Oireachtas 2009

Ladies 8 hand cross reel with coach Mark

Our best 8 hand yet

Leap of Faith during cross reel

Taking 2nd place at awards ceremony

Mark, far left, qualifying for Worlds in Scotland! Congrats!

Sunday, at last... This weekend of Irish dancing has worn me out completely, but has given me inspiration.

Our dance team performed the 8-hand cross reel against 5 other teams on Saturday morning. It was our best performance yet and everyone was beaming. To me it didn't matter if we placed first or last because I had so much fun. I could barely contain my happiness on stage!

The big event for the day was the dance dramas performed by several schools throughout the Western region. The dramas consisted of experienced dancers to small children, and ranged in genres from traditional Irish themes to a recreation of the movie Chicago. Our school performed two pieces, the Battle of the Birds and Seamus and the Magic Pipes. Neither placed, but they definitely won the cute factor - we were the only dance drama with small children dressed like sheep. It was great.

Much later that night, all the wigged-out, fake orange tan, tacky dress Irish dancers piled into one large ballroom for the awards ceremony. To my surprise, the ceremony opened with a huge dance party consisting of YMCA, Macarena, and the kicker, Barbie Girl by Aqua. I've never seen a sea of bouncing wigs before, but I guess there is a first for everything.

Our ladies figure ended up recalling and placing 2nd out of 5, so we were very happy, but I could tell that some of my teammates really wanted first. I understand, but I'm just not that competitive. It was a very fun day and I got a medal out of it, so life this weekend was good to me.

This afternoon our coach and friend, Mark, danced his heart out against boys half his age in the Men's 20 & O opens. I don't know the results, but the fact that he was dancing in that league was impressive enough for me, and a huge inspiration.

As of today, I am no longer an adult dancer - I have dropped down and will begin my career dancing with 20 & O ladies. I think I might have to start as a Novice, but one of the teachers said I might be able to start right away in Prizewinner (Novice, Prizewinner, Prelim, then Open). I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but it is about time I take the plunge. It will be gratifying and challenging and hopefully fun in the process.

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