I had toyed with the idea of secretly registering her for the feis the next day - Father's Day. Mini didn't want to dance that day, and I certainly didn't want to attend another feis unnecessarily. If Mini didn't place 1st, I wondered if I should be poised and ready to say, 'Hey, if you want to compete tomorrow and try for a first, I did register you. Your call.' I opted NOT to go that route.
It was once again a fairly large group of competitors. About 20. This competition was set up differently in order to get dancers ready for National Championships. The dancers did each dance on a separate stage. Instead of dancing for the same 3 judges for each round, they would show their stuff at three different stages. Three judges sat fixed at each stage. Confused?
Translation: I had to bop from one stage to another in order to follow my two girls as they danced each of their 3 rounds. It was exhausting. My mom showed up to cheer the girls on. I pointed out who would be dancing on which stage next and whispered words of encouragement to the girls as they lined up.
Curly got teary eyed just as she was supposed to dance her first round. This seems to be her new system. Cry a bit before dancing. Dance one round. Move on to the the next round nerve free. Then dance the next two rounds phenomenally. I miss the good ole days when Curly got excited to get on stage and raced off to do her thing without batting an eye.
Curly competes at the highest level possible. There is no advancing. The only reason she attends these feises is to get in front of judges to see what comments they might have before heading to a major competition like National Championships. No brainer.
This is the first year Curly is expected to wear makeup, so I stood there blowing on her face begging her to stop crying. 'Remember, this is what you love to do. No tears. Just go have fun!' Sigh.
Both girls danced great. I watched Mini's competition and felt that she belonged at the top. I hoped that the judges saw it that way too. Nine judges. Nine. One screwy judge wouldn't necessarily throw off the entire outcome. Right?
Curly's awards happened while Mini was on stage. I wished her luck but stuck at Mini's stage to watch her dance. Curly returned a few minutes later with a huge trophy and a sash. 2nd place. Big smiles. I felt bad that I missed her awards, but she shrugged it off. Happy to have won.
While we waited ENDLESSLY for Mini's competition to be announced, I tried to convince my mom to go home. She doesn't go to these things very often. It makes for a long day. She wanted to stick around and see Mini's results. I dug around in my food bag and gave her a few granola bars and a water bottle.
|Mini with her back turned as she|
accepts her platter
(trophy's aren't always given) and
hops up on the podium.
Trying to sell used dancing dresses acted as a distraction while we waited. I found my mom a spare folding chair. We waited longer.
At last they announced the top 10 winners in Mini's competition. It was down to first and second place. I knew that Mini danced better than the other girl who was most likely Mini's only real competition remaining. I held my breath when they announced that the other girl (not Smiley, who took 6th this time) came in 2nd place. I exhaled and began to shake when they announced Mini as the 1st place winner.
|A montage of smiles: Curly, Mini, and Nana.|
Not sure why this feis
handed out teddy bears too.
My girls aren't really into that, but when
you are handed a teddy bear on the
podium you hold it for your pictures.
That was it. At long last. Mini came in first at her last feis! She had officially advanced to Open Championship-meeting her goal. It was a day to remember. My mom was there to see it. We all wept a bit. Except for Curly, who just jumped around a ton and hugged everyone within an arm's reach. There were pictures. More hugs. More tears. More pictures. Record breaking smiles.
The judges: the 9 of them had ranked Mini first almost unanimously!