Forum: Irish / Irish - Adult Dancers

Dance, life, feis, STRESS!
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 17, 2014 05:08 PM

Ok, so I'm soooo excited for Nation's Capital Feis, but also pretty stressed. This hasn't happened before, possibly because I've only done smaller local feisanna before, but yesterday I kinda started freaking out on the way home from work. Part is the dancing: most adult comps in my area are small, so I don't know when I'll have another chance to move up my dances, and I REALLY want to move at least one dance to novice, part is all of the non dance stuff I need to do before I leave town, and part is the things I want to do (but don't need to). I already made the decision to not go to ballet classes or the gym next week: just Irish, practicing, and ballroom (mostly because I've already paid up til the end of the month), but it still feels like there are too few hours in each day!

On top of all that, I'm starting to get to the point where parts of my body are starting to feel a bit overworked, and I'm facing the difficult choice of slowing down on practicing or pushing through and possibly abiding my poor body .

Well, that turned into more of a rant than I intended! Any advice or words of wisdom from people who've been juggling adult life and competing longer than I have? Right now my solution is resting my feet while sipping a beer, but I can't really do that every day!

6 Replies to Dance, life, feis, STRESS!

re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS! (karma: 1)
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 17, 2014 05:35 PM
I would not recommend over doing it this week. Don't want to get so sore that you can't dance at all! Also, this close you aren't going to make tremendous changes in technique.

I would recommend practicing, for sure, but don't do it to a high intensity everyday. You can also do mental practice. Imagine yourself dancing perfectly. Don't "watch" yourself in your head, but "feel" yourself dancing. Imagine the judge in front and the line up behind you and go thru all your steps.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to perform. That kind of stress is a fun killer, for sure. Go out there and show the judge and the spectators how much you like to dance. If you do well, great! If not, enjoy meeting other dancers and socializing. 😀

Best of luck to you and happy dancing!
re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS!
By Joyette78
On Thu Jul 17, 2014 07:39 PM
Even for those of us local, this one is the biggest I think most of us do all year. It's fun, but yes, we all get a bit nervous for it. I'll echo above, and say practice is good, but I've also found it's better to feel good mentally. Picture good dancing like Hop123 said.

And no matter how we all place, I know that we all can go to dinner and happy hour after! Hooray!
re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS! (karma: 1)
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 17, 2014 08:17 PM
Happy hour is definitely a perk of being an adult dancer. If I place well, I'm going to bar to celebrate. If I don't place well, I'm going to the bar anyway. Either way, I'm hitting the bar that evening :)
re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS!
By kate_monster
On Thu Jul 24, 2014 07:22 AM
Aw man, GanntheGlorious, can I join you? I'm hitting Nation's Cap this weekend too and am SUPER stressed (AC broke, husband is having a bad work week, all 3 pairs of dance shoes were stolen so I have to use borrowed pairs, etc.). I just hope I don't look like complete crap and can get through both rounds and have it be fun! Never worth it if it's not fun.
re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS!
By seannettaPremium member
On Thu Jul 24, 2014 08:50 AM
The older I get as a dancer (I'm currently 35), the more I come to value rest as an important function of dance improvement. I can no longer "push through" injuries, because my body doesn't bounce back as quickly, and I don't recommend other adults push through either. I echo what others have said about preparing for the feis with some visualization and whatever calming activities you can do to bring the nerves down a little.

I have found that competing as an adult (I competed in Irish as a kid/young adult and currently compete in Highland as an adult) is generally a bit more low-pressure, if you train your brain to let it be. Dance is important, but so is my career, and my friends, and my family, so I use my general life self-confidence and try and translate that to dance self-confidence. It's one feis -- not the end of the world. You got this! Psyching yourself up, and doing whatever you need to do to stay calm, is just as important as the physical preparation.
re: Dance, life, feis, STRESS!
By cecescullymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:12 PM
I agree with Seannetta above; dance is just one of the things I'm doing as an adult, juggling career, family, life, etc, and while yes, I do get disappointed if I don't do well (and sometimes "well" means dancing "my" best, and sometimes "well" means placing, etc…), overall, I am so happy to get to do it at all.

I'm also incredibly nervous because I've been "resting" an injury for two months, AND just learned a slew of new steps after changing schools this year (I moved and could no longer do the two hour trek each way, and found a fabulous group of adults fifteen minutes from my new home)…

So yeah, I am nervous and feeling "not up to my best," but I keep telling myself that it's for the fun of it. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself TOO much, and I'll just dance like no one is watching … Right? ;o)

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