Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My journey...

In 3 days, I have a dance competition coming up. This will be my 3rd competition as an "&over" (meaning dancing with kids instead of adults) and I am nervous.   Our school sent out the competition schedule earlier this week and I felt a wave of nerves wash over me.

Dance was one of the topics that Stacey and I discussed last night during girl's night... and for whatever reason, following our discussion, I felt even more nervous. Like, first competition nervous. I am truly not sure why. I have only one new step that I am incorporating into my solos this competition... although I haven't been able to get through both feet up to tempo. Hmmm....

In my nervous state, I have been seeking...something...and have been scouting out blogs and surfing the dance boards. For what? I wasn't sure. Then, I found this, Rince Go Bragh. Its a blog by a fellow Irish dancer who is on her way to Worlds at the end of this month. She blogs about her goals, her aches and pains, her achievements, her thoughts, etc. But, the best part about this blog? She started dancing only 3 years ago. Guess what? I started dancing 3 1/2 years ago, (albeit a bit older than her and without her gymnastics background) so I felt that our journeys are comparable. I will probably never be as good as her, nor make it Worlds, but I can set goals for myself and keep track of how I am doing, what I need to work on, etc. journey...into Irish dance

My obsession with Irish dance began when I was really young. My parents and I lived in Chicago, and (being the awesome parents they are) they took me out to many different summer festivals including one where there was Irish Dancing. I have no idea how old I was, but I just remember being fascinated by the dancing. Any of the parades we would watch (specifically St. Patty's) the dancers were my favorite part.  I always wanted to be an Irish dancer, but it was not something my parents could afford.
As I grew older, I still loved to watch the dancers and always held on to the thought in the back of my head...
After college, when I got my 2nd "real" job, I decided that now was the time. 23 years old was the year that I was going to start dancing. So I looked around on the web and learned that Denver has a LOT of Irish dance schools. I ended up choosing Bennett.  They looked to cater more towards adults, especially Adult beginners (that was me!). So, in June of 2007, I stepped into the doors of the studio and haven't looked back since.
Me, about 8 months into dancing
My first "show" was in August of that same year and my first Adult competition came in September of 2007. The Estes Park Scottish/Irish Highlands festival has a feis, Longs Peak feis, which was my first and the competition will always be my favorite to participate in. At that competition, I cried but managed to get through a 4-hand, and 8-hand my reels and my light jigs. I placed 3rd in my light jigs... and it whetted my competitive spirit. Since then, I have competed at two Oireachtas (regional competitions) with 8-hand figures, moved from Adult Beginner all the way to Adult Prizewinner and placed or won consistently. It was addictive and awesome. Every time I learned a new step or landed a new trick... I loved it even more.
during competition

stay tuned for Part 2 of my journey....

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