My first two rounds felt really solid, despite a re-start in my first round on the left foot of the lead. (just like last year!) After wandering around, watching my fellow dancers in other competitions, I barely made it back for recalls and walked into the room just as they were starting their second read through of names. It was with a sigh of relief that I sat down right as they were calling out my number. Relief. I had recalled for the third time, and my goal of being a world qualifier was still alive. I knew from the second I started dancing that my set was much weaker than my first two rounds. Just like last year. I shook it off, deciding that it was good enough with no glaring flaws, so my goals were still within reach. It was then time for senior lady pictures to showcase my new dress! (which got lots of compliments!)
The afternoon was spent preparing for and dancing my one team dance. Compared to the stressful morning with solos, it was nice to be around a more relaxed atmosphere with other dancers who were not super high stress sort of mood. We had enough time to goof around and take picture afterward before I dropped stuff off and change back into my solo gear for awards.
All the older dancers who danced day were able to secure a spot all together for awards, which is way better than just sitting alone with your family. You'll have to understand, this feat was quite amazing. Because Saturday was the day for all the teams, essentially the entire southern region was in the hall, making it very crowded (and also, I'm sure, a fire hazard). My fellow dancers found open seats before the figure choreographies and nabbed a spot on a stage adjacent to the main stage, where we could easily view the remaining team dances, and the awards that followed.
Waiting backstage was the most stressful things of the weekend. All of the senior dancers from my school decided it would be good to congregate and make a spirit circle to support all of us who danced that day. They started with U18 boys, working their way up the age groups. As the competitions were called, the strain of the wait was mounting on both myself and the other senior ladies who had so much riding on this competition. I could not stand still. I knew that if I qualified for worlds, (and I was so close last year, how could I not?) my number would be the first called. I waited. I couldn't breathe. The first number they called was the number after mine. Disbelief. I did not achieve the one thing I have been working for for months.
The 17 world qualifiers took the stage, and I could only stand there and wonder where I was going to place this time. The number of dancers around me quickly got smaller and smaller as they called up the placements, until I was the last senior lady left. One away from world qualifier. Again. With a hug from my dance teacher, I took the stage to receive yet another Oireachtas medal and to smile for the cameras.
I know not all hope is lost, and that I can still qualify if there are any judging conflicts (like last year), but I know that I will not be going this year regardless, and it would have been nice to actually earn that world qualifier plaque and have the knowledge that if I wanted to go, I could. I will attend NANs this summer, and will be working hard to try and get a recall, if not very close to one. I will be an unstoppable force.
Goals: Learn new SJ/TJ steps
Days till NANs: 211