybe it's because I'm older and I can apply corrections more quickly. I do a lot of visualization too but sometimes I get angry at myself because if I can be as successful as I am and barely practice how great could my dancing be if I were practicing as hard as other people?

I am incredibly motivated from the Oireachtas. I mean, I've been chasing these last two firsts since August, but seeing the variety of levels in my 8 person competition alone was very humbling. What if I had practiced a little bit more each day? What if I'd pursued Blackbird when we learned it last winter? Obviously it's too late for questions like that, but I do know that as much as I want to be a full prizewinner and in reality in champs, that can't happen if I am not as prepared as possible. They say motivation comes and goes or it varies and I want to be so disciplined that I get my practicing in even if it's for 15 minutes or it's somewhere random like my classroom while my students are at music or a racquetball court while my husband works out at the gym. This week has been good so far, both days (Even on a day that I had class) I practiced more than I normally do. I would like for this to continue. (Truth be told, I'm going to have Thanksgiving be my rest day. Haha) I want to make myself practice regardless of how cold it is or how tired I am because of work. If my husband won't get his crap out of what is supposed to be my practice space, I will dance in our living room. 2017 is going to make 2016 look like it was my warm up year. :)

Here's what I would like to see happen in 2017:

-Win my Novice Treble Jig and Slip Jig (Before May please!)
-Place in Prizewinner dances
-Win a dance or two so I can prepare for Prelim
-Obviously keep on working on my technique
-Staying healthy (This includes my overall health and NOT just my legs)
-Oireachtas 2017: If I qualify for solos, great. If not, I want a higher placement in Trad Set

Okay, I think most of those are obtainable. My big goal after qualifying for Prizewinner before I'm 28 is to get into Prelim before I'm 30. I'll be honest that I'd like to be younger than that (You know...because children and stuff are in my future someday) but we'll see what happens. I also think it would be HILARIOUS if I win my prizewinner dances before my Novice ones but I think the chances of that happening are slim to none. Haha

I know its early for most, but what are your goals for the coming year?



  1. Hello, Kay! I just wanted to let you know that you have been a huge inspiration for me. I am so, SO glad I stumbled across your blog! I don't think I would have gotten back into Irish dancing if I hadn't found it. I'm actually taking my second adult class tomorrow and I'm ecstatic! I never knew it was possible to even be a competing adult Irish dancer (I quit when I was 12). Now I'm more determined than ever to achieve my Irish dancing dreams - even if it is WAY more physically taxing than it used to be for me, haha. So I guess that's my resolution! I wish you luck on yours, but it already sounds like you're doing great! <3

    P.S. Keep an eye out for another adult Irish dancing blog! I might start one of my own :)

  2. Hello!

    So happy I could help you make the plunge! My life has literally never been the same since joining Irish dance. Good luck with everything!!! <3