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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 21-May-2003, 05:24 PM
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Am hoping to get a wee bit of advice here.

Our daughter is dancing in her first Highland dance competition this weekend. She has been begging all year to go in one, but I wanted to wait till her teacher felt she was ready. The closer it gets the more nervous she's getting. She is almost 8 years old and been dancing for 3 years now. Dancing in recitals and folk festivals has all gone well....but the idea of the 'judges' seems to be really setting her off. I've taken her to some competitions in the past couple years just to watch and her teacher says she is more than ready to give the competitions a try.

Would really appreciate it if anyone could lend some advice as to what I could say or do to help her out.

Thanks!! :)


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Jimmy Carbomb 
Posted: 21-May-2003, 08:15 PM
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CA... boy, can I relate to this one!!!  With my four kids, all have gone through the SAME feelings.  Each one has responded to the first-time syndrome well, because I had them imagine that I was the judge.

Prior to the competitions (skating, violin, piano and singing) I had them practice incessantly infront of me... while I jokingly peered and stared at them, making faces, etc.  It relaxed them very quickly.  By the time they hit the judges, they forgot that they were there.  This comes from every one of my kids. (Dad taught me well!)


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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 21-May-2003, 09:47 PM
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GB, thank ye so much. This helps a lot!! I will try that with her over the next couple days. The competition is on Saturday, so we've still got some time. I'll be sure to write and let ye know how it turns out.

p.s. I love your quote.....
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"The Lord tells me that he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're..."

.....one of the many great lines in this movie. :)
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MDF3530 
Posted: 21-May-2003, 09:53 PM
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Quote (Gaelic Bread @ May 21 2003,8:15)
CA... boy, can I relate to this one!!! With my four kids, all have gone through the SAME feelings. Each one has responded to the first-time syndrome well, because I had them imagine that I was the judge.

Prior to the competitions (skating, violin, piano and singing) I had them practice incessantly infront of me... while I jokingly peered and stared at them, making faces, etc. It relaxed them very quickly. By the time they hit the judges, they forgot that they were there. This comes from every one of my kids. (Dad taught me well!)

That brings back memories of school! All the band concerts and competitions I was in.

Probably the biggest pressure situation I've ever had in terms of performing in front of people who'd be judging me was not band-related though. I never felt any pressure then. It was in English class my senior year in high school. Every year we read one of Shakespeare's stories, and for the senior class it was Hamlet. The teacher I had had every one of her students memorize and recite Hamlet's "To Be Or Not To Be" monologue. She had us draw numbers to determine the order and I drew #2. My parents helped me by having me get up and recite it to them 2-3 times a day. When the day came, I was nervous but thanks to mom & dad, I aced it.


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Keltic 
Posted: 21-May-2003, 10:42 PM
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CA,

The nerves prove that she is alive and normal. I competed in piping competitions for 7 years and always felt like I was going to toss before the competition (might have had something to do with the night before but I can't be sure). In any case, the best thing to do is practice until she can do the dances in her sleep. Auto-pilot tends to take over once the competition starts. The hardest and most important thing to do is to try to block out the judges and the people watching and just worry about the dance. This isn't always easy.

One year at the Fergus Highland Games in Ontario, I headed to my competition area only to realize that the judge was my piping tutor. All the mistakes that I made during my lessons started to race through my mind. I calmed myself down and assured myself that I was going to show Bruce that I was going to get through my piece. My time came and I will never forget Bruces face when he looked up at me with a cocky smile. He started making notes before I even started to play. I was now more determined than ever to not only get through the piece, but to make it shine!! All that I can say, is that I am glad that I never had to face my tutor in competition again. The mistakes that he noted on my score sheet before I even started playing were right.

In any case, wish your daughter good luck and let us know how she does.


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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 22-May-2003, 10:39 AM
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MD....I hear ye there. When we did Hamlet in grade 12 our teacher kept pulling us up in front of the class to act out skits......arrgghh!! I was a wee bit of a ham, so I didn't mind too much the first couple times, but when it carried on for weeks....let's just say we did EVERYTHING we could to avert his attention from ourselves when it came time to pick who was going up.


