oireachtas

When we were young, we dreamed of high kicks, but never imagined the pain.

When we were young, we dreamed of perfect rhythms, but never imagined the late night drills.

When we were young, we dreamed of straight backs, but never imagined sweaty pre-dawn sit ups.

When we were young, we dreamed of flying, but never imagined the price of landing.

When we were young, we dreamed of smiling atop a podium, but never imagined the tears that led the way.

We still dream of being champions, but can’t imagine, don’t realise, that we already are.

—  I sat on the train and made myself tear up writing this. It’s not oireachtas season for me, but this one goes out to all of you. X

When you look at the raw results you don’t know the true story. You don’t know that the girl who got 32nd just had surgery and hadn’t danced in three months. You don’t know that the girl who got 3rd practiced for 4 hours a day and sacrificed her high school sport for dance and her goal was to win. You don’t know that the girl who got 76th is overjoyed because this was her first Oireachtas and she made the recall.

You don’t know the whole story. You can’t judge.

Everyone has individual goals and challenges

Oireachtas is one dance day and doesn’t sum up someone’s whole dance career.

Focus on the fact that these dancers competed at a regional level and spent time working for something they love.

Placement is just a number, not the sole determining factor of a dancer.

Awesome things about Irish dance:

- Going out for lunch after dance outs
- Sleep-overs after feises
- Hanging out with your dance friends
- Meeting awesome people at feises
- Meeting people from all over the world at majors
- When your teacher smiles at you, or says “good job”
- When you really start noticing improvements
- Finally hitting that move that you couldn’t do before
- Coming off stage and knowing you nailed it
- When you meet/exceed your goals
- Sweating and sore muscles after practice (you know you worked hard)
- Knowing that you can do something that amazes people
- On St. Patrick’s day when you’re in your wig and team jacket, and a random stranger asks you if you’re an Irish dancer, and you proudly say “yes!”
- Jumping up and down with your team mates after dancing a figure
- Getting to see new parts of your country while traveling to competitions
- The feeling of flying when you hit a leap just right

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THIS. southern region oireachtas 2013.

AN IRISH DANCER’S PRAYER -

May my legs be strong and ankles not be wibbly wobbly (unless they need to be,idk). May my wig stay attached and my bedazzled dress shine with the whitehot intensity of a thousand suns. May I proudly stand upon the podium reveling in the tears of the fellow competitors I have slaughtered. Amen.

—  Mary (who is not an irish dancer but her blog is wonderful if you like superheros and cute things go follow her)

This moment was 13 years in the making. This was when I was called as a qualifier for the 2014 World Championships. I will never forget seeing my entire dance school jumping and screaming for me because they knew how much I had put into this and how much I have been through. I have faced many setbacks in my life, and they are what made this moment mean so much to myself and my family.

Here’s to the countless hours spent in the dance studio, the blisters, the tears and the ever present injuries. 

And here’s to my brother who had the best seat in the house to watch me qualify.