December 3, 2020

the show must go on

(yesterdays post and Mondays post might help you follow along)

I forgot to mention:  10 days before the competition the powers-that-be announced that this Oireachtas (regional championship) would no longer count. In other words, come out and dance in a pandemic but it won't matter if you do great. They weren't going to use this as a qualifying round. Curly usually qualifies for World Championships at 'O'. July 4th's National Championships (so much easier to pronounce, remember Vancouver '19?) is the other qualifying round. It was cancelled. So, now I feel all:  huh?

I told Mini first. We double teamed when sharing the news with Curly. I braced for tears and emotions. Curly was bummed, but Mini chimed in with:  I THINK THIS SOUNDS SO RELAXING AND FUN. JUST DANCE. NO BIGGIE. NO PRESSURE. 

Then we laughed, because Mini was never on the path for World Champs (her personal best was 45th and we wept with joy at that placement) and even without the stress of 'WILL I QUALIFY?' - she was always a nervous WRECK.

I understand that they didn't want to count it because some kids could not travel to the competition under the circumstances and that wouldn't be fair. 

My take:  count it, and a teacher with a kid who was world qualifying material but didn't attend could use a teacher's discretion clause to register them for world champs (if the competition even happens). I know teachers like bragging rights:  I HAD 10 WOLRD QUALIFIERS, but really who would nominate a kid to dance on the world stage if they weren't ready? 

No one called to ask me how they should handle the situation. Shock.

Curly headed up to dance her hard shoe round - it's her least favorite round and it's ALWAYS the first round. Once that's over, it's usually smooth sailing. 

She danced great. Footwork was precise and technique beautiful. I would've preferred a bit more life or energy or force, but she didn't mess anything up or look totally wilted and powerless by the end. Stamina is her biggest gripe. She feels exhausted by the end of this round. 

The dance mom in me has warned her:  since she whines about stamina every year, I will make her do all three steps countless times on her off days until it is not a concern. *In class they usually dance one step at a time and then pick it apart. She HATES when they have to dance 'all three.' But 'all three' is what the judges see, so by Jove that is what she will do.*

After she danced that first round one of the teachers said she'd rank Curly in the top 5 of all the competitors in hard shoe. (not Mary, who said she loved it, but Kathy who was my dancing teacher for 8 years and who has merged schools with Mary. Kathy used to SCREAM at me because I sucked. Knowing right from left would've been great to have in my wheelhouse, but alas). 

I thought Kathy was being a bit generous, but as the mom I start to question what I even saw. At any rate, that gives you perspective. Her hard shoe round didn't suck. I figured she was closer to top 10 (and at the end when we looked at all the scores, she essentially came in 10th in that round. Looks like someone missed her calling as an Irish dancing judge).

Curly took off her dress and put her warm ups back on. She drank some water and said she thought she'd munch on some dry cereal. I told her she danced great and didn't lose stamina but could've been stronger. We were sitting watching the other dancers . . . 

Curly says:  I don't feel that good.

Me:  As in:  you aren't happy with how you danced, or you feel sick to your stomach like you might throw up.

Curly:  Not sure if I'm hungry or going to throw up. 

Me:  Oh. (staring at her with saucer eyes). Take a few deep breaths in and blow it out. You OK? Do you want to walk to the bathroom. (I feel like standing in a public bathroom worrying about puking is going to encourage puking, so we sat).

Curly:  I don't know.

Mini popped back to our chairs to say good job to Curly and I turned my saucer eyes to her and told her that Curly didn't feel well.

Curly:  Yep, I'm going to throw up.

Curly took off running in her brand-new, worn-about-an-hour bedazzled socks and I took off right behind her. The men's bathroom was on our side of the large warehouse room. Outside the door was a garbage can. With a lid. The lid had one of those openings on the side. Um, she didn't make it that far. She threw up a foot from the garbage can as I bravely wrestled the lid on the garbage can in case of more vomit.  

People, I work out. I have some biceps and I COULD NOT rip the lid off of this thing, but I must've looked graceful trying. No doubt.

I switched gears, seeing as my kid was puking her guts out on the floor and that was that. I help back the lovely, new wig, rubbed her back, assured her she'd be fine (while I wondered if she WOULD be fine/strong enough to get through the rest of the day). 

When I say warehouse, it was cement flooring with moveable walls type of convention place so no carpet to get worked up about. I was missing my stash of white towels that come in so handy at home. I called my 'in' with the stage crew and told Mini that Curly was puking in the rear of the room:  PLEASE ALERT A CLEAN UP CREW.

Glam shot. I copied Sean. If you look close you
will see that her bangs look crazy kinky. Geri
 planned to smooth it with a flat iron, but
 forgot the flat iron in the hotel. I have no
 photos of the unfortunate event,
you're welcome.

