So here’s my hornpipe.
I’m aware that I lose all turnout and the ability to treble in the front left corner. And of course my arms are flailing. You can hear me yell watch out if you listen carefully haha
Please respect my teachers’ and my choreography. I’m already seeing other people’s steps on instagram and youtube with pieces I know I came up with…so…try not to do that.
honestly this the best choreography and the best I’ve seen you dance from all the videos you’ve posted online so far. love it !!!
I. Am. In. Love
ALRIGHT rewind back to ‘97 when I was 7, I did ballet (for a couple weeks until I got bored of listening to classical music all day) gymnastics for a week until I fell on my head and said I never wanted to go back, couldn’t make it through any sport that had a ball come at you without running away so tennis, baseball, volleyball etc we’re all out. so basically I was 7 with my extra curricular activity cause I sucked at everything. my mom was a star athlete in high school so to my family’s dismay, I let them down :/
a couple months later, I went to milwaukee irish fest, saw trinity perform (so cliche, I know) said to my mom that I never wanted to do anything more in my life, and she said no way. :( sad megan. she said she didn’t know of any schools near us and didn’t know anything about it or where to start… BUT a couple months later we got a letter in the mail from the foy school of traditional irish dance who was hosting a new session of lessons at a church in my town. I begged my mom to go for days and she finally took me. we walked in the door, I saw and heard the teacher yelling at the kids at the top of her lungs over the music and I immediately turned around and walked out the door.
so fast forward to 5 years later I was almost 11, and I still hadn’t forgot about irish dance and how much I wanted to do it.. so I sucked it up and went back to the church. (much quieter and less yelling this time) I learned the first step of the jig in less than 5 minutes and I was hooked immediately. I practiced that jig step from the moment I got home til I went to sleep… every single day. we only had class once a week, all levels so I had to practice a lot at home. it got so bad I would even sneak out of my bed at night to practice and watch myself in front of the mirror so much that I got in trouble and the mirror was taken away from my room. haha
my first feis was in september of that same year and I got a 5th in jig and a 4th in reel or something like that. and then I told my mom that competing was what I liked better than any show I have ever done and I wanted to be the best in my level. (little did I know what more there was in the competitive world of irish dance haha) my teacher made me stay in each level a whole year no exceptions even though I would always place out the first couple feises of the year. so then at 12 I was in advanced beginner (when it was still called that) and september rolled around. my teacher told my mom she wanted to send me to the regional championships… as an advanced beginner who just learned the fast hornpipe… (obviously way before we had the rules we do now.. I even had a solo dress at this time haha) so I went and got second to last. I had no idea what any of it meant so I wasn’t upset.
next year at 13 I was in novice, went to the O and got 5th from the bottom. now i was older and knew more about irish dancing so I understood my placement was bad. I watched my awards and cried. went to dinner and cried. went back to my hotel room and cried myself to sleep. I didn’t wanna feel like that again. my sister also started dance at this time, she was 9.
next year I’m 14 and in open prizewinner. i went to a dance workshop at another school - which I won’t name. (this was way before association rules obviously) and the teacher told me that everything I learned in irish dance was wrong and that I would never be successful. i wanted to quit immediately. i was so heartbroken. my mom convinced me to stay so when I came back home, I asked my teacher if I could learn harder steps as I noticed at the O my steps were way easier than everyone else’s and the other school ripped me to shreds. I asked her to teach me a bicycle. she looked at me and said I don’t know how to do those. this was the moment everything changed in me. I say at competitions for hours on end talking to no one just watching the champs at feises. I watched their every move and then I would go home on YouTube and watch every dance video I could. I started to teach myself all the moves I wanted to do. I would come back to class and show my teacher and then she would let me put them in my steps. I went to the O this year and was 30 places from the bottom. I then realized that I could move up the more I worked. I started making up my sisters steps now too and she moved from advanced beginner to open prizewinner in less than a year. she was much better than I was so my teacher moved her up quicker.
the next year, 2006, I was 15 and in PC. I was in PC for almost two years. I was now officially making up all my own steps and my sisters steps as well with no help from my teacher. we went to the oireachtas and I got 50 from the bottom and she was 15 from the bottom. I asked my mom if we could transfer schools after I found out that was a thing. she said absolutely not as we were so close with my teacher now it would be not loyal to do so.
in 2008, I started making up steps for the entire school. my teacher said that I could do a lot of things she couldn’t, and she thought I could help the other kids. I also moved up to open championships and was the first dancer in my school to ever do so. my sister and i went to the all-Ireland’s just for fun and got all zeros obviously. then I went to my first nationals and had to withdraw receiving my first ever ankle injury. it was so bad I almost broke it according to the doctor. I was out for two weeks and went back to dance because I couldn’t wait for it to fully heal cause I’m a brat and impatient. I went to the O and was 30 away from the recall. my sister had moved up to PC and got her two firsts within two weeks of each other so she was now in OC. she was 40 away from recalling.
