Saturday, August 18, 2018

Camp Recap and the Road Ahead

Well it seems that all good things must come to an end. I've got about a week and half to go until my first day of school with students and the final camp at my dance school concluded yesterday. That being said, I'm getting into gear for the fall. This is mostly because it has been so humid this summer and I'm ready for those crisp fall days where you can where a sweatshirt and be comfy. I finally went to my classroom today and was starting to get excited about meeting all my new little beans. I'm NOT excited about getting up early but I haven't been that way since...well I remember my mother trying to wake me up in high school, so I guess never. I'm also ready because I'm feeling really pleased with my dancing and I'm ready to prove to the judges and really myself that I have what it takes.

Now don't get the wrong idea. There were times this week where I cried, where I swore, and where I growled during dance or about dance, but I left yesterday feeling really pleased with myself. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am a better dancer than I was when I got there and absolutely better than this time last year. I guess the easiest thing would be to break it down by dance...

Reel: This one is probably the strongest of the four, so I feel like the work on it was much more specific. We worked on being sharper, crossed, and more pointed throughout as well as making sure that my left jump is just as high as the right. I also feel like the crossing on my hop backs has improved. I think the biggest achievement this week was not even in my reel steps but in drills. I have never been able to do a bird nicely. My shin would always hurt, I'd get maybe a few inches off the ground, my front leg was bent, etc etc. Long story short, I could actually do them! I was able to kick my butt and land without any pain or wonky landings. My front leg is still a mess, but I literally only thought I would be throwing them for shits and funsies so YAY P90X3! I'm pumped to see where I end up because I'm only half way through the program!

Slip Jig: All that swearing and growling I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it was because of slip jig. I finally learned those two steps that I was talking about in my previous entry, but had quite the week figuring out which skips or transitions where from the front leg or the back leg, which foot to start my turn on and other fun things. The good news: It's already better than my previous slip jig ever was. The bad news: I don't think it's ready for East Durham next weekend. The first step maybe, but I'm going to see how the week goes practice wise. One of my goals for the fall is to make peace with slip jig, so I'm hoping this new combo will do just that.

Treble Jig: I have all three steps to music! But I have this new stationary movement that happens three times in my new step that I consistently miss a beat on, but I usually get it when I slow it down. That being said, I'll be sticking with my usual combo next weekend, but I'm not really disappointed. We worked hard on sharpness, pointing my toes, and that section that seems to plague me has gotten more crossed (Had a nice cry earlier in the week about being frustrated with how mine does not look like everyone else's and got the whole "stop comparing yourself to others" talk. I do think it's better than when I started the step, I just want it to be as crossed and turned out as other things I do.

Hornpipe: My favorite, though probably second most confident, just because of stamina things. I had a pretty strong week with this dance. I hit many clicks (even on my left side) and we worked on pointing toes (notice a theme here) and being crossed on the moving sections. I have this push back thing that can be clickable (does that make sense?) and we worked on getting it higher too. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like this dance flows in a way that works for me. Can't wait to be Reel/Hornpipe in prelim!

This week is always though. There's the literal pain of being in dance shoes for hour or using your muscles for conditioning. I actually had my biggest injury of the week falling down the stairs at my own house because one of my ankles gave out. But it's always an emotional week as well. I often struggle with myself when I attend champ class or camp. I think I've said it before, that even though I can pretty much keep up with them, I still don't believe that I truly belong there. My friend Annabelle who's had been staying with my TC this summer reminded me that I wouldn't be at Champ camp if my TC didn't think I could handle it. That definitely helped, though I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was shaking the first day my TC wanted us to do our slip jigs to music in front of the prelim and open girls. My mental state can still be pretty fragile, but I think I'm going to keep working until it changes. I also had my first dance related blowup with Jon since like the winter so that was an extra emotional thunderstorm I wasn't prepared for. I won't get into detail, but I have to find a way to deal with those problems when they arise. Overall, now that it's Saturday and I'm looking from the other side, I'm feeling pretty good about things. I want to keep this feeling around.

Finally, I want to talk about how lucky I feel to dance for my school with all the lovely girls that I call my friends and dance sisters.  I know I'm easily old enough to be some of their mothers (honestly...all of them if I had been like 13 or 14, but I digress) but they are all so welcoming and sweet. I think I would be more willing to believe what my husband says that people say about me if they ignored or ostracized me. But they don't. They talk to me, hug me, get excited for me, and honestly, pick me up when I feel like I shouldn't be with them. Honestly, some of these girls inspire me for not only how they dance but for what they deal with in their own lives. I hope that I am able to make them feel proud of themselves too. Or at least haven them know that they have a friend and confidant in me. <3

Already missing the craziness!

My team won for the week too! I've gotten second the past two years! I'm hoping it's an omen for the season ahead! Speaking of the season ahead, I'm going to be competing all four dances the next two weekends (I've been watching gymnastics while I type this so I almost said all four events LOL) and then my TC and I decided that I'm only going to compete Slip Jig and Treble Jig until I finally win them. I cry because I love the other two, but I have made a promise to myself to get those two out of novice and learn to love them in the process. Well, at least I won't be spending all day at a feis and I'll be saving money??? Maybe Jon will be happier? I doubt it but I'm deciding to be like Elsa and just LET IT GO!
I swear I'm not that fat...it's just being next to child bodies

Okay I think that's finally it for me! Next entry should be after East Durham, this time next week!

Kay

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