August 22, 2018


This was May and only Mini’s second weekend of competitions for the year.  Mini's results after the competitions back in early March were less than impressive.  Since then, Mini had worked hard to correct the issues those judges had pointed out.

Knowing she had qualified for National Championships and knowing that she was going to retire before high school, Mini had chosen not to race around to a million competitions on weekends in 2018.  Time to secure two first places was running out.

So, a 2nd place was definitely worth getting excited about.  So close though.  Again.

Before we left the party I looked up the competition results on my phone.  When the results were posted to the website, they included individual judges' comments and points.  Three judges adjudicated the contest.  
     Of the 27 dancers, one judge gave Mini a 1st overall.  
     Another judge gave Mini a 2nd overall.  
     The next judge gave Mini 19th place.  19th. What?

Had that judge removed his head from his ass, then he would have known that Mini did NOT deserve 19th place.  I watched every dancer.  I knew she was no where near 19th place.  Even if the suckie judge had given her a 3rd, there was a good chance that she would have landed in 1st overall.   This one guy skewed the results enough to keep Mini out of 1st.  Mind blowing.

Curly opted to hop in Coach’s car after the party.  She was headed home.  Mini and I settled into the hotel room in Milwaukee and prepared for the next morning.  Curly called my cell.  She was stuck watching basketball with her brothers.  She was not happy.  She was wishing that she had chosen to stick with us - even though that meant sitting around watching dancing competitions unable to compete because of her injury.  

The next day we woke up and repeated the routine of wig, makeup, leg tanner, and nerves.  Mini once again appeared to dominate the competition.  She danced phenomenally.  We waited an excruciating amount of time for the results to be announced.  

They started with 14th place and worked their way up.  As they announced the placements, I nodded.  These three judges (different from the day before, thankfully) seemed to have gotten the placements right this time - so far
Unclear picture of the top 14 of 28 dancers.
I think I was clutching my phone so tightly
that the camera got fogged up.
 Mini in orange.

.  I held my breath as they announced 3rd.  2nd. And at long last Mini Shenanigan, 1st place

I’m not going to lie.  There were tears.  

My sister, Marie, lives in the Milwaukee suburbs.  She was in the city for her daughter’s piano recital.  Her daughter is Mini’s age.  As much as I enjoy bolting for home after a back to back weekend feis, I agreed to meet them for a celebratory ice cream outing.  
Don't get me wrong, we've treated ourselves to ice
 cream as a consolation prize when the
 points didn't fall our way MANY TIMES
This time the ice cream tasted much sweeter!

It was a long time coming.  


Gigi said...

How awesome for her! I know you were proud.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Hooray for her!!! I'm so glad she got first!! I wonder what the heck was wrong with that other judge from Saturday????

Ernie said...

I was proud of her. Talk about perseverance! Lots of hard work. Her teacher tried to convince her not to quit because she is at the top of her game right now, but Mini is happy to go out on top.

Ernie said...

We both smiled the entire drive home from Milwaukee. Came in the house faking disappointment and then whipped out the trophy. Coach was like, 'Oh no - not again.' And then he was like, 'woo hoo!!!' We didn't let him look upset for more than a few seconds. Mini just really wanted to tell him in person. And as far as the judges go - oh the stories I could tell. I am writing a book about Irish dancing (that I hope to someday get published)- and there are several stories in there devoted to this topic. Wait until I write about what happened to us in Orlando for Nationals. Not judging related, just epic craziness. Sometimes I think a camera should follow us around.