Session Four (6 April - 25 May, 2002) April 6, 2002

We arrived home from Seattle, and stopped by dance class to see if Cait had any information for us. We found out about a performance - a performance in two weeks. Cait said we'll be doing all of our recital stuff, most likely.
Apparently, at our recital, someone from the Miners Coalition saw us and asked Cait and Deirdre if we'd dance at their party/get-together/meeting/whatever at the West Coast Grand Hotel. They offered to pay them $300-$500 (!) dollars to perform, and so we'll be doing it. Cait said that as soon as they get the money, we'll be receiving the bottom embroidery of our dresses (machine-done) to sew on, and perhaps have on for the next feis in June! Yehaw!
The next big question is the brocks. When do we get the pattern. It's hours and hours worth of work, very thick, and not-so-easy to hide if you make a mistake. The dragon is the focal point and centerpiece of our school dresses, and so we can't wait to receive them. Cait is having us embroider the cuffs ourselves sometime in the near future.
Well, the next big piece of news: Deirdre is in the hospital. YES, the hospital. But not just any hospital, a hospital in Ireland. Up, that's right. Deirdre's appendix burst right before the trip, and we walked around with a burst appendix for a week! So now she's in the hospital somewhere in Ireland (with Claire), getting ready for surgery to remove the appendix. She's on a butt-load of antibiotics and hydrators. That's the Irish stubborn-ness in her veins. She refused to go to the hospital sooner.
Since I was not prepped for class, or rather, not dressed for class, I assumed my position by the waiting windows and watched the dancers learn the 4-Hand (again). Cait eventually called me in to sub for one of the dancers, and so I danced barefoot. How fun! Especially since I knew the 4-Hand.
Annnyway, with a performance in less than two weeks, a feis in less than two months, and some new embroidering to do, my life may not settle down quite yet, afterall. Plus, I discovered oodles of new feiseanna that are close by - mainly the Boise Feis by the River. Yeehaw! My mom and dad are planning a trip to the Chicagoland area again, but this time, we'll be squeezing a feis in, too, so that my relatives can all watch me dance, something they haven't been able to do, yet.

April 13, 2002

Happy 1st year of Irish dance! Yeehaw!
When to class, got my shoes on, blah blah, then I waited by the window until the next class finished, blah blah. Same as always.
We got into the room, received some papers on the performance. We also found out that there is a new kid coming to our school, and so we have to demonstrate our "stuff" to him, to see which level he'd fit in. We had an extremely quick warm-up, and then we did the Opening Reel, except we did both right and left foot of the second step, so, in other words, Rebekah and I had to struggle through Down-Out-In on our left foot. Ack! We messed up big time, but it was fun! I'm such a nerd.
Anywho, we got into hardshoes after that, and we actually reviewed the Treble Reel! And not only did we work on the step we learned so long ago, we also added a new step! You see, Cait said we'll be doing the Treble Reel in the show! Yay! The second step that we learned was really fun! I don't understand the timing without music, but other than that, it's all good. The step goes like this (and it involves clicks! Yeehaw!): brush up brush whip, brush hop step brush hop step, slam step brush back hop back, slam step brush back hop back, slam step brush back hop back, and hit and toe, brush back hop back, brush back step step, brush back hop back.
Yeah, something like that.
So, that was fun. We seem to be stuck on the jig timing for hardshoe though, and our brushes were mostly in jig time. Weird us. I actually did well in hardshoe today! It was so cool! I was so proud of myself. Now to nail the clicks without killing my ankles like I always do. Turn in + heels = pain.
After a looooong session of hardshoe, we moved onto the 4-Hand, which the rest of the class learned last week, but Devon, Alex, Rebekah and I already knew it - of course you know that, but I had to say it again.
Cait put Devon and me with a group who didn't know it, and same with Alex and Rebekah. We ran through it a lot. It was boring, as I have learned it four times already (and counting), and we placed first in it at the feis. Cait didn't know that until today. She asked us how we did on it, and seemed rather surprised we got first. We decided not to tell her it was out of one competitor: us. But we still got first!
We got out of class a few minutes early.

