Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reel Life

A little over a year ago, Clare decided to try Irish dancing. Not one for sports, this seemed like a good activity for her. She liked it well enough, but wasn't exactly smitten and welcomed the summer break. When fall came around and it was time to resume school and extracurriculars, it looked as though she was going to opt to continue gymnastics. At the last minute, though, her experience breaking her arm scared her off, so back to Irish dancing it was.

Fast-forward to the week before Christmas, when Clare informs me that she will be dancing at school. She didn't seem too enthused about it, but had gotten the impression that she was required to do so. This didn't seem right to me, so I emailed her teacher to inquire further. I learned that a professional Irish dancing group was going to perform for the school, and they had requested any students familiar with the dancing to join them. No, it was not required. I passed this along to Clare, who declared she would think about it. She came home that last day before the holiday break and informed me that she had danced. By herself. In front of about 200 kids. And loved it! It seems performing ignited her enthusiasm for Irish dancing big time. So when it came time for her dance instructor's annual Feis (dancing competition), which Clare had zero interest in participating in last year, she couldn't sign up soon enough.

After counting the days and several "I can't waits!," the Feis day finally arrived. Since I am sidelined at home with a newborn, Tim was forced to get up bright and early this Saturday morning to take her all the way to Stone Mountain, where the event occurred. As a beginner, Clare was among the first (of 500+ dancers!) to compete, which meant a 7:45 a.m. call time. Thank heavens for Starbucks.

None of us had any idea what to expect from the event, though I did fear that Clare would be underwhelmed. I simply hoped she'd come away from the day having enjoyed herself. When I got the "holy cow, this is confusing!" email from Tim early on, and then didn't hear anything for a while, I was nervous. Lo and behold, a couple of hours later they called me and Clare informed me that she had earned a third place, bronze medal in the light reel and a second place, silver medal in the light jig! Below is her award winning light jig:

I truly didn't expect her to come away with any awards and was just really proud of her for having the courage to get up and compete. She's been dancing her way around the house ever since, so it's obvious that she's pretty pleased with herself, too. What else can you ask for?

P.S.: She's already signed up for another Feis next month!

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