Diary of the Dance
Four young step dancers from the Inishfree School of Irish Dance share their diary entries from World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin this past April.
Pearl River, NY
April 15th I left New York for Ireland today. I fell asleep for most of the plane ride after watching a movie.
April 16th I arrived in Dublin Airport early this morning. My dad and I rented a car and drove to Citywest Hotel where we are staying. After taking a short nap, we went to the Dundrum Shopping Rockets. We ate at a place called Eddie Rockets, just like the restaurant Johnny Rockets. Afterwards I went to practice with Sean and Colleen, the Inishfree teachers.
April 17th I watched some of the competitions and then I went to a practice studio that I rented for an hour.
April 18th It is the day before I dance. The President of Ireland came to the competition and a parade of champions was put on with the previous day’s winners. While the president was here, I was able to practice on the stage that I am going to dance on tomorrow.
April 19th I am dancing today. I know that all I can do is go out and dance my best and put on a show for everyone in the audience.
*Congratulations to Paige, who placed 1st in her age group for the 2nd year in a row!
3/19/11 The “March Madness” is over as of tonight. Inishfree dancers have danced at dozens of St. Patrick’s Day events all around the NYC area for the past few weeks and it has been crazy. Now we can focus on our steps for World’s!
Since Easter was early last year, it was harder to get ready for World’s (in Scotland in March 2010) and do shows all of the time. This year we have 4 weeks between March Madness and World’s.
3/27/11 Big Apple Feis in Manhattan. This is a big “tune up” feis for World’s. Almost every good dancer from the Mid-Atlantic region is competing. There was a boy from Canada competing, too. He placed 2nd, so I guess we’ll see him at World’s. Ashleigh Hopkins from Inishfree in Texas flew in just for the feis!
3/28/11 Monday class in Woodlawn. That was painful! 5 steps at a time, twice for the jig. Then we did our set pieces two times in a row. Colleen is trying to help us build up our stamina. I am dreading Thursday because we are going to do 6 steps! Now you know that World’s are coming up.
3/31/11 Hard class but fun. Everyone is getting excited. We are sharing bags of Vitamin C drops so that no one ends up with a cold for the competition. Most of us are going to 4 classes a week now…and practicing on our own the other days.
4/4/11 Four classes this week. I hope I don’t have too much school work. Since I’ll be missing 4 days of school, I have to take assignments and books to Ireland with me.
4/9/11 My sister ruptured her ACL playing soccer today. She was supposed to meet us in Dublin. I hope she still can. None of us has ever been to Ireland.
4/11/11 Two more classes until World’s! We leave on Thursday for Dublin. My mom altered my vest tonight and we did the final check on costume, socks, shoes and the bag full of “might needs” like safety pins, shoe polish, moleskin and band-aids for blisters, etc.
4/14/11 Just arrived at the airport. There are many other dancers on our flight. You can tell by the dress bags. I am really excited yet nervous at the same time. We saw the Morrisseys from our school. Sarah is dancing in her first World’s, but she is more excited to visit her cousins who have a new Shetland pony foal that is only about a foot tall!
4/15/11 On the plane. I didn’t get much sleep.
Just arrived in Ireland. One of the heads of the Irish Dance Commission just greeted us at the airport and directed us to a bus that will bring us right to Citywest. I can tell that my mom is relieved that she doesn’t have to get a cab.
4/15/11 After a nap, we explored Citywest. It is a huge hotel with a golf course. We tried to go into the main venue, but a security guard said that no one is allowed in there until Sunday. There will be 3 stages, one in the big arena, one upstairs in the arena building and one in a different building. The hotel supposedly has more rooms than any other hotel in Europe! It has a pub, a restaurant, and a dining room with buffets for breakfast and dinner. There is a health club with a pool, but we’re not supposed to swim before we dance.
My teacher, Sean, ran a practice for the 5 of us that are here for the first two days of competition.We met up with some other dancers from our school for an early dinner. Everyone is pretty tired. Some dancers are going to visit family in Ireland tomorrow. We are planning to go into the city of Dublin.
4/16/11 Last night at dinner we learned that my friend Lauren and her mom also wanted to go into Dublin today, so we went together. Our cabbie was really nice and knew a lot about the area. He assumed that Lauren was a dancer, but didn’t guess that I was. We took a double-decker bus tour and saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Dublin is a cool old city! We saw a band of kids set up on a plaza playing music on Grafton Street. They asked if anyone in the crowd knew how to dance, so Lauren and I did a few steps for the crowd in the middle of Dublin! There were many amazing street performers that we wouldn’t get to see in New York. We had a beautiful sunny day so we walked a lot…so much that I fell asleep on the ride back to Citywest. Sean and Colleen ran another practice, and this time there were 9 of us. We practiced for 1 hour and then we had dinner and went to the arcade that was set up for World’s.
4/17/11 The competitions start today with the youngest age groups. Eamon and Sarah are dancing from our school.
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