in 2009, my sister and I attended our first nationals together and we both recalled and got 54th - all with my own material, practicing once a week - twice if we drove all the way to chicago where the school was originally located. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe it. we then went to the O and I recalled for the first time and got 34th and my sister recalled and got 34th as well. haha after my awards, andee goldberg (drew lovejoy’s mom whom we met when we did the workshop with the other school, way before drew even won an oireachtas title haha) talked to my mom and asked her if she ever consider switching schools. my mom said no but that I had wanted to for the past three years. andee proceeded to yell at my mom, making her cry haha telling her she was wasting our talents and that I could be a champion if I went somewhere else. I didn’t believe that part, but I knew I could thrive with an actual teacher.
so after the O, I told my teacher in person that I was leaving. she cried and I cried. it was a sad day. we were so close she was like a second mom, but I loved irish dance enough where I wanted to be the best I could be and I knew it couldn’t be at her school. so we went school hunting. I looked into a school and they rejected us, telling me at 18 I was too old and should go out and do something else. they sent a very nasty email to my mother and now I’m thrilled we didn’t go there as the dancers aren’t the nicest either. we then looked into a second school but when we looked up class prices it was 4x what we paid at my old school !! so then we found mayer. a lot of my friends went there so I decided to give it a try.
my first class was rough. the steps were a lot more rhythm oriented which I didn’t know much about because I taught myself so I struggled at first. they ended up giving me open prizewinner steps because I couldn’t handle the champ steps !! I was really embarrassed but I trusted the teachers judgement.
fast forward six months and my ban was up a couple weeks before nationals. I did two feises and placed in the top five so I was feeling good. went to nationals in Orlando and my goal was to recall and do better than 54th. I ended up 11th and qualifying for the worlds in Dublin !! I. was. a. mess. I was sobbing, hysterical on the floor. haha my goal never in my dance career was to go to worlds. I never thought I was capable so I never thought about it. this was also the first time my mom ever cried at a dance competition. it was a great day. my sister got 57th. she was upset. then the O rolls around and I placed 11th and was the last world qualifier. I had a bad trip in my light round so I was disappointed since everyone expected me to do so much better. but my sister got 15th and qualified for worlds too !!!! she didn’t like dance that much now after the transfer and especially after nationals so she had only been going to class once a week and still qualified. it was a great day for her.
next year 2011 worlds rolls around and I was just thrilled to even be there. I was so nervous you could see my legs shaking from the audience when I was on stage haha I had two clean rounds and my teachers were happy. recalls came around and I was the last number. “253 and 254….. and 256”. I had recalled at my first world championships !!!!!!! I ended up placing 27th. my sister didn’t recall but she didn’t expect too. she quit after worlds was over. at nationals I placed 11th WQ again and at the O this year I got 3rd, my first podium placement !
2012 Belfast worlds I was 3 away from the recall. nationals was in Chicago this year and we got new steps from our workshop teacher. they didn’t suit me AT ALL. I told my teachers that but our workshop teacher got pissed if we even changed a part of the steps so we didn’t make changes. I went to nationals and placed 27th and didn’t world qualify. this was my first disappointment since I transferred and it hurt. a lot. I wanted to make a comeback at the O. I worked my butt off and wanted to do better than I had the year before. I went to the O and got 2nd, I was over the moon ! my teacher then told me that my scores got mixed up and I actually won. they did everything they could to change the results but once the judge signs off on them, they can’t change them apparently. I was devastated. this was the first time I saw my mom cry sad tears over irish dance. she felt so bad for me. it was a tough year for me.
2013 I promised myself I would dance better than last year. worlds were in Boston and I was happy they were in the states. everything was going great that day. I got on stage and froze. my legs wouldn’t move and I walked through my hornpipe. my teachers didn’t know what to say. my sister cried. haha it was a fixed panel so they didn’t even watch me in the second round. I ended up getting 50th. so then I said I was really going to redeem myself for nationals. I wanted to finally break the top ten. I danced three clean rounds and ended up 9th !!! I was so pleased. onto oireachtas I wanted to win but I ended up 5th. I danced well so no one knows what happened. haha
so then 2014 is here. I told myself I would practice more, practice harder and have a better mindset. onto london I go and I got 10th. basically peed my pants everywhere. still don’t know how that happened but I danced the absolute best I ever have in my entire dance career. I was thrilled beyond belief. I also got a 1st in the set round and a 4th overall. I will never get over it. then I wanted to break top five at nationals and I danced the second best I ever have and ended up third, 11 points from second !!! it was insanity. and my teacher allowed me to choreograph my own material for the worlds and nationals so I made up 100% of my material and some of the other girls in the school so i’m proud of that too :p so here we are at present day and I’m off to the O ! just want to dance my best and stay on the podium :)
I left a lot of stuff out that’s all drama and politics and useless info to try and keep it as short as possible. bless you if you actually read this entire thing !! haha but anything can happen when you don’t give up. :)
Megan this is beautiful
rt if you cry everytime