It is currently 1:04AM EST on Tuesday March 30th. In a mere 14 hours, I will be headed to the airport for my flight to Scotland for the 2010 World Championships, hooray!!
Unfortunately for me, I still have quite a number of tasks related to my full time job to accomplish before I leave the country, so it will be quite a late night/morning at this point. I'm a nerdy IT analyst by day and a crazed Irish Dancer by night; yes, I do dramatic "costume" changes a la Superman in the coat closet at work ;) My work teammates and other IT department counterparts do know about this tiny Irish Dance obsession I have and are wonderfully supportive!
So, how was everyone's St. Patrick's Day show season also known as March Madness? (channeling the NCAA university basketball tournament held every March if we do have non North American readers)
I personally find shows much more stressful than a feis. I get nervous for group numbers because I don't want to let the other members of the dance down if I miss my cue, fall on a slippery floor, or have a costume malfunction. The same goes for team dancing. I also work myself into a panic making sure I arrive on time and don't get lost while finding the building address. Brenda, my trusty GPS, helps me there ;)
While shows can be stressful, they can also be incredibly rewarding. The genuine smiles on the audience faces and their appreciative applause make performing a joy.
One of my best friends, who started my Irish Dance adventure with me almost 15 years ago, brought her son to watch me dance for the first time in a public setting. You can bet I'll try to get him to start dancing some day, only if he chooses ;)
I was also in charge of co-chairing a Pub Night to help fundraise for the Worlds. While it was stressful planning raffle baskets, food, musicians, and decorations, it was a huge success. The best part of the evening was my dad watching me dance for the first time in 9 years (He is Type A like me and a noisy, somewhat unorganized feis would put him in overdrive)
While I may moan and gripe about St. Patrick's Day and the work involved, Irish Dancing is something that I can't imagine my life without. Some days I wonder why I put myself through the intense pressure, long practices, saving my pennies for softshoes instead of going out to lunch, and sometimes putting my social life on hold for feiseanna, majors, and performances. Plain and simple... it's because I love it, it completes me, and makes me oh so happy.
I now present to you, how Irish Dancing has blessed me:
Most importantly, I find that no matter the competition result, I am so proud that I have worked hard and been able to accomplish so much in Irish Dancing. I never thought when I started my journey 15 years ago that I would still be dancing, no less at the World Championships for the 4th time. After the competition in Glasgow, it is off to Paris and Amsterdam for a vacation.
I will be sure to have many pictures and stories to share when I return in April :)
It is now 2:00PM EST.... and I have finally finished, with 1 hour to spare. Nothing like last minute.
Until April, keep jiggin'!!