Forum: Irish / Irish - Adult Dancers

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re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By iloveirishdancemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 379, member since Fri Jan 05, 2007
On Mon Jan 31, 2011 09:57 PM
Great sticky!
I'm so happy I dropped and switched to the &Overs, its the best thing I did for me and my dancing. I danced 1 year in adult, and now 3 years in grades starting in Novice. I'm one dance away from Prelims and I'm working hard as I can, and I struggle to find time in my busy schedule and fight the fact that I am almost 34 but its very rewarding and I love how much I've learned. Since I dance in &overs, there is no limit to what I can learn, my TC treats me like any other dancer and believes I have the potential to go farther. Its worth the challenge if you want it!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By MearaKellymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 100, member since Wed Jan 05, 2011
On Tue Feb 01, 2011 05:48 AM
Edited by MearaKelly (230099) on 2011-02-01 06:12:34 forgot to say something . . .
Hop_123, I guess I was a little too quick to generalize there. Bad habit of mine, I'm afraid. ;) I think dropping down for the reasons you stated are amazingly reasonable. I was shocked as all get out when I read that adult catagories were limited in what speeds/styles of dance they were allowed to use. Even if I didn't have the dream of dancing in higher levels, I would most likely still consider dropping down, just for that reason. While I like that adults are judged more on "traditition technique" rather then "tricks and athleticism" I don't want to be limited to it, y'know?

Thanks for your input, Valkyrja. You defintily gave me food for thought. For a while now I've had dancing in &overs as a foregone conclusion in my mind that I've never even considered doing a comp or too in adults. I still might stick with starting out in &overs, just for the simple reason that it takes me a while to get used to new situations. So it would be double awkward for me to try and adjust to one social situation (adults) and then have to change for another.

And thanks for your kind words. I should start having events come March-ish. Don't want to rush it just yet.

Edit: iloveirishdance, I find your post super inspirational. I can't wait until I'm in prelims! Good luck with everything!

Cheers
~Meara
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By kefling Comments: 205, member since Sun Mar 01, 2009
On Tue Feb 01, 2011 08:08 AM
Thanks for the post and all the great replies! They are all very encouraging. I'll be dancing at my first &Overs feis this weekend! Excited and nervous, but I'm ready to go out there and dance my little heart out thanks to you all.
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By MissSlipjig Comments: 70, member since Fri Feb 04, 2011
On Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:34 AM
iloveirishdance, I find your post very inspirational too! I am the same age as you and went to my first feis last weekend. It was the best thing that's happened to me in a while! I competed with the & overs in advanced beginner and placed in everything including a first place in slipjig. Was thrilled to death considering how scared I was and that I didn't think it my best dancing.

Will be moving up to Novice for the next competition and am super-charged!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By treblejiggernaut Comments: 1305, member since Sun Dec 02, 2007
On Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:57 AM
Good luck Kefling! We will be cheering for you all the way from CA. You are an awesome dancer, just enjoy the moment and dance your heart out. You will do great!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By kate_monster Comments: 117, member since Thu Jul 28, 2011
On Mon Aug 01, 2011 09:07 AM
I have never formally met you, but know your dress and have seen you at multiple feisanna. Any advice in particular for moving down? Do they place more emphasis on athleticism? (Or, as always, is that fully dependent on the judge?) What is your overall opinion of the novice grade and-overs so far?
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By dancenoworlater Comments: 67, member since Thu Aug 04, 2011
On Thu Aug 04, 2011 02:51 PM
Great article!! Hey the challenge is definitely worth it if it can help you progress more. But what ever level you are enjoy it!!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By celticfan Comments: 15, member since Sun Mar 20, 2011
On Tue Oct 11, 2011 06:10 PM
I did my first feis a bit back(nerves almost killed me). I think I'm going to do at least 5 more feisannas until I have the serious talk with my TCRG. Any other nuggets of advice you guys could give me?
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By MeheartID Comments: 1, member since Wed Apr 25, 2012
On Wed Apr 25, 2012 03:32 PM
I’m a bit late to this thread – having just started ID subsequent to the past post.

But I have to say, I am heartbroken – I just talked with my TC last night about whether there might be a possibility of me dropping down some day (one or two years, after I’ve achieved PW in the Adults). And she said no. She said I wouldn’t fit in…. She DID say that I was capable of more technical/complicated dancing, and that I could perform with the younger advanced (PWs and prelims, right now, in our school) – but I can’t stand the thought that I’ve got a built in limit to how far I can take my dancing on the competitive stage, simply because I’m an adult (I’ll be 43 in July).

