Surgery Update, part 1

As you all possibly know, I had my ankle surgery on June 18th to clean up scar tissue and tighten up some lateral ankle ligaments (with the Brรถstrom procedure).  My podiatrist deemed it a success!  It has now officially been three weeks since surgery, and look how my ankle is healing!  Even through the really messy pictures from 1-2 weeks after my surgery, my podiatrist said ,"Looking good."

Weeks 1-3
The first week after my surgery was the most difficult, as I was the most "helpless."  I got to stay at my parents' house since they have less stairs, and someone there to take care of me at all times of the day.  I spent a lot of time on the couch, mainly watching soccer and napping while listening to audio books.  I also celebrated turning a quarter of a century with a Captain America themed party (of course).

The second week after my surgery, I moved back to my apartment.  In the latter part of the week, I was able to get rid of the splint, and go into the boot with partial weight bearing on my ankle--one week ahead of schedule!  Having a removable boot made it possible for me to spend time at the pool now, in supplement to spending time on the couch, this time watching Orange is the New Black.

This third week after surgery was spent voraciously keeping up with information from the North American Irish Dance Championships.  QuickFeis was very helpful this year!  I also got to participate in the lighting of fireworks!

I went back to the podiatrist this past Monday, and while I'm still in the boot, my goal for this week is to wean myself off crutches (still ahead of schedule!), and start physical therapy (I go tomorrow).

From the last day of June onwards, I have also been completing a daily workout routine (modified of course because of my injury), and I promise to share more about that with you in my next blog post!

Goal: Get rid of the crutches
Days till Os:150


Mini Update: May Feis Madness

Holy Angels Feis:

  • My first feis post-injury went well enough to meet my goals of being able to dance all three rounds all the way through.  I didn't place overall (I was one away), but I did place in my heavy and light shoe rounds.
  • The best part of the feis was being able to see a feis friend that I haven't seen since nationals last summer.
  • (This feis opportunity brought to you by the large number of times I stayed in Marriott hotels last year--almost all due to dance-- because I had a free stay!)

CCE Feis:

  • Of the three feiseanna, this feis was my weakest performance.  I mucked up my treble jig lead, which didn't start things off well.  I felt that I redeemed myself in my soft shoe and set round, but I think the non-rotating panel had already formed their opinion.  I was placed near the bottom of the pack, and I deserved it.

Hurley Feis:

  • This feis was definitely my best performance of the three.  Out of 26 dancers, I placed 11th!  (Just think of how well I could have done if I was putting all effort into preparing for nationals!)  
  • My favorite part of this feis were the comments I received.  Two separate judges commented on my set, one saying, "Nice set," and the other, "Set nice style."  I have been learning a hornpipe set to replace Planxty Drury, so as a possible last performance in competition, I was overjoyed.  I have never received comments like this on my dancing, so I must have killed it!

Surgery updates:

  • One week until my surgery!  I will be having arthroscopic surgery on my right ankle to tighten up the ligaments I've now torn multiple times, and to clean up the scar tissue.  I will be non-weight bearing for three weeks, followed by time in the boot, and finally ten (or more) weeks of physical therapy.
  • Until then, I am continuing to go attend as many dance classes as I can.  I have one tonight, and my last pre-surgery dance class on Monday.
  • My hope is to be back into dancing enough to attend the SRO.  As a team dancer at the very least.

Help me get rid of some of my extra dancing stuff!

  • Check out this post on tumblr.  I have two pairs of heavy shoes and one wig that are available for pay what you can plus shipping from Virginia.  If what you can pay is just shipping, then I'm okay with that.  I'd really like to ship these off by Friday before I move!

Goals: Pack everything at home and classroom, finish grades
Days till Os: 178


Irish Dance How-To: Wig Up a Pixie Hair Cut

I haven't done a how-to video in quite some time!  It was nice to get behind the camera for the first time in what seems like forever to bring you the following tutorial.

I was apprehensive when I first chopped off all my hair last September because of the whole wig issue.  Being a team dancer as well as a soloist, I knew I couldn't get away with not putting a wig in my hair.  I wouldn't call myself a professional in putting a wig in short hair, but I have had a lot of practice with it in the last few weeks (more on that in my next post).

I hope you find this video helpful if you're looking for a solution to put a both a bun wig and a full wig in a pixie haircut.  I am silly at some points, so I hope it's not too distracting.  Enjoy!

Goals: Have a better treble jig at the feis this Sunday
Days till Os: 199


Mini Update

Injury recovery:

  • Things are going swell!  I tape up my ankle for each dance class I go to for safety measures.  I am finally getting my stamina and confidence back (and just in time for three back-to-back weekends of feiseanna).
  • I have started learning a new set dance (Lodge Road) and hope to have it completed before surgery.  You know, so I can sit around and not dance it for three months, before seeing if I can remember it for the Oireachtas.

  • I will be traveling to three feiseanna in the next three weekends!  I am really excited to have the chance to compete before I go in for my surgery.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these won't be my only feiseanna for the year.
  • First up is the Holy Angels Feis in Charlotte this weekend.  I've never been to this feis before, and the overall cap was really small, so I'm hoping for a low-key return to competition.  Mind you, my competition is 16 and over, so it will be fun to compete with people nearly ten years younger than I.
  • Next will be CCE (preceded by a day at the Virginia Renaissance Festival).  I am bummed that this feis has changed to three rounds.  As bad as this is to say, I was looking forward to not having to dance my treble jig.
  • Finally for May will be a new feis in Maryland, the Hurley Feis.  
Antonio Pacelli:

  • Last month's post resurrected a Rince go Bragh blog post from two and a half years ago.  Check out the most recent revision of 'Dancing Frugally,' and don't forget to check back on the community section frequently to read other bloggers' content.


  • This fantastic edit was found floating around tumblr.  I think it's hilarious.
  • My grandfather built me this beautiful shelf to showcase my dancing awards!

Goals: Make it through three rounds on Saturday
Days till Os: 213


Mini Update: St Pat's Edition

Hello Irish dance fans!  March Madness has come and finally gone in a blur of wigs and shiny objects.  I sat out for much of the St. Pat's activities, as I was at that fine line of kind-of-still-injured-but-can-dance-a-little, but I still was able to contribute in my way between physical therapy appointments and work obligations.

I attended the D.C. St. Patrick's Day parade to help organize the little ones as they did their jigs and reels down Constitution Avenue. It was a very cold day, and I was almost sad to not be dancing since it would have helped keep me warm!
Can you spot me in the back?
I also was able to dance at the festival spectacle that was Shamrockfest at RFK stadium.  I was very thankful for the beautiful weather we had that day.  There have been years past that it was cold, or it rained and made the stages completely un-danceable.

This is a lovely picture of my backside.
Of course, I also celebrated in my classroom by teaching my students a few different ceilis from the book. (We walked them!) We culminated our activities by watching Lord of the Dance, a surprising favorite for some of the fourth and fifth graders.  Maybe I am inspiring new Irish dancers!

Goals: build up stamina
Days till Os: 227
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