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.
We went to Palm Sunday mass at a little church, St. Mary’s, in Saggert. We saw dancers from Australia, Ireland, England, and the U.S. there! You could tell who was in Saggert for World’s because we all walked back and forth from Citywest to the town. We have another sunny, warm day. Not sure why my mom packed so many layers and hats, gloves and umbrellas!
My mom and Mrs. Walsh want to go back into Dublin to see some more sights, but Lauren and I decided to stay and watch the competitions. Eamon recalled but Sarah did not.
On two of the floors at the main arena building there are huge halls with vendors set up. They are selling dance shoes, socks, costumes, wigs, personalized t-shirts and sweatshirts, chocolates, jewelry and food. They were also showing a clip of the new movie JIG which was filmed at last year’s World’s in Glasgow, Scotland.
At the vendor area, we bought the program which lists all of the dancers and their competitions. We checked the rotation for my competition and it turns out that I am dancing with a boy that won 2nd place last year at World’s. I am worried.
We had another practice before results.
Results started with a cool band of 6 drummers. Then they honored Marie Duffy, who has helped run dance competitions, feissana and oireachtas, for 40 years. Michael Flatley showed up to honor Mary too! We stayed until the results were announced for Eamon’s age group. He placed 15th!! My mom made me leave then because I wasn’t feeling great. She just brought some dinner to me in the room and I got to sleep early.
4/18/11 Not feeling well on Monday morning when I wake up, but I’m dancing in about 3 hours so I suck it up.
-7:15 am We meet at the stage and warm up. They gave each dancer a certificate and a patch with the “World Irish Dancing Championships Dublin 2011” patch, which is really nice. I ended up dancing both rounds with just me and the #2 dancer. My teachers said I danced well and that I deserved a recall, but we’ll see.
-10:00 am We have to wait hours before they will announce recalls. We watch the opening ceremonies with three tenors, dancers and the President of Ireland!
-1:00 pm They just announced recalls and I didn’t recall. Since my sister, aunt and grandmother arrived this morning in Dublin, we didn’t stay to watch the rest of the competitions. We grabbed a cab into Dublin and met up with them to start a 4-day CIE “Taste of Ireland” tour: They took us around Dublin, but I fell asleep – partly because I already saw the sights of Dublin and partly because competing is pretty draining.
We went to “The Merry Ploughboys” pub for dinner with the tour group. They asked for dancers to join them on stage. I met a girl named Jessie from Canada and we danced on stage! I received a text from my teacher that I was one away from recalling by only 2.5 points! A heartbreaker but at least I came really close…and I still get to see some sights in Ireland!
4/19/11-4/21/11 We toured through Tipperary; saw the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, the Ring of Kerry, Bunratty Castle and the Cliffs of Moher. We have had amazing weather! I can’t stop dancing because I am in the habit of practicing so much. My sister keeps telling me to stop!
Along the way, I was able to go on the Inishfree web site to check how dancers were doing back in Dublin. In my competition, Conor Reagan placed 5th and was on the podium! Connor Sullivan placed 12th. In the next age group, Liam McMahon placed 10th! Paige Turilli placed 1st for the second year in a row. She is amazing! Heather Hanson placed 29th; Morgan Murray placed 13th; Kellyanne Farrell placed 35th; and Janie Turek placed 18th. Sean Sanders recalled, but I am not sure what place he got. Ashleigh Hopkins from Inishfree in Texas placed 22nd!
Tuesday, April 12 Today was our last soft shoe class before World Championships in Dublin, Ireland. This is my first time competing at World’s and I am extremely nervous. I have competed overseas majors before like the All Ireland Irish Dancing Championships but never World’s. I don’t know what to expect. Every dancer works so hard to do well at World’s. We all practice very hard every single day. Every dancer wants that world title.
Wednesday, April 13 Today is the day before I leave for World’s. Everything in my house is very hectic right now, packing and organizing my dance equipment. I have to make sure everything I need to dance with is packed, including my dress. I am supposed to be getting a new dress in Ireland. I am very nervous to see what it looks like. Tonight I have to make sure I practice, but not too hard. I don’t want to injure myself right before World’s.
Thursday, April 14 Today I am leaving for JFK Airport. I am so excited for World’s but very nervous! I am just happy that I made it to Ireland! A very small, select amount of dancers compete at World’s and I’m happy to be one of them.
Friday, April 15 I finally arrived in Ireland. The past day was chaotic, but I’m here in Dublin and my focus is dance. I am so tired – I’m not used to Irish time yet! Later I have to practice with any other Inishfree dancer that has arrived.
Saturday, April 16 I’m starting to get nervous about dancing on Monday. So many thoughts are crossing my mind. I’m worried something will go wrong when I’m on stage. Based on my dancing I am very confident. It all depends on the day though. Everybody has worked so hard to be here, and if one thing goes wrong to affect your results, it is such a disappointment.
Sunday, April 17 Today is the day before I dance. Today is also the start of all the competitions. I know a few people who are competing today, and I want to go and watch. I always try to support my friends with their dancing and I make sure I go watch them. Inishfree is one big team one big family. We are always there for each other.
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