Hoping Small Children Don’t Hate Me

Class ended on a weird note last night, and suddenly I was in elementary school again hoping for approval, or at least no hatred, from ten year olds.

One poor kid would be such an awesome dancer if she would buckle down and concentrate. I was paired with her for most of class, so she could ask and I could reply what exercise we were doing (1st step of dance, 2nd step, or whole dance, or a drill), but it fell apart towards the end. Our last exercise was to dance the 2nd step of the hornpipe. Myself and this kid have the same hornpipe 1st step, but different 2nd steps. My teacher told us just to go together because it was good practice for the feis. I’m not sure why, but my partner started doing my 2nd step instead of her own, and I’m pretty sure she hasn’t done anything related to my 2nd step in a year! She was chastised and not allowed to go with the second group, who also did the same 2nd step but different 1st step from me. Lo and behold, the other group screwed up too. One went into the treble jig, another into the slip jig (how?), and the third also screwed up on steps we’d been doing for a good 6 months at least.

My teacher expects two things: work hard and pay attention. So, since I was the only one who did as expected, I was allowed to go through my hornpipe step again for individual feedback while the other four had to go sit in the corner and do kicks the whole time – a horrible exercise where you lay on your back, raise your legs about 2 inches off the ground, and kick them back and forth rapidly.

On the plus side, my teacher likes my work ethic. But I still hope the kids don’t resent me for the praise!

Otherwise, it was a good if difficult class. My new hard shoes didn’t last as long as on Monday and I had to change after 1.5 dances. I’m just going to use the old ones for class tonight and will probably need to compete in them next weekend as well while I work on breaking in the new ones. They’re rubbing something awful on my heels since the bottoms aren’t flexible enough yet, so when I raise up on my toes the back heel slips down. Lots of improvements to make, but I think I’m in an okay place for the next competition. I’m really hoping to score well in my big four dances, which are all still Novice level, and maybe even advance one of them. I just need to remember to turn out, cross, jump, stay high on my toes, flex for clear beats, kick my butt, complete moves sharply and quickly, good and straight lift, and and and…

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