Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We have sock glue, can we have wig glue?

So class both managed to soothe my wracked nerves and remind me of how much I have to get done in less then three days.

First of all, my decision to NOT compete in hardshoe this time round = brilliant. It's endurance week and I tanked in treble jig and hornpipe. So, breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't over estimate my skills.

After practicing all day today, I am proud to announce that I can no somewhat successfully dance my second slip jig - on the right foot. So, I am at least 50% closer on that

The whole light jig paranoia - So I do know light jig. Like could probably do it in my sleep. But I am still wondering - how? All my other steps have a certain travel path around the stage. I am pretty sure I've never done anything other then stand there and 'cross-out' four times . . .

I also, last night, did a trial run of the whole costume, with wig. It's a pretty decent look. My butt definitly looks a little 'fluffier' then I'd like, and hopefully I can shed some water weight so the leotard doesn't look so bad. On the wig side of things, it looks great . .  now if I can just get it to stay ON my head. I'm not sure bobby pins will cut it. Is super-gluing my wig to my head a viable option?

  T-minus 83 hours folks . . .

Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't Panic

Those words are always on the home screen of my cell phone. In bright yellow letters. But nothing, nothing is going to keep me from panicking at this point. It's Monday, 8:45pm. My feis starts 8:30am on Sunday. And suddenly, an icy cold terror is washing over me. . . .I don't think I know the light jig I'm supposed to know!!!

I mean it was bad enough. Up until today the only thing I had to worry about was my most feared and challenging foe, the Slip Jig. Reel and Light jig, no problem! Couple practice run throughs, maybe some technique polishing and no worries! It was just that damned Slip Jig, my enemy of old.

But looking over step notes I nearly choke on my tongue when what the print out my teacher gave me says something completely different when it comes to the Light Jig than I know - AT ALL!!! I mean, at least I know the first slip jig step and maybe can fake my way through the second step, but this - this is pure, unadulterated PANIC!!

Do kids deal with this paranoia - cause really, this is killing me. I mean, I think kids have it easy. Their parents register them for the feis after some brief consultation with the TC maybe.And then the kid just wakes up day of arrival and sits in the car with the only thing to worry about  is whining, "are we there yet?" I, on the other hand have to worry about mapquest directions, finding parking, estimating gas usage. I can't just worry about the dancing, oh no. . . I also don't have a parent to worry about getting there on time, registering, making sure I get to the right stage at the right time, whether or not my costume looks good, or if my wig is on straight. The best I have is a beloved and beleaguered boyfriend, who won't be much help, despite his best efforts.

All I can say is that there is one perk to being an adult, and having to be my own feis mom - I get to have a TALL pint of Guinness when this is all over . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shopping List

One of my teachers on Wednsday night recommended I get new ghillies. The ones I bought in September are still breaking in and it's still kind of hard to point my toe correctly in them. It was put forward to me that if I can't curl my toes under at this point, I'll never be able to, and it might just be that they are the wrong size. This may just be. And honestly, at this point, if all it would take to make my feet look prettier would be a new pair of shoes, then it would be well worth it.

But here's the thing . . . I just had to buy a new car. Car insurance raised accordingly. Gas prices continue to do their best Plunkett & Macleane impersonation. Oh, yeah and all this is in addition to eating and having a roof over my head. Y'know. The same ol' story.

And of course, after having done hours upon hours of research into diffrent brands/makes/styles of shoes, it would of course have to be the most expensive style out there that will actually maybe help the sad little shape of my foot. I mean, I could buy a cheaper pair, but it would be really more of the same, wouldn't it?

And frankly, if The Boy finds out that there is one thing to add to my already expansive Dance related shopping list, he might have a coronary and die.

Speaking of the list, here is just a sample;

- Sock Glue - sounds so trivial, but I need some and I can think of a million other things those $10 could be used for.
- New Sports bra - I've got 2. They work ok. But one itches and the other is starting to stretch out.
- tank for under my leotard - cause I will be damned if I am going to stay zipped up in a long-sleeved turtle-neck creation of Satan in a huge crowd between dances.
- Make-up - cause I spent $50 on getting "good" make-up from Sephora, only to have it be TOTALLY not my colour. Fail Sephora, Fail.
- Number holder thinger - cause something so small really can be that important.
- Back up poodle socks - I've got my dingy old pair, my shiny new pair, but I still fear getting to the Feis and realizing that I am in fact sockless.
- Atheltic Sandals - I finally found my dream pair at target, and they are only $16. Problem is, they are $16. If I can't justify $10 for sock glue, how can I swing $16 for sandals.

and thats just the larger items. I still need all the fussy little stuff. Bobby pins, saftey pins, a new bottle of ibuprofen, maybe some elastoplasts, new filter for my water bottle. . . .

I'm thinking of setting up Charitable Trust to fund poor Irish dancers, lol . . . your donation of poodle socks will be tax deductable. . .


