March 12, 2020

"Did you make your hotel our of popsicle sticks?"

Curly danced in a competition on Saturday, Feb 29th.  She danced great.  She did not do her nervous-Nelly freak out where she gets teary just before it is time to check in side stage.  Thank heaven for small favors.  I wonder if it helped that I threatened in advance to beat her if she pulled that.  Thankfully there was no hidden camera in my hotel room filming me for the next big reality dance mom show.  

Seriously, I begged her:  Remember, you love to dance.  Just get up there and do what you love.  Damn it.  

I was crazy ass tired.  After a week of not-great sleep we ended up in a room below people who must have exceeded the weight limit that the hotel rooms SHOULD have in place.  So while the hotel constructed of popsicle sticks was good enough not to hide cameras in my room, they subjected me to the heavy footed, bad parents above me.  

This heavy footed person (I assume the person with heavy feet also had an enormous body to go along with the feet.  I refrained from going upstairs and knocking on the door to see just how big this person was.  Were my assumptions correct?) thumped around LATE  and  apparently let kids launch themselves off of beds and throw objects (suitcases maybe?) around the room.  It sucked.

The title of this post is a direct quote that I asked the front desk when I called and begged them to do something about the noise in #315.  I did figure out how to install a noise maker on my phone because I neglected to bring the small one I own from home.  The next morning it sounded like it was raining in the car as we drove to the competition.  I had to uninstall the app because I could not figure out how to turn the damn thing off.  

I opted to sleep with my phone on so that God forbid something went wrong back home where Tank,  Mini, and Reg were home unsupervised (because you have all met Tank here, right?) and I wanted to be able to answer a dreaded:  "Mam, your kids just did . . . " phone call from officer friendly.  Leaving the volume on in my phone exasperated the situation because I got a few text messages that woke me up JUST a nanosecond after I had finally drifted off.  

Anyway, unlike when Mini was trying to advance to the open championship level and we were racing around to various competitions each weekend, Curly and I hit one or two competitions just before a big competition like say, World Championships.  Curly is already in open championship (the highest comp level), so our mission is to see what the judges think of her dancing.  Mini dances in her uncomfortable costume and gets the bugs out.  Sometimes the judges record NO comments - just like in the blogging world - 'no comments' bites.  

All three judges commented on Curly's poor execution of her 'rocks'.  An Irish dancing 'rock' is when the dancer puts one foot behind the other, keeps very straight locked legs, and then rocks back and forth with her weight while not falling out of position and without looking like she is ABOUT to fall out of position.  (next time meet me here for a tutorial on a 'birdie' - especially Kari, who likes to Irish dance to her Riverdance tape, or at least she once did.  Come on Kari - come out of retirement).  

The three judges' comments - there are also points and the judges' names included in the file.  I have taken note of these judges' names.  Shame on them - finish reading to learn why.
Curly placed 7th.  There were 20 girls in Curly's competition.  A girl in town from Atlanta tied for 9th.  There was no question that Ms. Atlanta deserved 1st.  We tend to put little focus on Curly's placement at these little competitions because the judges often mess up the results.  Saturday was exhibit A.  There are times when I think Curly should place better than another dancer, but fortunately these small comps don't mean much once you are already in the top level.  

Some of the girls at awards taking a bow.
This time Curly and I both felt Ms. Atlanta should have taken 1st.

Anyway, Ms. Atlanta happens to be African American.  Curly first met her while we were in Vancouver.  We were blown away at her athleticism and her talent.  She took 5th at Nationals and Curly took 20th.  Fairly accurate for how they danced.  

So, over the weekend when she wowed us once again we were confused by her 9th place.  I cannot help but wonder if some of the judges tanked her scores because she does not present like a typical Irish-descent type.  There are not many African Americans who Irish dance.  I hate to think that this girl was penalized for not being Irish.  There are plenty of Italian, Polish, Swedish, etc dancers but their heritage might be less obvious than that of Ms. Atlanta.  

I told Ms. Atlanta's parents that we were confused by her placement - that she deserved to place near the top, first in our estimation.  The mom thanked me, and told me, "We are used to it.

I must describe the Florida people I encountered in another post.  In a word:  unimpressed.


Busy Bee Suz said...

Wait a minute, you're not referring to THIS Florida person, are you?
I also want Kari to come out of retirement.

All in all (aside from elephants upstairs) this sounds like a more relaxed kind of competition and trip. No?
I have my phone set to silent after 11pm until 7 am aside from the obvious people. It's a setting on the Iphone,

Good lord. It's 2020. There better not be any freaking racism at Irish dancing competitions; that is heartbreaking for the talented young lady and her family and it really gets my goat!

Ernie said...

Suz - Ha! I am anxious for you to read about my encounter with some Florida peeps. No, certainly not you. They were obnoxious. This was a fairly low key competition - basically because we just want to see what the judges say. Curly danced early and then she was done. Leaving kids home alone and staying in the non-host hotel was a bit of a pain, and Curly did not like how I did her wig. It felt loose. She likes the throw away rubber bands because I cut them out of her real hair after. I will not use them again, because I think they had too much give.

I just now noticed I called Curly 'Mini' once in this post - welcome to my regular everyday self. Poor Reg, I cannot say his name unless I list off all of his 3 older brothers first. Hopeless.

If you can post a video of yourself cart wheeling, then I say Kari posts a fake Irish dancing post. We now sit and wait to see if Kari is one of those 'never-turns-down-a-challenge' types who are really fun at parties, and as bloggers!

The racism thing felt very obvious to us. One of the 3 dances the girls had to dance is meant to be done EXTREMELY light and airy. I honestly didn't watch all of the girls dance in the competition - I used to do this and take notes even. Blah. Now I watch my kid and maybe a few others, but I had a Florida contingent to deal with. I did not see all of Ms. Atlanta's 3 rounds. Judges might not like her light and airy round (called slip jig) because I suspect that she is more successful at the dances that require force and pounding (hard shoes). She is incredibly powerful, but that sometimes makes it hard to fly around the stage as if you are Tinkerbell. At any rate - the round that I did see- stupendous. There is no way she deserved 9th place. Hate to think it was race related. I have felt that my kids (or others) deserved higher placements over the years, but this was VERY blatant and hard to deny.

Kari said...

Now let me figure out where I put my black clunky shoes......
Yes, I know they aren't called that.