April 19, 2002

Yes, as of now I am taking classes on Friday, too. The lessons are at seven and are right after a very advanced (as in Prelims or Open Champ dancers), and before the Adult class.
Bad news about the performance: we can't do the hardshoe! They just got a new carpet and they didn't want it "scuffed up", and they wouldn't bring in a stage or floor for us to dance on! How evil of them! So, we'll practice the hardshoe for a later performance.
We worked on our performance stuff, as everyone who is in it, is in the Friday class (Krystal came, too). We did the Opening Reel three or four times, then we did the long reel twice. Rachael kept forgetting her steps in the 3-Hand. She didn't go into the circle fast enough, so Krystal and I would have to pull her in. She didn't go out soon enough, either. Krystal and I had to poke her when it was time to go out. I really hope she gets her act together before the performance!
After our performance stuff, we worked on Slip Jigs, because Cait said we don't work on them enough. We did all three steps: Switch switch, hop 123, and Summer Step. We worked on Slip Jigs for the rest of the class. Deirdre changed the last part of Summer Step so that it wasn't as complicated, but she hasn't taught it to Cait, yet.
No hardshoe! Boo hoooo.

April 20, 2002

Class was rather empty. Cait wanted us to run through all of our dances, so we started with the reel. She asked us to dance any two reel steps, so I chose point-point and down-up-up. We went two at a time for the dances.
After the reel, we did Light Jigs. We did all of the steps we know, so it didn't take up too much time, as we know that dance pretty well. After the Light Jig, we did the Single Jig. Cait reviewed Robert's Step, because a lot of people had forgotten it. We then moved onto the Slip Jig, and Cait re-reviewed Summers Step, and that time, I nailed my quivers much better, which made me a happy duck. I still can't do butterflies with my left foot leading, and my butterflies with my right foot leading are ok, but nothing amazing. Must work on those! In hardshoe news, I can click my heels if I try :).
After class ended, Johnathan, Alex, Rebekah and I decided to do our hardshoe choreography - with four people. Normall there is something over ten dancers...yeah.
We tried it over and over and over and over. It. Looked. Special.

April 26, 2002

Friday class. I was one of the first two people there, again.
We started with softshoe. cait "didn't feel like" doing warm-ups (yay!) so we didn't!
My shins were in some extreme pain! It was horrible! After leap overs, I couldn't walk anymore!
We did our class "feis-style", even though Cait has decided not to go to the feis. Rebekah and I still are. I have three other feiseanna I'll probably be attending, as well.
We did any two Reel steps first. I chose point-point and Down Up Up. Then we did any two Single Jig steps. I chose the fourth step we learned, and also Roberts Step. After the Single Jig, we did the Slip Jig. Cait tried to remember the new ending for Summer Step, but she couldn't, so we skipped it. Instead, we did switch switch and hop 123.
After that, we switched to hardshoe. cait wants us to focus on our traditional stuff now, instead of choreography. We worked on the Treble Jig for ten minutes, during which I slipped and nearly killed myself as I landed from a leap over, then Cait taught us the first step of St. Patrick's Day! Yippeeee! Now I know the first step (right foot) of a set dance! I love St. Pat's! I don't know why, I just do. I think that the first brushing steps and then the tip hop steps are the best. It makes me happy. And toe heel step is fun, but a littttllle tricky at first.
Cait went over that step a lot! Over, and over, and over. We actually went ten minutes overtime so that Cait could really get us to know that St. Pat's step.

April 27, 2002

Saturday class. We did ooodles of warm-ups, which hurt my left shin, then we ran everything feis-style. We skipped the Single Jig and Light Jig again, because, well, we just did. Instead, we did any two Reel steps twice, then any two Slip Jig steps. Cait wants us to work on the Slip Jig now. A lot of people forgot it.
We cut to hardshoe, and immediately to St. Pat's, so I got to relearn it, which was nice, because now I know it very well.
We went over each part way more than the night before. I think we spent twenty minutes on it. But since Cait had to pick up her aunt (Deirdre's sister) from the airport, she dimissed us early.

