Ballet, Irish Dance, and Polish Food

Saturday started off with my triumphant return to ballet class after missing three weeks. There were only four of us, and I’m a bit surprised there are fewer of us now than during the summer session. Maybe old folks have more responsibilities during the fall? I wouldn’t know…I’m out of school and no kids for me! Just a grumpy cat.

I was really happy to get back to ballet. It’s incredibly enjoyable with a fun class, and I’m still hopeful as I make strides in ballet I’ll see an improvement in Irish. We learned a new move: pas de chat. What a fun step! This is pretty much the only ballet thing I’ve gotten from the get-go and it’s very fun to dance. I might start pas de chat-ing around the office when I need a break.

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We also worked on turns by doing a pliĆ©, popping up into a coupe with the foot up to the knee (is there a different term for this?), then doing a half turn. I’m not sure if this has a name, but I think it’s basically a half pirouette. Missing: any semblance of balance. I fell over ever time.

After ballet class, I glammed up and headed to a performance with my Irish dance studio. It

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I’m the purple blob on stage.

was the typical 30 min show, and it was WARM, so I’m glad I had socks instead of tights! Performances are always fun, even if the audience ends up being mostly the kid dancers’ families. I had fun hanging out with my adult friends and I’m still way too happy to have my solo dress back.

Wrapping up a great day of dancing was meeting up with friends. After a quick hefeweizen after dancing (one of the best things about being an Adult Irish dancer), we headed out for dinner. The Thai restaurant was closed, which was amazing because I then discovered there is POLISH FOOD nearby! One of the biggest problems moving out west is the lack of Polish people and their awesome culture. I had zurek (rye soup with sausage, potato, and egg), plotki (potato pancakes), and I took home a paczek (a sort of Polish donut common in the time before Lent) to share with the boyfriend as I always wanted him to try one. I also split a Zywiec porter with one of my friends. It was very, very good, but also very thick and strong.

Thus ended my journey through France, Ireland, and Poland yesterday.

I’m Officially a Novice

Yesterday was my first feis after dropping down from Adult to &Over grades.20160911_151639

Overall it went alright. I really liked being in regular competition and being able to wear socks instead of tights! It made me feel more official, rather than a random old person doing this for the heck of it. Some of the kids even talked with me, too. And my fellow adults had their competitions at the same time, so it was nice to be able to chat with them too.

My dress had been altered to fit right, my socks and leg tan were on point, there were no sock glue disasters, and I didn’t forget any of my (new!) steps. In general I felt like I danced pretty well, and I felt like I blended into the Novice level and didn’t belong the next level down. I only placed in three dances, but that included moving up my Single Jig to Prizewinner.

I tried not to be disappointed with only three placements. I mean, I did move up a dance already, and was 2nd out of 13 people! It’s expected that it’s now harder to earn medals with real competition in larger numbers. My mantra was “be not last place in at least one dance” and “one medal would be the icing on the cake”, but I was still a bit disappointed. Competing in Adults, with small numbers, got me used to being bummed by less than a medal in every dance. And I really though my Light Jig and Slip Jig were good enough for a medal, especially Light Jig. But in the end I think I’m most disappointed that I didn’t prepare as well as I could have done.

Take a look for yourself. I’ve spent the summer skipping dance classes, not doing my cross training, and not watching my nutrition. Maybe it’s a miracle that I did as well as I did considering how unprepared I was. My training was pretty sporadic and sad. And I’ve been almost completely checked out nutrition-wise.

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So while there were positive things about the feis, it was also a definite wake up call. If I want to get the results I expect and desire, I need to put in the time and effort. The excuses need to stop, and the consistency needs to begin.

But I’ve said all this before, so I hope I mean it this time.