Friday, April 15, 2011

On surviving Saint Patrick's Month, my first wig, a class with the youngsters, and the 17 day countdown to my first Feis

So . . . been a while since I posted here. Alot has happened, both in dance and the reality I am forced to live in whilst not obsessing over all things dance related.

The month of March flew by faster then it had any right too. It's been said that, for an Irish dancer, the month of March is like trial by fire, and that you can't truely boast about being a dancer until you've survived the multiple performance, etc. Well I did. Not saying I was any good, but I survived. Here is the break down;
- Mall Food Court Performance - Skipping over the fun highway conversations en route, and circling the parking garage for 20 minutes, the performance itself was . . . interesting. I learned alot. Like I need to pin my skirt to my shorts or else it rides way up. Also, that I need to wear shorts, cause otherwise it looks like my butt is eating my leotard, but that might just be TMI. Needless to say, it is gloriously unfair. I'm sure the 8 year olds don't have these problems. The dancing itself was ok. A few basic flubs I mostly managed to cover. There was of course that one though, sliding on the slick floor and nearly wiping the entire four hand out. But hey, our audience was mall employees, disinterested lawyers and this one flock of Indian business men who seemed befuddled by our shenanigans, so really, it was ok.

-Capital Parade and Pub Show - first of all, let me just take a moment to say, whenever I am worried about getting lost or not being able to find parking, remind me to temper that with a fear of being the only person from my group there. Girls from one of the other schools kept giving me the stank eye, like I didn't belong there. Can we say awkwaaard . . .  Secondly, if it's warm and sunny and still in the little valley of apartment buildings I  live in, it most likely is sunny, warmish but with an arctic breeze running through the streets of the capital. Dance shorts and leotard with no coat is not considered ok for warmth. Despite this all, it was strangely fun. Pub show was a blast. Crowded, loud and dancing down aisles and trying not to kick beers off tables. Just the way I've always imagined dancing. Indulged in what I considered a well deserved drink with some classmates after we were done dancing. Thats one of the perks of being an adult dancer. :D After that was the long lonely haul home.

The next week there was a retirement home performance. The highlights of which were completely forgetting my second slip jig AND second reel step, actually interacting with people I don't know, and the gentleman falling asleep in his front row seat. The last performance of the month going out with a snore instead of a bang.

Next in this tale, dear readers, was yet another installation in the should I/shouldn't I in the wig saga. There was a wig for sale. It was the right colour. It was the right price. It was used (which oddly enough was something I wanted, go figure). And even though it was a full wig, it wasn't one of those terribly popular styles that looks like a poodle died on your head, or, even worse, looks like it was styled by Fran Drescher!  So, after looking at my perfect set of soft spike curlers with longing (but knowing in my heart that my hair is just not long enough yet to curl), I sent the check. I am not going to say that I am in love. I still exponentially LOVE the look of real curls. But in the end, having experimented with both sides, I have to say the benefits of wigging it are lovely. And even though I used to hate how much wig curls bounced, I now love wearing my wig and skipping up and down the hallway so I can feel it swish and bounce. Go figure.

This month, I am making up four classes I've missed over the winter. This means taking a class with the wee ones. Luckily there was a gangly teen boy so I wasn't the tallest person in the class. That actually means alot. It was amazing though. Some advice one of you, my lovely readers, gave me was put into action. When kids dance, they just do it. They don't over think it, and just so I didn't get run over, I had to do the same. Just shut the brain up and move it. There weren't five million water breaks. There wasn't as much dying for breath. There was just dance. It was kind of priceless. I'll be doing a second class again this week and I'm strangely looking forward to it. It was like their energy was contagious. I have since been trying to carry that mentally into my adult class, and it's been going pretty well. But I'm doing another make up class this week, so hopefully that will help too.

And now, having survived parking lot escapades, road trips and freezing breezes,  forgotten steps and fake curls, I am facing the biggest, scariest challenge yet. My first feis. We're at about the 2 week mark, and I don't feel nearly ready, but more on that later .. .

Trying to sum this all up barely does justice to the barely contained chaos it felt like while getting through it. Everyday I do something dance related the question breifly crosses my mind - 'what am I getting into here'. In a bad economy, I decide to pick up an incredibly expensive hobby. A girl who spent her entire life up to her early twenties not allowed to do more then five minutes of cardo at a time is now spending 1.5 hours at a time pushing every limit physically. I, every day, realize that I can't recapture my youth. I look at the kids at my school and I envy them the friendships and team spirit they are building. I didn't get to belong to anything at their age. While I can feel the achievement and fraternity of dance, its not going to be what they feel, and that has its bittersweet moments. But here's the thing, when I get to honestly say to people "I am an irish dancer", peace washes over me. When I am tapping a treble jig under my desk at work and the rhythm is coming out just right. . . .  Dancing hurts, physically. Muscles ache, knees click, ankles roll, shins are kicked. That's the cross every adult dancer has to bear. But, for me at least, it hurts my spirit not to dance. And that wins against every challenge

Sorry for the ramble. To much to say, and too little time. Til later, people,