- Improve turnout
- Place at least once in opens
- Place higher at nationals
- Qualify for worlds
You may notice that I mentioned improving at nationals, yet, you may have figured out that I didn't go to nationals. There is, actually a reason behind this, which I will get to shortly.
Of my goals, the only one that I have achieved is improving my turn out. Thanks to a ballet class I took through my college for fun last semester, I definitely can feel a difference, even if it doesn't look like there is any improvement. My ballet class was an hour and a half, two times a week. It turns out that working that little extra can do wonders. We would spend the first 20-30 minutes at the barre doing various exercises to get ourselves warmed up, and to get our heads and bodies into ballet mode. I found these to be particularly useful because I know know what muscles need to be engaged to achieve and hold turnout. Imagine that! The next step for me will be to apply this knowledge to my dancing. It's one thing to know what to do during slow exercises, and completely another to apply it to something as fast-paced as Irish dance is.
In regards to the other goals... My future in dance is undecided at the moment. After attending the world championships, and putting all the time and work into it that I did, I felt that doing nationals was really not what I needed. After April, dance had become more of a chore than a fun activity. I wasn't doing well in feiseanna, placing near last; I got the new steps I'd need for nationals the week after worlds. All in all, I needed a break. Dance just was not fun anymore. Yes, now I regret not going to nationals a little. At the time, I was just not ready mentally or physically.
As for other feiseanna this year, as well as the Oireachtas, as much as it pains me to say this, I don't know if I will be continuing dance classes this fall. This is my last semester in college, and for my degree, I will be student teaching in public schools all semester. I had to cut down hours at my job so I can teach. I don't know if I will have the time in the day to practice. With my regular source of income being cut, I won't be able to afford classes. Since I will be teaching all day, I don't know if I'll have the energy to attend a two hour dance class once a week, let alone practice outside of class to prepare myself sufficiently to reach my goal of being a world qualifier.
I want to find a way to do this, which I'm told is half the battle. I just don't know if I'll be able to do justice to dance and my goals.