Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Steps, new energy

My school is new. Not like brand new, but only a few years old in it's offical CLRG-ness. As such, the TC and her assistant TCs are often rearranging steps, choreographies, ect. Phasing out "old" steps (from our pre-comission days) and putting in new stuff.

Usually, new steps mean I get more confused because out of either muscle-memory or just stupidity, I always revert to doing old steps instead of the new, even though I mentally know the new. Let me sidetrack for a sec here and clue you all into the fact that my treble reel has ALWAYS been rough. I had just started learning it before my 4-year hiatus and it was still shakey. Then I came back and the step was diffrent then how I remembered it - part of that whole "we're offical now" step changing thing.

So, while I was slowly but surely learning all my other hard shoe stuff, that one was just giving me a heck of a time. But then, a miracle happened. This week in class, my teacher decided to phase our first treble reel step into a new one. And I don't know if it's just a fresh start idea - that instead of trying to remember what I already know, I can just learn something new from the begining - or if it's just an easier variation of the step.

It left me with a good feeling after class. That maybe that goal of placing well in my competitions isn't so silly of an idea. And that spark of hope makes me want to work harder. The day after class I spent half an hour at the fitness centre at my complex. I'm staying after at work a little today to use the equipment here. If I can get my stamina up, it will help me be able to push through the form into my steps more. I feel like so often I am so worried about just getting through the step, that I slack. Or worse, I'm so winded after going through the whole first step of whatever that by halfway through the next I'm barely picking my feet up off the floor.

I want more strength too. If that 3 peice home gym weight system wasn't so damn scary and confusing looking, I'd probably use that too.

As it is, we'll see how it goes. I think any progress to that First place is good progress, even if it's small.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Class Back

Last night was my first class back after my 2 week winter break. It was also the first class in the new day/time. I wish I could say that leaving right from work and getting there half an hour early was my only problem. . ..

So, because of the day/time shift, the class has changed exponentially. Some of the girls I had hit it off with are now in a diffrent class. And then, some of the ones that I had been having a harder time finding comfortable around are still there. And then there are the "new" people. 2 of them are absolute beginners, bless them! I remember those days - when I first started I thought I would NEVER be able to do a proper Sevens. Then, it seems we've gotten an influx of Novice Dancers. Actually, as I think this was origianlly the Novice time spot, maybe us Beg/Adv.Beg's are the influx. Either way, I'm now sharing a class with 2 more Novice Dancers. Usually, I don't mind this. Since there are so few Adults, we've always had a few Nov. in with us. But for some reason, having 2 more really, reeeeallly good dancers in the class has unsettled me. It used to be that I enjoyed watching the higher levels take their turn in drills as it would give me something to aspire too. The new girls just make me feel clumsy and straw-footed. Not intentionally! At least I don't think so. I think it's just my perception.

We did alot ALOT of drills in class. Good. I need that. What is not good is the fact that the realization dawned on me that I SUCK!! I've be practicing my turn out and crossover so much, but then when I actually put it into motion, I just can't keep it perfect. My posture is never quite right, and m balance - I honestly feel like I am going to tip over! I can't launch myself high enough into the air - there is just so much I CAN'T do. I know with practice, I can fix most of this, it's just an awful lot to be facing down the barrel of and it makes me start to question if I should even be doing this - maybe I'm just not cut out to be a dancer.

I'm not that fatalistic. Everything is what you make it. Good things happend. Despite being the only tool-bag in class that could do their 1st Hornpipe step right, my TC told me what I was doing wrong. So I'm glad for that. I think what gets me, is, well (and God forgive me for saying this, cause it's going to sound catty) I'm the second worst in the class. And that's so not where I want to be. I don't want to be one of the remedial students any more.

So I guess the only option is Practice, Practice, Practice, as always. Just have to try and find where I left my patience, patience, patience. . .

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I was just a touch incapacitated yesterday, so, only a day late, I am posting my Irish Dance resolutions.
The following is a list of things I am DETERMINED to improve, achieve or accomplish.

1; Improve my turnout - I've complained about it before, and sure when you have thighs as wide as mine, it makes that whole heel to heel, straight foot, heels pressed out thing kind of difficult to do without tipping over. Being slightly top heavy also doesn't help this (oy to the veh to be young and svelt again!) but it is completely accomplishable. Solution;  I have now taken to standing around in either first or second position no matter where I am. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea New Years eve with a fair amount of Bailey's in me (read above about tipping over), but hey, practice, practice, practice . . .

2; Increase Stamina - after having been back in class for four months now, I still don't have the energy I had when I had left four years ago. This may have to do with the 15 pounds I packed on. It may have to do with my crummy diet. But this too, is easily achievable. Solution; Add a little extra cardio in my week outside of class, and eat a more well rounded diet - things I should do for reasons other then dance too, so my resolve should be doubled.

3; Get more involved in class - let's face it. I am not a social person. I love socializing, sure, but I don't really do too well with the whole new people new situation. And sure I've been spending 1.5 hours with these people once a week for 16 weeks, but I'm lucky if I even remember their names. And sure, I've started getting a little more chatty and friendly, but I've yet to really make friends. It won't kill me to ask one of the others in the class if I can't remember what foot is going back and which is kicking.  Solution; Stop being such a gosh darned quiet wall flower! For the love of God, we all know I can talk like nobodies business!

So, all the above were the warm up, now comes the biggie that is least likely to happen

4; Place in my first Feis - I'm not settling for one of those dinky little "participation award" that will just sit around and clutter up the apartment. If I'm going to have trivial little knick-knacks lying around, they better mean something! I know, this is shooting high. I know, currently, I stand little to no chance of this. But if I follow through with 1-3 of the resolutions, I might just be able to pull this off.  The thing is, I don't want to be one of those adults that is just doing this for fun. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's not for me. I am having so much fun pushing myself to be better every class. I get giddy just thinking about placing high in competitions. I have dreams about qualifying to get my own Solo dress. So, I've got to bring it at any feis I attend, I intend to attend alot. . . .

So, stay tuned to track my progess on this all.
Slainte for 2011 all!