Thursday, December 6, 2012

Western Region Oireachtas 2012

              This is my girl!

I am such a proud mom.  (can you tell?) Sarah began her road to Oireachtas last January by starting to travel to competitions basically once a month.  She would take class 2-3x a week, plus drill classes, plus additional private classes.  She did about 15 competitions this year (that is a lot considering we don't have local competitions but about 6 months out of the year).  We traveled to Texas, Phoenix-3x, San Fransisco and San Diego.  Her goal all year was to become Prizewinner level in all her dances and recall at Oireachtas.

Just to give you a little background on what Oireachtas is a regional Irish dance competition and for kids that compete in U10 and up it is a world qualifying event.  So pretty big deal.  Sort of an Olympic trials of Irish dance if you will.  This year Oireachtas was in Bellevue, WA and kids from all over the western region of the US were there to compete.  There were 39 in Sarah's U8 group, which was actually a pretty small group.  So on the one hand you can look at it as though she didn't have much competition, or you can look at it as a tougher competition because only 1/2 the dancers recall and that means only about 18/19 spots are up for grabs.  When the girls start the competition they do a soft shoe dance (reel) and a hard shoe dance (jig) and those scores are totaled and the top 1/2 recall.  So Sarah's goal was just to make the cut.  Being a non-championship dancer (prizewinner level is just below prelim champion) it was a tall order.  Normally girls that recall are all of the championship level when it gets to Oireachtas.  So here is my girl....

Big smiles because she RECALLED!
Even bigger smiles because she got 15th!

I couldn't be more proud.  She worked hard and she danced well and it was a great time all around.  Here are some pics to prove it!
Ready to dance
 Kelly School U8's
 U8 Finalists
 My girls!  So proud of Lauren for being so good and sitting through long days of competition!

 Sarah with Ronan McCormack.  One of her choreographers.

While in the greater Seattle area we decided to make a vacation out of it.  We had never been up there before and we had friends to see and lots of touristy things to do.  Here are some of the highlights.  It was a great Thanksgiving week and we had much to be thankful for!

Seattle Aquarium

Pike Street Market
Original Starbucks!!

Ferry ride - Skyline at night
Space Needle

EMP- Nirvana

Pacific Science Center

Snoqualmie Falls

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