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always felt like I was going to toss before the competition (might have had something to do with the night before but I can't be sure).
Hmmmm...*lol*

Thanks Keltic, for the great advice and the reminder that it's only human to be nervous. I think sometimes we forget that's the case. Some people think it's a sign of weakness or not being prepared....which it isn't. I will keep up the practices and talk to her about tuning out the judges and people. She's got her Fling and Lilt down really well....the Sword I'm a bit hesitant about. I told her she could just do her Fling and Lilt, but she's determined to do the Sword too.....luckily with the Sword ye can look down, that should definately help in tuning people out. :) Thanks for the good luck wish....I'll be sure to write and let ye know how it goes.
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Jimmy Carbomb 
Posted: 22-May-2003, 11:28 AM
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Maybe there's a way to get some advise from Annika Sorenstam!!!

Let's consider what she's out there doing today infront of millions (half hostile) viewers, attendees and competitors.  I guess it's a firm testament to the success of preparation and confidence!!!  If your daughter has ANY knowledge of Annika, she would be a great role model for the coming weekend.

I can only wish the upmost best for BOTH!!!
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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 22-May-2003, 03:27 PM
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GB, you're an aingeal....thank ye so much!  I will pass along the well wishes to m'daughter too.  Aye, I do know of Annika....wow, isn't she something?  The golf course was my second home growing up, I can only imagine what it takes to do what she's doing.  I never thought of telling Erika about her, but I'm sure going too.  Want to talk about pressure, you're right.....Annika's got it!!  It's going to be quite something to see how she does.  I have a feeling she'll place in at least the top 20.  Do ye happen to know, will she be tee'ing off at the same markers as the men?  I would imagine in order for her to go in it, she'll probably have too.
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barddas 
Posted: 23-May-2003, 08:08 AM
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CA,
Wish your daughter good luck for me! She'll do fine I'm sure. Don't worry, she will get the jitters, but she will be great I'm sure!  :) I have been playing music for years and i still get a wee bit nervous before each show.  :p
Again, GOOD LUCK!


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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 23-May-2003, 01:49 PM
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Barddas, I really appreciate your comments.   :)   Thanks so much for the well wishes.  It's nice to know that even us 'big people' still get the jitters.*lol*  Does your band play Celtic music?
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barddas 
Posted: 23-May-2003, 02:02 PM
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You are welcome! :)
Yes, we play celtic music. The group consist of 2 people.(we play around 6-7 instruments between the 2 of us, switching some mid song... AHHHH!!!)  We play traditional/non-trad. of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We try to cover all areas of the Celt regions. And give things a bit of "kick" in the tempo area. LOL!  :D
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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 24-May-2003, 04:28 PM
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WE DID IT!!!! :D

We survived the competition...*lol* It was touch and go for a while when she got ready for the first dance. She kept telling me how nervous she was....she looked like she would bolt right out of there at any minute....but she hung in. After the first dance (fling) was done, it was like a huge weight was lifted from her shoulders...I think she actually enjoyed the next two dances.

She completed all three of her dances, which I was so proud of her for doing for her first competition. She made some small mistakes in her Fling and Sword, but got right back on time ...and her Lilt went great! She actually recieved a bronze medal for her Lilt.

Thanks sooooooo much everyone for your support, ideas and stories....it helped very, very much!! :)


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The group consist of 2 people.(we play around 6-7 instruments between the 2 of us, switching some mid song... AHHHH!!!)

Barddas, that's amazing.... all those instruments!! I love it when some of the old songs are given a wee bit of a kick...*lol*. Sounds like a great duo!!
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Keltic 
Posted: 24-May-2003, 05:54 PM
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Congratulations to your daughter!! The first competition is out of the way and she walked away with a medal as well. I placed first in my very first competition at the Ottawa Piping Club when I was 11 years old. It didn't hurt that I was the only one in the competition.
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CelticAingeal 
Posted: 26-May-2003, 02:10 PM
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Thanks Keltic!! smile.gif

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I placed first in my very first competition at the Ottawa Piping Club when I was 11 years old. It didn't hurt that I was the only one in the competition.

*lol*....that doesn't matter at all. I bet ye did just great!! Kind of a nice way to do your first competition. wink.gif
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barddas 
  Posted: 26-May-2003, 02:26 PM
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CONGRATULATION!!!!
I'm glad that she placed. That is always a great feeling! tongue.gif More so when you are first getting started! smile.gif
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