Thursday, June 21, 2012

First time for everything

Hello again!
I didn't intend for this to be only a monthly thing, but as it turns out, that's what my schedule has allowed me. This post should've come about a month ago, but I just got back from a country that blocks a ridiculous amount of websites *coughchinacough*. Anyways, my last post was about placing for the first time in prizewinner. I had another feis two weeks later, and I figured, I'll be happy if I just don't do worse. I really wanted to place in two of my dances, but hey, I wasn't going to kill anyone if it didn't happen. 
Well, there's a first time for everything, and as it turns out, I got two of those "first times" at the second feis. First, was placing in all of my dances. This has never, ever, ever happened. Ever. I was hoping to place in 2, so I was beyond excited to see this. Second, I won my hornpipe! I won my first prizewinner dance!! My school has a rule that if you have three first places, you only need a top 3 in the last dance to progress into prelims. I already had top 3 in treble jig, and I got top 3 in reel and slip jig at that feis, which means that I actually only need to win two more dances and I'm in prelims.


Holy mother of god. Just a few months ago, prelims was a distant dream. Something that might be possible some time in the future. When I started competing, I never even considered I'd get that far. And yet here I am, only two wins away. Now, I know that'll take time, and I'm not rushing it. This year has been so huge for dancing. In January I won my last novice, and by May I'm placing in everything and have won one of my prizewinners. At my school, we had end of year awards, and I got most improved dancer for my class. I can't even begin to tell my teachers how much that means to me.

Now I just have to keep dancing. Summer is killer for losing motivation. I'm working all the time, and summer school started today, which means dancing will most likely be shafted a little. Not that I don't want to practice, but my feet are never really happy when I try to dance after a 7 hour shift on my feet :( My best friend from dance normally keeps me in check, and I her, but she's out of town at the moment unfortunately. At least if I don't practice now, I know I'll have no choice when she gets back! Dance buddies are the best :)

Well, that's about all my news.  Any, and all words of motivation for summer laziness are greatly appreciated!!!

P.S. Readers: my gift to you for making it this far, a little present from China. Me with a 10 month old panda. Enjoy the inexplicable cuteness.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Hey all!
Apologies for being MIA for a while... finals happened. What can I say- being a competitive dancer/full time college student is not exactly a recipe for free time, throw in a part time waitressing job and you can see why I never sleep. 
Let's see what's new since paddy's day...well I feised this weekend! It was kind of a warm up feis, since I literally just got done with exams less than a week ago. The issue with that was that I made myself promise I would prioritize school so as to, you know, not fail out. So I started practicing for the feis... tuesday night. I had two new steps that I was trying out for the first time in competition- a slip jig lead and a 2nd treble jig step. It was also my first prizewinner slip jig competition and the first time I've competed all my dances in prizewinner so I wasn't really expecting much. That being said, the two dances I placed in were slip jig and treble jig! I guess you can tell what I've been working on :-) That was really exciting though. I rarely placed in slip jig, I think only once in novice before I won (it was my last to win) and then this was my first time dancing slip jig in prizewinner so I'm more than excited to have placed (4th). Treble jig was a shocker that I placed too. I mean, I thought I danced well but some of the girls I danced against were amazing- they were dancing like they deserved to be in prelims. I tied for 3rd with my good friend from my dance school so we were pretty thrilled about that too. This was my first time really placing in prizewinner, I placed in my draws for Oireachtas and I got pretty epic trophies too- overall not a bad weekend!
It's times like this when I remember why I kill myself- why I dance for an hour after having classes from 8-5 and a six hour shift at the restaurant. It sucks, but it pays off. Now I have two weeks of pure nothingness (a refreshing change from the constant work required in college) so plenty of time to practice and refine my dances before the next feis. I have some technical fixes which I can drill, but I also have some stylistic changes...which are tougher. Any suggestions on how to become a more graceful and elegant slip jig dancer are welcome- I am very much an aggressive reel dancer, and it's not doing my slip jig any favors! It's also not something I know how to drill...
Anyways, just thought I would share the highlights of my adventures this weekend. If you're ever wondering whether it pays off in the end, I promise, it does if you work hard enough. Keep going!