North American Nationals, Dancing Edition

Let's take a trip back to January of this year when I set my goals:
For 2013, my goals include to:
  • Continue to improve my turnout and cross technique in my dancing, 
  • Begin to place more consistently in my competitions at feiseanna,
  • Recall at nationals, and ultimately
  • Qualify for the world championships as a soloist.
At my first Oireachtas, my biggest confidence boost happened the morning of my competition when I was warming up. I felt that same way the morning of my solo day at nationals.  Before my hard shoe round, I was in a photo on livestream taken by the gorgeous Ciara Sexton (who's outfits were classy all week long!).  I had two fairly solid rounds, even with being the first person in round two!

After the seniors finished their two rounds, my group decided it was time for lunch, so we went to grab some Baja Fresh and chill, figuring we had somewhere around two hours before they announced recalls.  I went back to the hall immediately after eating, not wanting to miss a second, while others went to their room briefly.  I laid on the floor, trying to rest or nap, be calm, and wait for the announcement of when recalls would be announced.

Without warning, a lady announced over the microphone that she had the recalls, and started reading immediately.  Never has anyone jumped off the floor faster than me.  I scrambled to get my program and pen to circle those who recalled, and waited with bated breath as the numbers got closer and closer to 31.  My number was called.  I may had said something along the lines of, "Oh my God," but mostly I started crying and shaking.  I have finally checked off one of two long-term goals I have had for myself:  I finally recalled at nationals.

There was an immense calm that I felt that afternoon and evening.  The kind of calm and sense of accomplishment that can only come with reaching a long-term goal.  I felt no pressure when I went back on the nationals stage for a third time to dance my set.  I looked out into the hall and saw, well, mostly people who don't know who I am, but the small core of dance teachers and friends who helped me get to this moment were there, and that's where my focus was.

The last time I stepped foot on the nationals stage was to receive my medal for placing 38th.  I am completely happy with cracking the top 40, and I was only five spots away from being a world qualifier.  I could tell my dance teachers were proud of me (and of course wanting more for next time!).  I am looking forward to working hard this fall so I receive that world qualification at the Southern Region Oireachtas this December.

Goals: Start building stamina again.
Days til Os: 128

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