Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of taking in a good deal of Irish Step Dancing. My daughters both perform in this sport and my oldest was participating in the New England Regionals, aka Oireachtas, in Providence, RI. There were 1000s of dancers alone at this competition and if you multiply that by 3 or 4, you get the non dance participants plus 100s of vendors and everything else in between. In short, the atmosphere is like the Super Bowl and for many of the participants, the meaning is about the same (as they are not going into Nationals which is its own Super Bowl of sorts).
One characteristic of the winners in these competitions is the level of determination in their eyes. My daughter rarely smiles when dancing (which cost her a bit I think this past weekend) but when she dances, you can see that she is focused and has come “ready to play.” Many in this sport have trouble with this aspect for a variety of reasons and once a mistake is made by a given dancer, their rhythm gets messed up and their results end lower in the ranking! The participants that dance consistently, slam the floor hard with each step and fly off the ground displaying the power of the craft, often are the one’s sitting on the podium at the end of the day. The sport is truly a treat to watch as the hard work translates into a great result and the show of skill is just fantastic!
Being a runner, I have come to appreciate this hard work and the sport of Irish Dance for a variety of reasons. Runners needs to work hard like the dancers if they want to run any given race length and the runner wants to make the leap to the next level, longer runs are needed. Here are the most important ones
- Repetition is important! With dance, knowing the routine is important as your score is determined by how well you perform that routine. For a runner, one needs to have the ability to run long distances before they can run long distance races – long training runs should be routine so success follows.
- Can’t be swayed by the crowd! For a dancer, ignoring the crowds and others on the stage is important. “Focus on the steps and do them well!” For a runner, one can try to catch runners around them during a race but I am a fan of “running your own race” and not exerting extra energy to catch someone (who is probably my out of your league running wise) – unless you are trying to win a race, I say let your training do the talking and tell you how fast to run…not that opponents around you or the fans on the sidelines.
- Have good shoes! Dancers hit the ground hard and move all over the stage. Runners hit the pavement and have to withstand all types of terrain. Good shoes are an important factor in both. Bad shoes for a dancer equals blisters and an unfocused dancer – for a runner, it means much the same.
Bottom line is simple here. To succeed in these sports (and much of everything in life) one must work hard and keep focus on their goals. Like I posted last Friday, my goal is an Ultra in January (and so far for November, I am having my best month of running in several months) and to get there, more hard work is in my future! For my daughter, for her to get to Nationals, she must work hard to hit her steps and get off the ground more. Both of us have our goals…now is the time to go after them!
- Don’t forget BibChat tonight at 9pm with sponsor XX2i. I have been testing out the Brazil’s and you can save 60% on these glasses, shown above on my mug, by using code Brazil1. This is only good through tonight! Also you can read my review of the Brazil’s by clicking here.
- I tested out some flats from New Balance over the weekend during a trail run and was left with sore knees and everything in between. I use the Speedgoats from Hoka as I have mentioned. Probably going to stick with them versus trying anything else new.
That’s about it. Have a good night!