Pages

November 30, 2021

some background, details, and DRUM ROLL a video of the results

Refresher from last year's Oireachtas 
(regional championships of Irish dancing) . . . Competition was supposed to be 35 minutes from home, but since Illinois' covid restrictions were too tight, they bumped them to Indianapolis. So, we drove 3 hours and paid for a hotel. Our makeup and hair lady decided the day before that she wasn't going to go. Mini tried to do Curly's makeup. Epic fail. Mary, Curly's teacher, begged  people from Ireland to do her hair and makeup. Day saved. He even took pity on us and asked Curly to showcase one of his new wigs, for free. Curly puked between rounds for the first (but not the last) time ever, but went on to dance a flawless slip jig. A clueless judge, who we suspect was called to judge as a last minute sub for a judge who opted out due to covid, placed Curly 44th or something in that fabulous round, which brought her scores down really low. Poor Curly. All of her other scores were in the top ten range. She was pleased with 9th place, but we felt she'd been robbed of the podium. *sigh*

This year:  the competition WAS 35 minutes away. Hooray. I realized very recently that her age group was going to dance on Friday. Louder HOORAY. Her age always danced on Sunday and that was always a pain. Tough to recover and be ready for work/school the next day. She's older now, and the older girls dance on Friday. Saturday is for ceili teams, which our school doesn't do because we are too small. I'm good with one.less.thing. We did teams at former bigger schools, and they were fun but holy time suck. 

Not on my radar:  With all the distractions this fall, I forgot to schedule a hair/wig appointment and only set up one private dancing lesson. Normally Curly would have a weekly private for 6-8 weeks leading up to a big competition. Curly insisted that she didn't want to do any other private lessons. I reached out to the lady who had baled at the last minute last year and she said she was holding a spot for us. Curly had to be at the venue for hair and wig at 6 am on Friday. She would dance at 8 am.

More freebies:  The hair lady informed us mid-wig/makeup that she wouldn't be charging us for the appointment. She still felt bad after backing out so last minute in '00 and she said I'd given her a deposit back then to hold the spot. Plus, she told us that we are some of her favorites. What? I'm trying to think how we could've made a great impression on her when we met her a few times over the last few years at crazy early times for these 30 minute hair/wig appointments. Was it my chipper morning self? Not possible. Was it Curly's wincing when the woman stuck 50 bobby pins in her head? Doubtful. At any rate, that was a pleasant surprise. 

The lineup:  There's always a random number chosen for each of the 3 rounds. In Indianapolis and again in Arizona, she had to dance fairly early in the first round. She detests this. Feels rushed. She'd rather observe some of her competitors and then get psyched to 'kick' some butt. Friday she danced about middle of the pack. Perfect. 

Less prepared than ever:  Curly admitted that this was the least amount of prep she'd ever done, but the best she's ever danced. I tend to agree. She rolled her ankle in early September and then again in late October. She hadn't danced in proper dance shoes until a few weeks ago. She'd been wearing practice shoes, which look and feel a bit more like sneakers. Because her ankle was still weak, she had to change the 'rock' parts of all three rounds. Bummer, because that's a tough move that impresses judges, if you can pull it off (which she usually can - don't ask me how, because I'm tall too and I'd lose my balance, guaranteed). Think of a rock like standing on your tip toes with your feet tucked tight together and then shifting your weight back and forth a few times while keeping your legs perfectly straight. Falling 'out of a rock' is a no-no, points off, etc. 

Did I mention:  she danced AMAZING? WITH NO PUKING? 

The awards:  I was so happy they were finally announcing who won, that I wasn't all that nervous. They first announce the top 10 and then set them aside like good china. I'd told Curly that no matter what, she should remember that she danced amazing. I was thrilled that she made the top 10, it's a feat out of 84 girls. I admit, I really didn't want her to be 9th again though. As they announced each competitor, I was in awe. I was also in tears. It was a moment. We knew before anyone even danced that the girl that took 1st would take first again this year. Untouchable. The rest of the placements were a little more iffy, but we had our guesses. Curly beat some of the girls that we consider really hard to beat. She's simply over the moon.

I won't make you wait till tomorrow, if you want to know what place Curly took you can watch the awards clip below. The announcers begin by placing the last place (they only place the top half of the dancers and those girls perform the 3rd round before the judges decide). There were about 84 competitors, so they started at 42nd place, but this video starts when they get to the awards for the top ten. Curly is the tallest one up there, of course. Dark green dress on the far right. Blond wig. (yes, if you listen you CAN hear her real name, ack - who cares).



23 comments:

Beth Cotell said...

Congratulations to Curley!!!!!!!

Pat Birnie said...

Funny for me the suspense continues. The video I see is of her dancing....no awards? I’ll just be patient 😀

Colleen said...

Good for her!! She’s a great dancer!! But now she’s going to quit?

Ernie said...