I wish I had waited, like CelticFan – but the subject just came up. Now I’m wondering if I can ever convince her otherwise? Has anyone had this experience? Does anyone have any advice for how to make my case? I’m figuring that I will just keep mum on the subject for at least the rest of the year and:

See how well I place/score at the rest of this year’s feisanna
Check in with the registrars at each feis and keep a record of how many adults in our region are dancing in the &Overs
Work my BUTT off so that she can see how important this is to me…

Any advice you all can offer would be so very appreciated…
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 4234, member since Sat Feb 03, 2007
On Wed Apr 25, 2012 03:46 PM
MeheartID, your plan sounds good. Take some time to show your TC what you have got, and your dedication. Then maybe approach the topic again. Maybe your TC needs to get used to the idea. Are there other adult dancers at your school. Are you in class with kids or adults?

I'm not sure what they meant by you "wouldn't fit in"? You dance at the level that you are at, so your skill level should be the same as the other dancers. You can dress like the kids if you want to, but you don't have to (in fact my TC doesn't like adults in socks at all, so I wear tights and I have never worn a wig-do have curly hair though! :) ) Wearing a wig can make you look "younger" but the competition is "and over", it's just that we are WAY over! (I'm 48)

Don't be totally discouraged though! I had to beg to get into the competitive classes at all, vs the adult recreational class (which was completely non challenging). Then I competed in adults up thru PW, then I dropped down to novice and overs. My TC initially wasn't big on adults competing, or being in and overs, but he has come around and is much more supportive of adult dancers (yay!) I hope the effort I put into my dancing had something to do with that.
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By kerrygirl Comments: 7, member since Sun Sep 07, 2008
On Fri Jun 22, 2012 01:41 PM
It's been a while since anyone replied to this post - but i'm still hoping someone will read this. I danced as a child, and then came back to dancing a couple of years ago in my 40's. I've been dancing as an adult but have been contemplating dropping down the entire time. We are moving down to southern Florida and although I know there are several schools who offer adult classes, it doesn't look as though there is very much competition at all. I just don't think it's a lively adult community. So, this might force my hand. Does anyone have any advice regarding these schools and their attitude toward adult dancers and the &overs? Drake, Rondeau,Tir Na Greina, Breffni and Aranmore...any and all advice is welcome! I love figures, too....
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By scousedancer Comments: 10, member since Sat May 14, 2011
On Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:41 PM
As I'm a European Adult dancer (based in the UK) it seems so sad to me to read these posts by Adult dancers in the US being treated this way! You have every bit as much right to want to compete & strech your ability as any child, moreso as you appreciate just how much work & dedication it takes! I'd agree with other posters try to convince your teacher by showing him/her that you have the ability to place well, perhaps even put this as a propsition to them such as "if I can achieve such and such a placement at this level in such and such a time frame, will you reconsider your decision to let me drop down?" If he/she says no, then be prepared to look for a new teacher/school - don't let someone curtail your dreams just because the cannot see beyond the limitations of their preconceived ideas.
An alternative might be to look at the Open platform organisations, such as CRN & NAIDF - both of whom are very welcoming to Adult Irish dancers & don't attempt to curtail the ability of Adults the way An Coimisiun (USA) do. If you go to a CRN comp though, I'd check with them if there are any set routines they expect you to know (I'm not certain, but I think in their equivalent of beginner/novice CRN have set steps/routines).
Good luck whatever you do - and remember, life is too short to live someone elses dreams - believe in yourself!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By KiraDancesIrishmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 452, member since Sat Jan 17, 2009
On Fri Nov 30, 2012 04:01 AM
kerrygirl-
I am a Midwest dancer but I am friends with an exdancer who moved South who is friends with a Drake dancer. Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon I know. but anyways, I have been told in passing that they do let their adults drop down. This was a few years ago, but I would think this still stands? granted they have ALOT of different studios so what is for one may not be for all? but I would think it should be. (I just never assume) as for the other schools, dunno. I can only tell you what I was told in passing by my friend when we were talking about the subject. Hope you check this and see it! good luck!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By SlipjigSuperhero Comments: 32, member since Sun Dec 02, 2012
On Mon Feb 18, 2013 01:32 AM
In response to MeHeartID, I'm in a similar situation. I just did my first feis. My teacher insisted that I compete in the adult category so I did (I'm 19 and a beginner). I didn't mind at all but I was kind of sad that there weren't many people competing in the adult category (I was the only beginner, there were two novice-level dancers and five prizewinners) and because it was the end of the feis, nobody besides the people who had some specifically to see the adults stayed.

