The 4th annual competition was a huge success!
- 68 dancers (age 4-73)
- 54 competitions
- 22 exhibitions (including 3 singers and 1 spoons player)
- 2 out of town judges
- 5 musicians
There were 3 notable additions:
- Olive and Cora competed and placed in duets with a 2 hand, done to a slide
- During the social dancing, hardly any of the 2 hands needed to be called (Johnny Will you Marry Me, Peeler and the Goat, Heel/Toe Polka)
- Willa (age 10) called the Connemara Set
It was a wonderful day, and much fun was had by all!
When I reflect on the dancing, I feel like there is so much to be proud of in this community. Our dancers are respectful of the music, and work so hard on their timing and style. But they don't necessarily communicate that confidence when they are dancing in the competition.
Perhaps it's my mistake: I stress the importance of dancing with the tune so much. If they don't know the tune, they work very hard to make sure that they stay with the music. But what that seems to be creating is an internalized beat-keeping style that doesn't necessarily reflect the fun and joy these dancers have when they are being themselves.
In years past we have had a tune list, and although it was infuriating to listen to the Silver Spear 150 times, it did allow for children to feel secure in the tune they would hear. Perhaps it's time to return to that list, and give dancers a bit of comfort so that they can feel comfortable expressing themselves.