Beth - Thanks. It was so exciting. Especially after last year.

Ernie said...

Pat - OH NO. I see the awards ceremony when I look at the video that's linked to the post. She came in 3rd place! A personal best.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Thanks. She is a dedicated dancer for sure. She understands the music so well too, which I think helps . . . when I danced I could never quite get the music figured out. I was always off time to the music in the horn pipe. She is STILL talking like she's ready to walk away from it. I will believe it when I see it. No idea what will happen once she tells her teacher. When her teacher begs her to stay, well that might make her reconsider.

Jenny in WV said...

Top 3 is awesome! Congrats to Curly!

Jenny in WV said...

Thanks for explaining the multiple dancers in yesterdays comments. I knew from previous posts there were sometimes 2-3 dancers on stage, but I (knowing nothing about Irish Dancing) assumed they all stayed close to their starting point, never going more than a few feet in any direction.

Ally Bean said...

Congrats to Curly-- and you. Such a lovely reward for all her effort over the years.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Curly! I’m glad it was a more enjoyable competition for many reasons!
-AM

Ernie said...

Jenny - Yes, 3rd is great and she was more than happy with that. You might be envisioning a team dance when the dancers perform together with partners and a choreographed routine. In solos the idea is to USE THE STAGE. Dancing close to your starting point is frowned upon.

Ernie said...

Ally - It sure is a great payoff, and like Mini said WELL IS SHE IS QUITTING, WAY TO GO OUT WITH A BANG.

Ernie said...

AM - Curly even napped between rounds a tiny bit. She brought a few of the trashy white towels left over from swim team just in case we needed to wipe anything up. She laid those down and I covered her with my coat and she actually snoozed a bit. Talk about relaxing, or just feeling worn out. It was great to get through one of these with zero tears.

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

Aww, that's so amazing!! I love watching the girls' excitement for each other on stage. Curly and you have put in so much time and effort. Now, dear friend, go take a well-deserved nap. XOXO

Gigi said...

Congrats to Curly!! And you for getting her to this point.

Ernie said...

Kari - Thanks - it really felt amazing. You are finding out about this a few days after the fact, so trust me - naps and long-ass overnight sleeps happened the next day. It was glorrrr-ious.

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thanks. I can only take responsibility for driving and paying and agreeing to order that fabulous dress. I guess that is significant though.

Charlie said...

Congratulations Curly! A well deserved place after all that hard work and effort. And way to go out on top. I wonder if in a few months you’ll start to feel a bit nostalgic about it all Ernie?!

Ernie said...

Charlie - Thanks so much. I really do think that she deserved 3rd, but as always it was a matter of which dancer the 9 judges preferred. Her scores were very consistent this year. It is a great way to go out, but she has yet to tell her teacher so I am waiting to see how that will impact her decision. I will always cherish some of the great memories, true. I will not miss the constant racing around and the nonsense that tends to go hand in hand with this sort of thing. Some of the teachers abuse their power, present teacher excluded. Wish we'd found her back in the beginning. She's been wonderful. *I did just reply to your comment from Mondays post. ;)

Cheryl said...

3rd place for Curly? Awesome! She was so thrilled! In the vid, I could see her getting more and more excited after each name was called! Congratulations to your talented daughter and to you guys for raising such a good kid!

Busy Bee Suz said...

For what it's worth, she could have taken down Annabelle! If not in dancing, but maybe in arm wrestling?
Kidding.
I'm so happy for your amazing daughter. I'm so HAPPY for her amazing Mom who literally lives for her kiddos; lot's of blood sweat and tears are put into those dancing days.
SO happy!

Ernie said...

Suz- You are cracking me up. Annabelle is a tiny, itty-bitty person and so you might be right . . . Curly could prob arm wrestle her. It's funny how Curly doesn't mind when certain people place well. Annabelle is from Ohio but Curly has gotten to know her from these competitions. She's a nice girl, gracious, friendly, etc. Curly was fine with her winning. Plus her crisp flawless footwork is undeniably above the pack. The not nice girls? Well, Curly prefers not to see them on the podium.

Well gee whiz, thanks. I try NOT to be a 'dance mom' while still being Curly's best cheerleader/support system. Just happy this time that my role didn't include wrestling the top of a garbage bin so she could puke in it.

Ernie said...

Cheryl- Thanks. 3rd place is amazing. I was so happy for her. She joked that this was the least prepared she was but the best she danced. She had less private lessons and was late to more classes because of basketball games at her school. Plus she rolled her ankle. I was also excited that Mini could be there. It's awesome that Mini gets as excited as she does. No jealousy.

She is a good kid. Thanks for noticing. ;) I've lost track of which dancers are which in the sea of girls who she has encouraged or comforted side stage when nerves or an unimpressive round upset them. Many moms have approached me to tell me how Curly has helped their kids out when they feel stressed, etc.