I texted Mary who came running. She wondered if Curly had eaten breakfast. Hell, yes. This was not my first rodeo. But this WAS the first time I've had a kid puke in the venue. Just when I thought we had done it all:  

1.  There was the mix-up with the White Blanket set dance - when Mary chose a very difficult dance for Curly that was not allowed based on the music. Curly had to remember a former dance, practice it for 3 minutes and get up and perform it for the judges on the spot at National Championships.

2. Both girls had fevers when we went to Orlando a few years back.

3. I left the black bag loaded with Curly's shoes and wig in the back of a cab also while in Orlando.

4. Curly caught a stomach bug Thanksgiving night last year, hours before we drove to Louisville for her to compete.

5. I once forgot to pack the boys' pants (this is WAY BACK) and it was just a small competition (feis). We were staying at my sister's house who has lots of girls, so they competed wearing their cousins' girl pants. 

6. Who can forget the missed connection on our way to Scotland? Screwing up our master plan of getting there and adjusting to the time zone.

I walked Curly to the bathroom when she was done. She was not wearing her mask because she had puke on her chin. We were not far from the bathroom and one woman gave me an eye roll. I was helping her walk, hoping that would give it away. We cleaned her up. I gave her a mint to suck on and told her to spit it out after a minute. Then I raced off to buy her more socks. 

After changing socks and spitting out the mint remnant, she had 10 minutes till she had to dance soft shoes. This is her best round. Meant to be danced light - on toes. Curly was made for this kind of dance. She is a super star at slip jig. I told her she'd be even lighter since she had nothing inside of her anymore. 

She brought it. Made her mother tear up. It was flawless. Light and airy. Mini and I squealed when she was done. Curly was beaming behind her mask when she came off stage. 

She had one more round to do, a few hours later. She managed to eat a bit and drink some gatorade. Her 3rd round also looked great. Nothing compared to her slip jig/soft shoes. A few girls may have done better, but she was one of the top. 

Before we drove home,
I studied the handiwork
under the wig so
 I might grasp
 how the experts put it on.

We decided that she wasn't actually ill. She must've just been nervous. They keep garbage cans side stage because there is always a dancer who pukes before, during, or just after she dances. One girl did that as she was walking off stage about 15 minutes before Curly danced her first round. Curly was like "Oh, no!" because of course she knew the girl. 

I told Curly, who felt like people were watching her vomit, that everyone was focused on the front of the room. Hardly anyone saw. If a dancer starts gagging while on stage, the judges are always motioning for her to run off stage in a DON'T-BE-A-HERO kind of way. 

Coach later said that after I texted to say that Curly puked, he assumed we were packing up and driving home. Hello! Unless she fell and was bleeding profusely from her head, nothing would stop her from competing. The show much go on!

Tomorrow:  the results and Curly's photo shoot with Sean.


Kari said...

Poor thing. She is so strong. I don't know how she was able to go on after throwing up. But I guess we can convince ourselves to power through if we love what we do.
I can't wait to hear how she did!

Beth Cotell said...

Poor thing! The only thing worse than vomiting is doing it in public! Can't wait to hear how she did.

Ernie said...

Kari - I know that I wouldn't have been able to do it. Hello, weak knees? Shaky legs. Am I the only one that feels like that after losing my lunch? It's always something.

Ernie said...

Beth - You are so right. Throwing up in public just makes the whole awful situation worse. After all that hard work, I was just dumbfounded as in: please don't let this derail her.

Bibliomama said...

Wow, that is a fairly heroic recovery. The wig is very pretty - I've never seen a non-curly one before. I also really like the girl pants and remembering an old dance stories.

Ernie said...

Ali - I agree. That seemed tough to come back from. While I have seen plenty of pukers on stage or side stage, I have never known any of them well enough to say - "So, did you feel like you could dance again?" Unchartered territory.

Ed's cousin competed against him. She got 2nd and he 3rd. Afterwards I told him, it looks like she beat the pants off of you AND it's funny because you're wearing HER PANTS! If I was a man, that would've counted as a funny dad joke, but as the mom - I was stared at like I was the worst.

Suz said...

She is an effing rockstar!! And you are the best kind of stage mom; cheering them on, but also being a realist about their performances. ( I was the same way-not delusional at all!)

I don't know that I can puke up my guts and then do ANYTHING much less dance the jig. Or jib. Or even the bump. :)
That wig is pretty awesome and I hope you can replicate that; goodness it looks like a lot of work!

Thanks for the giggles today!

Ernie said...

Suz - I need a day if I have been sick. Like A DAY - before I function let alone get up and dance. I guess we credit adrenaline and dang fierceness. See why this was such a long story? It can never just be simple. Yeah, I am not one to sugarcoat.

This year since it was livestreamed, people at home could video from the screen and she can re-watch. Otherwise, there is no videoing allowed because morons could steal your school's steps. So annoying.

The wig is pretty. They are always changing - used to be crazy curly. Now they are more bouffant. I will be able to get it on her head, but the professionals do it without hurting her. And they're fast. I will continue to hire out for big competitions- might even stick with our buddies Sean and Geri since we have a history there.