"Dancing with your feet is one thing, but dancing with your heart is another"
I am a 18 year old open championship irish dancer from the Mid America Region. I am currently 44th in the nation. I've been dancing for 10 years. I love Irish dancing more than anything else in the world. Feel free to ask questions about anything. Irish dance is my passion and I promise always to have answers.
I’m laying in bed trying not to wake my roommates but I can’t stop crying. I don’t know what I want anymore.
I have had a dream since I was 7 years old that I wanted to be a “champion”. I still remember to this day my first coach told us that if we worked really hard that one day we could become a champion.
I have fought through countless NO’s in my career. NO Mairenn will never get a solo dress. NO Mairenn will never make it out of Prizewinner. NO Mairenn will ever make it to Oireachtas. NO Mairenn will never qualify for Nationals. NO She will never win OC. NO Mairenn will never recall at Nationals.
All I’ve ever wanted was to prove every single NO wrong. I have worked my ass off to get where I am today and I am not going to let anyone tell me differently.
There are really three big NOs swirling around in my head. I just don’t know if I have enough fight left in me to take them on.
Sorry for the rant but I needed to get this out of my head.
TELL ME THE STORY ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO THE TOP OF THE PODIUM
2014 (Senior Men) - This year Worlds I had decided we more or less going to be my last one. This would be my 11th Worlds, at this point I had been in the Top 5 7x but had never been Top 3. All I wanted was to leave with a globe, that’s all I wanted. An opportunity had presented itself where I was given permission to train with my choreographer in England prior to the Worlds. It was such a great opportunity that I couldn’t say no, so I took the semester off from school, had to leave my job, and I moved from Texas to England. I had the most amazing time of my life getting this kind of training. The practices were intense, long hours, and many aches and pains I thought I had grown out of. My choreographer wanted to completely change everything about my look and I am so glad she did. Very quickly the entire month of March passes and most of April and the next thing I know, it’s the Worlds!
London was such a fun week because I got to stay for the entire Worlds (which I had never done before) and being surrounded by dancing 24/7 was so much fun. My best friend Lydian came over from Houston to see me dance and so did my mom. Now I had not seen my mom in 1 1/2 months so I was definitely crying when I saw her cause my family is really close and being that far away is really hard. Now my mom and I have always practiced together but this was the first time that she had not seen me practicing and I decided that I only wanted her to see me dance for the first since moving to England was to be on the Worlds stage.
So dancing day - I went to bed at 9pm the night before and woke up at 6.45am, not groggy but really ready. We stopped by Starbucks on the way to the venue (what else is new!) and made our way to the ballroom. I wasn’t feeling any pressure or stress at all. I go onstage to do my TJ, and I was happy with it, but felt it could’ve been stronger. (I had the same feeling for my TJ in 2006.) Reel goes wonderfully so all I had to was wait for the set, and I was doing Kilkenny Races 76. I did Kilkenny when I won the AIs 2011 and I’ve loved this set ever since. This particularly choreography was so hard and challenging, and required a hell of a lot of stamina. I remembering drinking a Red Bull side stage with my water trying to get energy. What I remember most about doing my set is coming off stage and going to my teachers and seeing the biggest smile on Mrs. Hall’s face. That moment right there, seeing her smile, made my entire day. She couldn’t stop giggling about my set because it made her so happy. All of my friends who were there couldn’t stop talking about my set, and about my dancing. I was just happy to finish all three of my rounds very pleased.
So we go to grab lunch and I had this odd feeling of, not quite dread, but just feeling anxious for results. I couldn’t quite shake this feeling. I think I was so worried that moving to England, getting all this training, still might not have been enough but I knew that this was the best I had ever danced.
Results come around, and in less than 10 minutes, my entire world changed (again!) So just like in 2006, I was one of the last scores read out, and being towards the end is great in that you know what you’re probably getting but terrifying cause you have to wait. My first score is a 100 and I’m happy to get it but worried that with the dropping of the high and the low I won’t keep it. We had to wait until the third score to start seeing where the consistencies would be, and I get the 100. I immediately look over to my mom and Lydian and cry “I’m in the Top 3!” because I was keeping a 100. The tears started coming because a place that had alluded me for 8 years was finally mine and I was finally going home with a globe. Finally, the last score is read out. We watch nervously because this 100 is going to determine who wins between the men in the Top 3. When the 100 doesn’t go to other two, I realize that I got it. Now I’m really confused because that means I’m keeping 2 of these 100s. The tears are coming harder because I know this is something big. I squeezing my mom’s hand so tightly because I am terrified. As I hear the other two highest scores being read, I’m just praying for something good. Then I hear 377. Wait, that’s two points higher than Tyler’s super impressive 375. “Wait!” (I’m now shouting) “Wait. What just happened?! DID I JUST WIN?!” I cry out in confusion because the screens are black. Then I hear “In 1st place, from the McTeggart School…” I collapse into my mom’s lap and I am sobbing. 8 years of thinking that I was as has been, that I was never ever going to win again, years of always being on the periphery, banished in a second. I couldn’t stop crying and was just so thrilled.
That moment of getting to finally hold a globe for the first time ever, getting to run off the podium into the warm embrace of my teachers, the laughs, happy tears and the celebration was the most perfect ending to a wonderful career.
I find it wonderful that the first major title I ever won was the 2006 Worlds and now my last major title is the 2014 Worlds. I’m just very fortunate and grateful for everything that has happened to me. I really would not be here without my teachers, family and friends and my faith in God.
Thank you for asking! and sorry for the long post.
BETWEEN YOU AND MEGAN I CRIED THIS WHOLE DAY :’))
I wanted to officially come out and say that I will be taking a semester off dance all together. I need some time to figure things out and have a “normal college semester”. I am completely burnt out when it comes to dance right now and I don’t want to end up resenting the sport. I went to class a couple of weeks ago and I ended up crying for most of it because I didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t understand why. I will not be doing Oireachtas. I am going to see what I want to do next semester when the time comes.
I will try and post on here for you guys ever once in a while but right now I think irish dance and I need some space. I wish y’all the best of luck. Thank you for supporting me every step of the way.
I can’t thank you guys enough <3
You make me want to dance again ❤
Aww thank you!! This means a lot! I am actually taking a break right now. Possibly a semester off to deal with school. Thank you for making me want to dance again 😊
Hey guys! I wanted to let y’all know that I’m going to be taking a break from this blog and possibly dance in general for the next for weeks.
I am very overwhelmed with my commitments to school and my sorority right now and it is only the first week back.
I’m not sure what this means for my dancing future yet but I need some time to figure things out.
Dance will always be a huge part of my life but I want to go into competitions fully prepared and right now I don’t have the time or the heart to fully commit to training.
Thank you for understanding!
What happened to you at NANS?
I sat on the ground during my jig and the judges didn’t like it
*lays on studio floor* I JUST WANT TO BE GOOD AT THIS SPORT
ME 365 DAYS A YEAR
Tracee Ellis Ross (via wordsthat-speak)