August 14, 2018

Home stretch

Mini’s Irish dancing career wrapped up this summer.  She qualified at Thanksgiving to compete at National Championships that are always held 4th of July week.  July marked her first time competing in solos at Nationals.  Aside from that exciting accomplishment, she hoped to bump up to the highest level of competition before taking her final bow.  
The girls have been well-decorated, but Mini just
needed two first places to achieve her goal. 
Really the last thing we needed was a
 few more trophies to stick in their room.

Without writing a tutorial on Irish dancing levels, and how you get there, let me just say that in order to move up a level she needed to win two first places at a regular, run-of-the-mill competition.  Advancing to Open Championship from Preliminary Championship was a completely separate endeavor than dancing at Nationals.

All dancers in the same age group regardless of their level compete in one competition at National Championships.  If you do well, you might qualify for World Championships - but it wouldn’t impact your dancing level.  Most of the dancers at Nationals were already competing in Open Championships.  Mini was close to being in Open, which is why she qualified for Nationals.
Oh, look - we found more trophy storage
above the desk.  Yeah, us!

So much for skipping the tutorial.  My apologies.

Last year I entered Mini is about 17 weekend competitions.  If that sounds like a lot to an Irish dancing non-guru bystander, then let me clarify.  17 is a ton of competitions.  

Knowing what it is like to grow up in the shadow of a younger, more talented sibling, I felt for Mini.  Curly is an Irish dancing natural.  She has a gift.  Mini is Curly’s biggest fan and is genuinely thrilled for all of her success.  As the Mom of two great dancers, I wanted Mini to walk away from dancing with her head held high.  I didn’t want her to look back and feel unaccomplished.

I admit that at times I wondered if I cared more than Mini did about her Open Championship goal.  These were the times when it stung me when my former dancing sons Tank, Eddie, and Reggie liked to call me ‘dance mom!’ 

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