May 3, 2002

I arrived with a bunch of friends from school. They were coming to my house for my birthday party.
I talked with Marie and Sarah and a few of my school friends, and then we went into the studio. Cait decided to skip room crossings again (yay!), and so we did leaps across the room to the drum music, which made it extra fun!
After the leaps, we did everything feis style, which was fun. Cait told all Beginner 1 dancers not to do Down Up Up, but since Rebekah and I are in Beginner 2, we still got to do to that step. It's my favorite Reel step, so I'm happy. I'm totally competing with that puppy!
After the Reel, we did the Light Jig, and then the Single Jig (which I messed up in, big time. I hate that dance!) and finally, the Slip Jig.
Cait finally learned the new ending to the Slip Jig step. Switch point toe rock23, kick swivel23. We then switched to hardshoe, because Cait wanted to teach us the set part of St. Patrick's Day.
It goes like this: Hop hop back brush jump step brush jump step brush jump hop toe heel step brush jump step brush jump step jump step tip hop back brush jump hop toe heel step brush whip hop brush back hop back brush jump hop toe heel step. We didn't finish it, but that's as far as we got. It's fun! I totally got it right away, and it made me happy, because with hardshoe it usually takes me a long, long time to get it right.
We went over all of St. Pat's for the rest of class.
Cait gave me and Rebekah information on the feis in Vancouver, as well, and also information on class in July, and the Dance for Life Feis (which Cait and Deirdre love. I guess they're good friends with Robert Haley.) in July as well.

May 4, 2002

We skipped room crossings again because Cait thought it would be only fair, because she did it with Friday class. We did leaps to the drum music (woohoo!) again.
We ran everything feis style again. Cait went over a lot of the details of a feis.
Cait had us start with the Reel. Rebekah and I did Down Up Up and *GASP* Down Out In! We actually did fairly well on Down Out In, which surprised me, as we aren't great at that Novice-Level dance. Both Rebekah and I want to get it up to speed for the feis, if we can. We'd like to dance that one for our Reel.
After the Reel, we did the Light Jig. I love that dance, but a new version of it might be in order for an upcoming feis, as we're not in Beginner 1 anymore, so it probably would be a good idea to advance it, though I love it how it is.
Once we had finished the Light Jig, we did the Slip Jig, and Cait retaught the class the new ending. Rebekah and I danced that new ending step. I don't know about Rebekah, but I messed up on the swivels after the rocks.
Once finished with that, we did Trophy dance style line-ups, and danced solo.
The next thing we did was switch to hardshoe. Cait taught the set part of St. Pat's, and then we each had to demonstrate it to her individually. I had taken off my hardshoes because they were giving me blisters, so I danced for Cait in my socks. She gave me a thumbs up, and I didn't mess up at all! I was right on the beat and didn't miss a step! Proud? You bet I am! :)
There was no figure dance class today, because Cait's brother is having his last recital at Gonzaga, and Cait needed to go watch him.

May 10, 2002

Yeah, this class heralded some of my worst dancing of all time - except for when I started (but I didn't know it then). First of all, I had both shins wrapped with Ace bandages because of shin splints, which was really annoying, because my poodle socks would not fit on over them, so I danced with no socks.
We are having a benefit concert for Deirdre (shh, don't tell her ;) ), and in short, alllll of the students from our school are going to be in it, and we are selling tickets to others who wish to watch. This is going to be something else!
So, because of this, we did another Opening Reel. Rebekah and I did Down-Up-Up and Down-Out-In. On Down-Up-Up, I ended up on the wrong foot for some reason, and in Down-Out-In, I kicked myself and it hurt (plus, I almost fell over), so that sucked. But then we switched to hardshoe (yaaaay!) and we finished St. Pat's, my new all-time favorite dance.
Yeah, and to add to this, Rebekah and I got our feis dances, and Cait put me in Beginner 1 Slip Jig instead of Beginner 2 (grrr!) and put Rebekah in Beginner 2! I placed, and Rebekah didn't! Blah! Deirdre apparently mixed up our placings, but Cait will straighten it out. At Dance for Life in July, I'll automatically be in Beginner 2, unless I place again in June, in which case, I might be in Novice with any other dances.
Rebekah and I are also going to be competing in the Treble Jig (eek!) and Rebekah lacks hardshoes at this time, so when we go (we're carpooling with her mom and sister), we'll be tearing off to Emerald Keys and get hardshoes and anything else we'll be needing. Rebekah and I are also doing a 2-Hand, and so she has to learn the boys part, since she towers over me.
After class, I gave Cait this piece of artwork I had been working on for her family. Cait was very happy! Okay, extremely! She told all of the adult dancers (they are in the class after us on Fridays) to come see, and then "they'd really have something to envy". Cait said that she is going to frame it, and then she is ordering me to submit it in an art competition at a feis. I probably will, it's something else. I should have taken a picture of it. I will when I am able to.

