New Dances For Oireachtas Means Twice As Much Practice

Article featured in Diddlyi Magazine.

Oh the difficulty of trying to master five dances instead of just three! I just booked for The Western Region Oireachtas next November and discovered that women 20 and over are required to compete Reel and Hornpipe this year. Guess what I’ve been working on for 12 months? That’s right: Treble Jig and Slip Jig. So now I’m trying to fine-tune my Treble Jig and Slip Jig for three Feiseanna over the next two months, and master a new Reel and Hornpipe step. Whew! At least I can do the same Set dance for both Oireachtas and Feiseanna.

I would just let the Treble Jig and Slip Jig go and focus only on the other two dances, but they are just too new to me to compete with at a Feis. At the same time, I have to start working on Reel and Hornpipe if I want to have them down by November. So the result is very sore muscles from dancing twice as much during regular classes and trying to fit in as much extra practice as possible during the week.

It helps that Tina Shelley has started a new conditioning class for the 2009-10 class schedule. Every Wednesday we get to attend a class where we work on flexibility and stamina. We do stretches, drills and even some Yoga. It’s a lot of fun and is helping me to focus on making the dances I do more graceful and precise. The biggest element I have to work on most of the time is smoothing my steps out. I have no trouble with energy or pounding out beats, but when it comes to being graceful, I need to concentrate in order to make the dance a good combination of grace and strength.

Longs Peak Feis is a little over three weeks away and Boise Feis By the River is the following weekend. I have that much time get my dances ready for competition again. Practice is everything! All I need to remember is that when I’m not practicing, my competitors are. I’m going to make sure practice I as much as possible, so I can bring it!

TAGS: Boise Feis By the River, championship, class, compete, competition, conditioning, drills, feis, feiseanna, flexibility, Hathaway, horpipe, Longs Peak Feis, Oireachtas, Open, practice, Preliminary, reel, Region, set dance, Shelley, Shelley school, Shelly, slip jig, stretches, TCRG, Tina, treble jig, Utah, Western, yoga

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