Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feis Gripes and Grins

This past weekend was Fall Feis.  It marked my first full feis (all 7 competition dances) since breaking my foot in May.  I was a bit nervous... especially for the soft shoe portions, but I went out there and did what I could.  I have been working really, really hard so it was really up to the judges, right?
First, the gripes - because really, lets get the complaining out of the way and focus on the good stuff - my first gripe?  At class on Thursday, I started class with a twinge of pain in my left quad. I brushed it off as not being warmed up/stretched enough, but after an hour of class... I was really uncomfortable. By the end of class? I could barely walk. What I thought was just a small muscle pull turned out to be the biggest, most long-lasting, most incredibly painful CRAMPS of my life. Holy cow... I didn't realize I could get a cramp in my quad. But I did. And it hurt. A lot. So that, combined with a fire drill at work on Friday and going down 43 flights of stairs... my leg felt like I had run a marathon. Sunday morning... it was still pretty painful. So that meant I didn't dance 100% like I wanted.
Second gripe? The front half of the stage we were on was wrinkly and unstable. Everytime someone put the slightest of weight on it, the stage bounced and clanged. Awesome when you're trying to be as light on your feet as possible.
Third gripe? Its a common one... the musician. Sigh. While he was not terrible (we've had terrible musicians before) being a fiddle player meant he wasn't really giving downbeats. Awfully hard to start dancing/counting when you have no idea where 5-6-7-8 are.  This was an issue the whole day, softshoe and hardshoe. Because of this... it meant that my timing in my hardshoes was forced or rushed since I kept anticipating where the beat was.
All good stuff to work on... right?

The good parts!! First off, I have been working really, really hard to get all my dances moved to Prizewinner. This feis was no exception! I moved my Reels up, which is awesome... since I always feel that Reels are the hardest to place in.
I see what I need to work on!
I know I need to get higher on my toes and really crank my turnout... but it feels good to finally place my Reels into Prizewinner! My slip jigs weren't bad, but I definitely didn't utilize the whole stage... and in Prizewinner, you have to. Note: work on moving my steps more!
Despite having issues with hard shoe... I felt good with my steps - movement, turnout, cross, etc. Next feis... its on!
The best part of the whole day wasn't even a dance that counted... but I love it anyway. Treble Reel Special!! Its always the last dance of the competition, and by that time all of us are tired and ready to go home. It doesn't stop us from smiling, clapping, laughing and having fun. In the end... beautiful (and red headed!) Stacey and I placed in the 13&over special. Stacey pulled in 3rd place and I got 1st!!!! I honestly didn't think I had placed, so when they called my number I had to do a double check. Congrats Stace!! I am glad we had so much fun (and thanks for taking so many pics!)
1st and 3rd! We rock!!
Having Mary back as a teacher has helped. A LOT. Not just for me, but for everyone else. Still its great when she gets just as excited about my win as I do... Love you Mary!

Mary - soon to be TC? :)
Last, but not least.... I am super duper lucky to have a awesome boyfriend who comes to the dance competitions (yes, boyfriend willingly comes!) and am super happy that Miss Heather is back in town, because she's always my rock at these things. That and she enjoys making fun of all the ugly dresses. :) All in all a good day with dance friends and family and my own little support team!

love you guys!

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