So here's our Girls' U10 Ceili Team, displaying intense professionalism and focus prior to hitting the stage at the 2014 Western Canadian Oireachtas. We feel that this shot about sums the team up. Meghan and Lydia (the only ones not making horrific faces) are essentially the only sane ones. ;)
We've had a lot to celebrate this year. 12 dancers competed in their first feis in 2014 and 9 dancers advanced to championship level. You all put on a spectacular year-end performance ("The Legend of Grace O'Malley") for enthusiastic audiences in Calgary and Lethbridge in May. We took home our first Western Canadian Oireachtas titles in Girls U10 Ceili (see above) and Boys U15 (congrats Kaiden!) and our highest placing in a girls' Oireachtas competition to date (3rd by Miss Grace in Girls' U9). We competed at the World and North American Championships, finishing with two top-20 solo placings in Montreal this past July. We celebrated with 9 World and National qualifiers headed off to international competitions in the spring and summer of 2015. Big congratulations go out to all of these dancers, and especially to Miss Emma on qualifying for her first Worlds - hard work pays off girlie! We got to help each of you master a new step, figure out a new movement, support a friend, and cheer on a classmate. There were many emotional moments, at least twice as many ridiculous ones, and countless personal bests.
2015 will take us back to Montreal for the World Championships, then on to Providence in July for the North American Championships and finally to Kelowna in November for next year's Oireachtas. Sprinkled in between these majors will be all the local competitions, performances for St. Patrick's Day and Canada Day, and of course our year-end production ("Backbeat") at the end of May.
A thought to leave you all with as we head into the hardcore feis season and gear up for 2015:
"It is not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It is the will to prepare to win that matters." - Paul Bryant -
Remember that even the champions don't feel like putting on their dance shoes and practicing every day. They don't feel like doing their cardio workouts or their stretching. They do it because they know it will pay off in the end. And it doesn't matter if you're aiming for a podium or a placing or just really want to move your slip jig into Novice. What matters is that you prepare to meet those goals.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2015!