December 1, 2021

a favorite dancing teacher and the retirement question

If you are asking if we are still talking about dancing, the answer is YES, but I think you will find these details interesting. Other topics to be covered soon. Promise.  

I snagged this from yesterday's post so that it didn't reveal the winner unless you watched the video (mean, I know), but if you still haven't watched the clip - then here is my line about her placement:  After they'd placed so many of the girls, Curly was still standing there. Counted in the top three.  A dream for my kid.

Her teacher:  We danced for two other schools before we landed with Mary, Curly's current teacher who just so happens to be crazy about my kid. Curly can dance, but more importantly she does what she's told, works hard, is nice to all the other girls REGARDLESS of how they treat her, doesn't whine and complain, and shares a great sense of humor with Mary. They have inside jokes and are super tight and lovey towards one another. 

The other schools we danced for were run by A) greedy sisters who were rude followed by B) certifiable sick and twisted sisters. Remember, I'm writing an Irish dance tell-all book but I'm focused on finishing my memoir first. Well, while Mini and I whiled away the HOURS after Curly danced until awards were finally announced, we chatted about some of the crap that those former teachers used to pull. Friends, get excited because this tell-all book is going to be as entertaining as watching drunk people try to walk in a parade on St. Paddy's day. There were many details Mini was unaware of and we pulled up email exchanges on my phone with the nut-job teachers from 2015 that had her howling. My blood started boiling reliving it all while we sat and grew old and weary awaiting results that started over 2 hours later than they were supposed to. 

Mary was running the event. As a perk, she got a practice room for her school. She'd told her students if they found other schools in there, they had her blessing to kick them out. Curly had NO PROBLEM following orders. Atta girl. She went up to our school's private practice room between rounds and discovered that our former school was running a practice in MARY'S ROOM. 

Curly:  I'm sorry, but if you aren't from XYZ school, you need to leave.

They scurried out. A bit later, I asked her to show me the room. I needed to get prone and do my physical therapy exercises for my broken butt. The SAME school had snuck back into the space and Curly promptly ordered them out. So proud. 

The splits:  Not sure of the formula they use, but when there are over 100 competitors, they split the group in half. Supposedly they do it in such a way to keep the splits fairly even in what we consider the 'heavy hitters'. Whatever they do, it isn't right. They just started this practice maybe in 2018 or so. They claim to take the dancers who place in the top 20 or so and split them evenly, but that's not what happens. Every time there is a harder split and an easier one. 

On Friday, Curly landed in the split with about 10 heavy hitters. We've been at this long enough, we know who is tough competition. Additionally there are always the girls that pop up that we've never seen and yet, they blow everyone's socks off. 

The other split this year included 4 heavy hitters. That's the split that Ms. Piece-of-Work was in this year, of course. Remember? She's Curly's classmate whose mother I yelled at:  YOU CAN WAIT IN YOUR CAR LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. The girl is a pill. If she isn't happy with her placement, she won't congratulate anyone else. I was honestly just thrilled that she'd be in at a different stage so we could enjoy some space. Anyway, she took 3rd in her split and Curly took 3rd in hers. 

Retirement? Curly had recently shown more interest in her basketball commitments than dancing. She played for her school team and she really enjoyed the encouragement she was receiving from her classmates. One boy stopped her in the hall and asked her to do a euro step in the next game. Her school season wrapped up before Thanksgiving break, so starting today, she's going to serve as the boy basketball team manager. The coach is some random teacher, and she has some plays she plans to share. I'm surprised that she wants to quit dancing, but her bestie at dancing has been hurt since February and doesn't attend classes regularly. Another girl who she was tight with recently quit because of high school. I think the dynamic at the studio isn't as fun as it once was. 
Mini (after the 3rd place win):  WELL, GO OUT WITH A BANG THEN, I GUESS. 

It'll be interesting to see if winning 3rd impacts Curly's decision. She breaks down and cries whenever she thinks about telling Mary that she's leaving. It makes me cry too, knowing how hard this is for her. I wonder if Mary will refuse to take no for an answer. Should I worry about kidnapping? 
but I'm giving you a sneak peek at the results in this video clip. Sorry for some of the shaky hand parts. Can you say emotional? 


Nicole said...

Congrats on 3rd place!! That's fantastic!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks. As they called out the placements leading up to hers, we were beside ourselves with excitement.

Jenny in WV said...

I know nothing about Irish Dancing besides what you have written, but I can't wait to read your Dancing Memoir, it sounds hilariously entertaining!

Hopefully Mary will take the news well, and Curly can feel good about her choice to move on to other interests.