I may want to drop down at some point just because I feel like I'm missing out on the whole experience but I know my teacher won't like it because she was so adamant about me competing in adult.
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By laureenmt Comments: 1, member since Fri Mar 08, 2013
On Fri Mar 08, 2013 04:34 PM
Hi Kerrygirl,

You sound just like me!! I danced as a child and came back to it as an adult AND I moved to South Florida last summer. I am dancing with Drake in Ft. Lauderdale. I am not competing in the and overs, but I do believe they would be friendly to someone who wanted to do that. Good luck to you!
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By DayOver30member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 251, member since Sat Mar 26, 2011
On Mon Mar 18, 2013 03:47 PM
When is it the right time to talk to your teacher about dropping down?

I originally wanted to wait until I got 1st places in all the big feisanna for adults in my area. Last year, at the 3 feisanna that had 6 or more competitors (which I can't go to 2 of them this year because of work/other conflicts) I took home a few 2nds and 3rds from each. So on the one hand I feel like I need to perform better in adults (though the pressure of knowing I only have a few chances each year adds to my nervousness at those competitions). On the other hand, I feel like I am at the peak of my physical fitness right now, so I am scared of waiting too long. Right now I am so frustrated with the low numbers of adults at the feisanna closest to me.

As for some of the cons mentioned in the original post, I am already in a class with tween-aged novice dancers and I do the same steps as them (in reference to leaving a class with your friends and having to do more physically-demanding steps). If the opinions I have about running races carry over to Irish dance, I'd rather get a lower placement with more competitors. I'm more proud of my 2489th place marathon finish than I am of most of my Irish dance medals.

It sounds like some people on the board here have regretted asking too early...for those that successfully dropped down/are in the process of dropping down, what's your recommendation on timing?
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By IrishTea83 Comments: 4, member since Fri Feb 08, 2013
On Thu Apr 25, 2013 03:39 PM
DayOver30, congratulations on your marathon finish and result! :0) I've run eight half-marathons so far and have just recently taken the leap and registered for a full marathon in the fall! I definitely share the same feelings about running v. dance awards.

Recently, I've been giving some serious thought about 'dropping down', but I'm just not quite sure. Even though I started Irish dancing when I was young, I've only started competing within the past year, but I've placed in all of my dances at each of the feiseanna I've attended. I feel very torn, because I know dropping down would be more challenging for me and likely guarantee more dancers at feiseanna, but I really don't want to leave my adult dance-mates. I also don't know if I'd still be able to compete with them in ceili dances if I dropped down. :0( I'm worried about ageism too . . . . I'll be 30 this summer, and even though I feel stronger than I ever have, I don't really want to dance against teenagers. I feel like I should focus on getting to graduate school first, but I love Irish dancing so much, and it would be amazing to achieve championship level! To fellow dancers who've successfully dropped down, how did you make your final decision? What helped you ultimately decide? Thanks in advance! :0)
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By criosamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3252, member since Wed Oct 09, 2002
On Wed Aug 27, 2014 07:17 AM
point of note:

the MidAmerica feis syllabus seems to have changed the wording to the 5-year rule. as it reads now, it looks like you can't switch in either direction. (whereas, in the past, it read more as a restriction only going from &Overs to adults)

from the 2014 syllabus adult section:
A dancer over the age of 18 who has not danced in the above* described competitions for a period of five years. Dancers who are in the Adult categories cannot enter any competition other than Adult specified competitions. A dancer who wishes to return to any category other than Adult must remain out of Adult competitions until they retire from dancing for five consecutive years


* above competitions being the standard age groups/levels
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By GirlGeekPremium member Comments: 29, member since Tue Apr 22, 2014
On Tue Sep 16, 2014 07:20 PM
criosa wrote:

point of note:

the MidAmerica feis syllabus seems to have changed the wording to the 5-year rule. as it reads now, it looks like you can't switch in either direction. (whereas, in the past, it read more as a restriction only going from &Overs to adults)

from the 2014 syllabus adult section:
A dancer over the age of 18 who has not danced in the above* described competitions for a period of five years. Dancers who are in the Adult categories cannot enter any competition other than Adult specified competitions. A dancer who wishes to return to any category other than Adult must remain out of Adult competitions until they retire from dancing for five consecutive years