May 11, 2002

Today's dancing was muuuch better! I wrapped only one leg, and wore my poodle socks. We started with hardshoe, and since the Saturday class is generally slower to pick things up than Friday, we had to relearn St. Pats :|. Cait warned us, though, so it was okay. We had done it full speed the night before, and we all nailed it, but Saturday's class didn't get it full speed. Tear.
After a half-hour of hardshoe, we made an Opening Reel. Rebekah and I did the same thing as we did on Friday, but this time I didn't mess up! Yay! And this was also when I found out that I could be placed into Novice if I place again in the Slip Jig.
May 17, 2002

Ah! Fun times. Since pretty much everyone is going to Dance For Life in July, we ran the whole class 'feis-style' again. Rebekah, Alex, and Johnathan and myself are the only ones who have competed, and so Cait is trying to polish everyone else up. We did the Opening Reel again, so we didn't practice the Reel feis-style (boo hoo). All of the Beginner 1 dancers have to do set steps, while we get to chose any two steps we wish to do, because we've been to a feis. Woo hoo!
We spent more time on St. Patrick's Day (yahooo!) but only on the set, so that was annoying, because I know it.
After class, Rebekah and I practiced the 2-Hand for the feis, with Alex's help. We all eventually crowded into the smaller room and danced two hands and St. Patrick's Day. It was fun.

May 18, 2002

We did the Opening Reel again, and ran everything like a feis. Once again, pretty much all of the people in our class are going to the Dance For Life feis, and Cait wanted to polish them up. It'd be difficult for some to place, this much is true, but they've all been working hard.
When Cait went over the set of St. Pat's, we got permission to go into the other practice room until class ended.
This class was also a figure dance class. We worked on show stuff. So far it's ALLLL the same as the Recital, which is bbboooorrrriiiiiinnnnngggggg! I want something NEW! Like, perhaps a Slip Jig number, or maybe our Treble Reel choreography. Some variety in the show would be so nice. Most of us left early because the ballet peoples were going to use the studio (Janet, the owner of the Academy of Dance, is a butt-head, by the way), plus people who were going to do the show with Devon's mom's ballet performance (as guest Irish dancers, of course), got to stay. I can't do it, so I left.

May 24, 2002

We got flyers for the show, as well as an information sheet for the benefit show and the feis in July (Dance For Life). Pretty much everyone is going to that feis (at least at last count of those going), so we ran class like a feis, again.
We started with the Reel, and Cait FINALLY showed us how to do the turn in Down Out In correctly. I keep turning left instead of right when we do the turn on our left foot, so I'll have to work on it for the feis in June. After the Reel, we did the Single Jig, then the Light Jig, and then the Slip Jig.
Since Cait isn't going to the feis in June, we can pretty much do any two steps we want, but Cait doesn't want us to do Summer Step in the Slip Jig, because she says it's a Novice step.
After running through all of the softshoe dances, we moved on to hardshoe. We did the Treble Jig first, and Cait practiced it over and over. She then played it full speed, because Rebekah and I are competing in it. Gosh I really am horrible at the Treble Jig all of a sudden.
After the Treble Jig, we did St. Patrick's Day. Cait ran through the whole thing a couple of times. We didn't work on it. For the last five minutes, Cait had us do the Hornpipe. She just ran through it full speed, but since she never taught Saturday class the second step, Rebekah and I became very confused when she had us all dance it.

May 25, 2002

We ran everything like a feis, again. This time I understood the turns, and did them fine, except for the turn on the left foot. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out for the Stewart Feis.
After doing each dance two times, we worked on hardshoe. Cait went through the Treble Jig and some of St. Patrick's Day, before she moved on to the Hornpipe. That's when I told Cait that we don't know the second step. Cait said she won't teach it until classes resume in the fall (for those not in the show or Dance For Life Feis).