That seems like a really short basketball season, but IDK, I never played nor really paid attention to the team in Junior High.

Beth Cotell said...

Basketball sounds like more fun as a parent - shorter season, less travel, cheaper. I think if I were you, I'd be hoping for that! :) But then I guess you would have less material for that tell all!

Kara said...

Third place is fantastic!

Maybe instead of being a caddy, Curly can start a new tradition and be a teaching assistant at the Dance School!

Bibliomama said...

Oh, so happy for Curly and you, how exciting and rewarding!

Eve did a bunch of different dance lessons because she liked dancing but we had trouble finding a good fit. We had the full range of teachers and school owners, from unbelievably lovely to raging beeyotch. She tried Irish dancing but didn't like doing the same steps all the time ("I'm more of a freestyler", lol). A friend's daughter is still dancing many times a week in grade 12 and planning to continue into university - will be interesting to see how that goes. It will be much like Angus retiring from baseball, I suspect - not exactly bad, but full of emotions and very strange.

Ally Bean said...

I'd suggest that there's no right or wrong answer to whether Curly continues on. She stays, ok. She retires, ok. I just hope that if she decides to retire that Mary, an adult she admires, doesn't try to unfairly influence her to stay. Kids can be swayed.

Ernie said...

Jenny- There is a lot of layers to Irish dancing. As a former dancer, I'm full of layers. I hope my book project will become an actual book so I can share it. You will get a signed copy. ;)

The basketball season at our junior high is CRAZY short. That is new. They restructured things a few years ago. Boys have their season after the girls. They used to run at the same time. Boys played away games while girls played home games. Now they just split the seasons up. Blink and it's over.

I agree that Mary should make this a positive ending note. I'm sure Curly will still enjoy being involved in teaching or visiting the studio or something. Fingers crossed.

Ernie said...

Beth- Basketball travel teams cost over $1,000 a year. We occasionally have to stay in a hotel for away games. Still, no wigs or leg tanning or makeup with the possibility of scholarships . . . so I'm all about it.

I have enough material to write an Irish dancing tell all TRILOGY. No worries there. ;)

Ernie said...

Kara- 3rd place is amazing and I'm still occasionally pinching her to remind her that it all happened.

Curly has said for years that she did not want to caddy. She hoped to teach private lessons. Not sure if this will still be an option for her if she isn't taking classes at the school. Ed has told her to caddy because her hair is a great conversation piece and the golfers will enjoy chatting with her . . . which could translate to big tips.

Ernie said...

Ali- Thanks. It was super exciting. Going into it she'd said THIS IS IT and I wondered would she want to keep going if she didn't place well. Or would she want to continue if she nailed it . . .as in HEY, BEING AT THE TOP IS SWEET. She seems to still plan to retire.

Yes- lots of emotions for her and strange not to be at dancing. We know kids who dance through college or at the very least through high school. No idea how a kid can balance dancing with all the busy parts of high school but apparently it can be done.

Love that Eve tried it all. The teacher impacts the whole experience. I am a firm believer that Irish dancing teachers are granted way too much power. Some abuse it and there aren't irish dancing studios on every corner. Limited choices ends badly sometimes.

Ernie said...

Ally- You are SO right. I think Mary suspects that Curly has one foot out the door (couldn't resist) because Curly mentioned her thoughts to the brat in her class (eye roll) who leaked it to another teacher for sure because that teacher said to Curly after she won HEARD YOU MIGHT QUIT. YOU CANT QUIT NOW! So we believe Mary knows it might happen. I agree that Mary should do the right thing and make it a smooth transition.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I remember years ago my girls loved that show Dance Moms. Wow. The drama. The BS. People love it!
Sounds like your Irish Dancing Memoir will be a hit!

Has she thought about possibly playing basketball in college? A scholarship would be lovely for one particular set of parents that I know of. ;)

Third place is pretty damn awesome!!

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, dance moms and the drama - so you get why I don't want to be considered a dance mom. I do have SO MANY unreal and hilarious stories to share about Irish dancing. Here I was thinking I needed to wait until Curly was done dancing to get it published to avoid backlash, as if I could wrap it up and send it off the minute she was done. Um, nope. It's a process.

Basketball in college is the dream. She might be more of a division 3 player and that wouldn't translate to scholarship money. But I don't really know - I have less knowledge of how fabulous girl players are when they get scholarships. This has been Ed's beef for years - get her out of dancing so she can concentrate on basketball and go D1.

On the other hand, Reggie might be able to get some scholarship money for ball.

We love third. Dreamy stuff.