* above competitions being the standard age groups/levels


I must be missing something--I'm not seeing anything about having to wait five years to drop down at all. I read both the first and the last sentence as "if you dance in the age groups, you can't return to Adult comps until you've taken 5 years off from competing".
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By criosamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3252, member since Wed Oct 09, 2002
On Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:44 PM
that last sentence is worded terribly if you're right (which is entirely possible - it certainly wouldn't be the first time the wording of a rule left me beyond confused)

I guess I don't get why they'd say you "must remain out of adult competition" in the last sentence if it doesn't apply towards dropping down.

at any rate, the wording is different from the last time I remember looking at a syllabus, and thought I'd mention it so people can talk to their TCs to get clarification
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By GirlGeekPremium member Comments: 29, member since Tue Apr 22, 2014
On Thu Sep 18, 2014 07:59 AM
Definitely horribly clunky. The only restrictive phrase (must remain) applies to going back to adults, but I can't figure a way to interpreted "wishes to return to any category other than adult" as "must wait a certain amount of time to return to non-adult".

I am bemused by the use of "return", which implies that we all must have danced as kids.

Someone didn't have enough coffee when they rephrased this rule.
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By sarahrID Comments: 99, member since Sun Jul 14, 2013
On Thu Sep 18, 2014 08:38 AM
I'm not seeing how that wording can be interpreted as saying you can't drop down unless you stop competing for 5 years.

The first sentence defines an adult - over 18, hasn't competed in "and overs" or any other category than adult in 5 years.

The second sentence says if you dance in adult comps, you can't dance in any other type of comps (no and-overs, specials, etc. that aren't specially categorized as "adult").

The third says that if an adult dances in any other type of competition (non-adult), you are then banned from adult comps until you take another 5 year break.

While it could probably be a bit more elegant, I'm just not seeing how that last sentence can be interpreted to day you can't drop down from adult to and-over for 5 years. The sentences says only must stay out of adult comps, not out of any other comp.
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By diversedancer Comments: 10, member since Tue May 13, 2014
On Thu Sep 25, 2014 07:25 AM
Oh no! Does this mean since I'm planning to compete this year in the adult category, I can't drop down next year? My goal was to drop down, but I haven't yet talked to my TC about it. I really hope I don't have to wait 5 years to do so...I would have just asked to start in the grade levels if I would have known...If this change has been made, since it was just made, maybe competing as an adult last year wouldn't count and I could skip competing this year to drop down next. Thoughts? Maybe I should ask my TC about this asap so she knows my goal, although I was hoping to ask her after competing in novice/prizewinner this year to "prove myself".
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By diversedancer Comments: 10, member since Tue May 13, 2014
On Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:01 AM
Edited by diversedancer (266904) on 2014-09-25 10:20:14 added more
Do you know if adult dancers in the Mid-America region have dropped down? I learned about dropping down from this site, but do not know of anyone personally who has, nor have I noticed any older individuals dancing with younger kids...but I also haven't been to many feiseanna yet, and I wasn't specifically looking for adults in the and over category. I think I'd be the first from my school, but I'm not sure. I'm just really nervous about asking, and do not know if I should ask now or after getting firsts as novice/prizewinner with this possible new rule about waiting five years to drop down... if I'm reading the rewritten rule correctly :/

The rule really can be understood both ways. Either a dancer who wants to drop down to any other category (and overs), must not compete in adult competitions for five years, or, a dancer who drops down and wants to return to adult must remain out of adult competition for five years. Which is it?

A dancer who wishes to return to any category other than Adult must remain out of Adult competitions until they retire from dancing for five consecutive years
re: A Guide to "Dropping Down"
By DayOver30member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 251, member since Sat Mar 26, 2011
On Thu Sep 25, 2014 08:50 PM
I am from Mid-America and was told that after you compete in adults, you cannot compete in any other category...wish I would have known that before I started competing :( I, too, learned about dropping down from this website and thought that I should be in adult prizewinner before dropping down. The only people I know of outside this website who have dropped down are from the Southern Region. After I was told I could only dance in the adult category, I started thinking about it and realized I don't know any Mid-America adults who have dropped down, so maybe it just isn't possible here :(
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