Raise your hand if you're tired of Irish dancing? Am I the only one with my hand raised? (Maybe I should've asked who is TIRED OF HEARING about Irish dancing).
I've been at this for over 10 years, my friends. I want out. My hope was that Curly would follow Mini's example and quit as she started high school (in a year and a half, who's counting?). High school is jam-packed. Recently Curly told Mini that she still wants to dance in high school. Groan. I don't plan to make her quit. She loves it. I get that. It is just DRAINING.
Anyway, Curly did her photo shoot with Sean after her first two rounds. She was like, I didn't know where to look. Sean even showed up to watch her soft shoe round, told her she looked amazing. Very sweet. Geri reattached a fake lash that had a life of its own. We felt like we had our own staff.
|Strike a pose.|
95 girls were registered to dance. About 25 didn't show up. Typically they recall top half. They still recalled that many even though the overall number was much lower. Translation: the recall round was very generous.
Curly was one of the first dancers slotted to dance her set dance after the recall (3rd and final round, then tabulation and awards). She danced fabulous.
Because I ate off of Curly's egg plate that morning, I had initially been worried that I might start puking if Curly had a stomach bug. I had told Mini that she might have to drive home.
Mini: I will pay for a hotel room for the night before I drive home.
Fortunately, that was not an issue.
In normal times, a thousand people cram into one big room to listen to awards announced for whoever competed that day. Long-ass ceremony. I loved the new schedule. All day things moved fast. They did awards at each separate stage with one person per dancer in the room - immediately after competition ended. Hours earlier than normal times.
First they announced the top 10 dancers. Curly was thrilled to be one of the top 10. Those dancers remained in their little bubbles. Mini and I had made a list of roughly 12 dancers who we thought might make the top 10. Every dancer we picked made that list, and another dancer we thought was a possibility placed 11th.
They placed the other dancers starting at 47th place. Then they called the top 10 up to stand spread apart in front of the stage. 10th place went to a girl who we thought might get 11th or 12th. Curly's number was called next.
Curly headed up to the stage to get her award. I looked at Mini and shrugged. I really thought Curly danced more consistently than some of the girls who placed ahead of her, so I was a little surprised. Still, I knew Curly was shooting for top 10 so 9th was good. She's been top 10 for the last 5 years, which is a huge accomplishment. One year she came in 4th. Last year she was also 9th, but this year she danced better comparatively. The top 4 places were exactly as we predicted them.
When Curly came off the stage, we congratulated her and I asked her how she felt. She said she was happy, but thought she might've placed higher. A moment later she made a bee-line for her good friend who came in 4th. Curly gushed joy and excitement for her as that dancer has never made the podium (top 5).
Mary, her teacher, came over and told us that she peeked at the scores before the final round and she noticed that one judge had tanked Curly in her slip jig (best round). We were like, "HUH?"
Mini pulled up the judge scores that were now available online when we got to the car. That's when we learned just how awful this TANKING was:
There are three judges for each round. New judges rotated in for each round.
In her first round Curly earned: 9th, 11th, and 12th
Her best round, soft shoes (slip jig): 3rd, 9th, and 44th
In her set round: 2nd, 4th, and 12th
We felt the 9th in soft shoes was low, but at least it was ballpark. Her slip jig was top 5 of all the other competitors. Easy. Then there is some moron judge. Perhaps she should find a job more suitable for her. 44th? WTF?!
This represents the worst part of Irish dancing. Subjectivity. Clearly this woman is incompetent, even though I just said it is subjective there is a clear HUGE difference between her other placements and 44th. What was she looking at? Mini continued to do some research and realized that this same judge gave a dancer who didn't recall 23rd place in the slip jig. Translation: this was a dancer who didn't recall because she was in the bottom 33% of the dancers. Her soft shoe was no where near worthy of 23rd place - over 20 places ahead of Curly. Come on.
|A group of dancers from |
our school after awards.
I apologize if I sound whiny. My kid danced great. 9th place is wonderful. I just hate to see her robbed of the higher placement that I think she deserved. There are lots of layers here, like the dancer who attends our school who is a poor sport and just plain mean and bossy.
Every dance school has one of these kids, and the mom is a true nightmare. Just our luck that in our small dance school, she ends up in Curly's age group. Our school hosted a small competition in early November with just kids from our school. Dancers danced one at a time. Parents hung outside on the sidewalk. Anyway, Curly took 2nd that day (no big deal, only 8 girls) but Ms. Piece-of-Work dancer was upset with her placement so she stomped away. Congratulated no one. Typical.
Ms. Piece-of-Work placed 6th even though she didn't dance as well as Curly. I told Curly to hold her head up - she danced great and when all the other dancers looked at the results they would see that her slip jig score was just ridiculous.
Another competition in the books. Thanks for following along with my long-ass story. Irish dancing costs a pretty penny, I wonder if it will also cost me readers as this saga might have been TOO MUCH.