This post is of course for all of you, but most especially for our dancers headed to Montreal later this week. Ashlyn, Grace, Emma, Terra, Bree, Cael, Kaiden, Cara, Kennedy, Rowan, Reaghan, Nylagh, Shayla and Paige ... we are SO proud of all of you and we know you'll be brilliant!
So here we are, on the doorstep of the 2014 North American Irish Dance Championships. Right now you're triple-checking your packing lists, posting Instagram countdowns, googling pictures of the Palais de Congres and keeping the butterflies at bay as best as you can. When you get up there, remember to keep your head up and your feet out. Remember that timing issue you have in your second step. Remember that place in your lead where you need to point your toes down more. Use your entire stage. Keep in mind your ultimate goal but don't let it blind you to the task at hand. Execute each round with precision and confidence. Dance hard. Leave nothing behind. But remember this too: You are here because you have worked hard. You are also here because they have worked hard. Your friends, your peers, your fellow dancers, your network. You can push yourself to your limits working to master that new treble jig, but you know that nothing will spur you on better than a friend dancing it beside you. In years to come, you won't remember if you recalled in Montreal or not. You won't remember that feis where you rolled an ankle in the middle of your slip jig or blanked out and made up your treble reel on stage. But you will remember that time you arrived at your hotel room and found a neon sign wishing you luck taped to your door. You'll remember the (many) times you spent hours taking ridiculous group selfies while you waited in a ballroom for results. Like the one above.
Cherish your trophies, sashes, awards and accomplishments. They are a testiment to your talent and determination and you worked hard for every one. But cherish this more. Because it's what really counts. Go team. :)