07 July 2008

Our Experience at Nationals

Annabeth's ceili team:

They didn't win their competition, BUT no one burst into tears, fell down, lost a shoe or wig during the performance, threw up, or otherwise fell apart during this very stressful event. So MrV and I considered that a "win". The team that got first place was breathtakingly good. Other teams were also very good. Some teams seemed worse than ours.

The upper 50 percent of the teams are given a recall, and their scores and places (first, second, third, etc.) are posted. The lower 50 percent of the competition are left with the illusion that they were the next best team. For example, 14 teams competed in the group that Annabeth's team was in; the top 7 know exactly how they scored. Teams that scored 8th through 14th place aren't posted, so every team can take heart and believe that really they were team number 8 (as opposed to getting last place, which would be icky). So. As far as I know, our team placed 8th, and we were only a point away from a recall. I love this scoring system.

The competition WAS nerve wracking -- up on top of a big stage in a big ballroom, with 3 judges analyzing every move, not to mention gobs of spectators.

The musicians were FANTASTIC. Gees, I felt like getting up on stage myself when I heard them play. Dean Crouch was on accordion. Someone said John Carey was in the audience (Thalia claimed she saw him walking around the hotel on Friday night, too).

The hotel itself -- Gaylord Opryland -- ummm. Well. I don't think we saw it at its best. The place was packed. Hundreds and hundreds of kids, most on a total adrenaline rush. Long lines for everything. It took an hour to check in. The swimming pools were crowded. Everything was crowded. And did I mention that all these swarms of people were totally wound up about the competition? Yowza, it was like nothing I've ever experienced before. I'm not sure it's something I ever want to experience again. Key learning: don't stay at the hotel that's hosting the event. Because even if it's huge and an amazing place, it's gonna be ... weird.

Anyway, overall it was a positive experience. And guess what we're doing today? Starting a dance workshop! I need to go sneak in a few hours of non-dance life before that starts ....


Ami said...

Love the costumes!

And I'm relieved to find out that's not their hair. They're wearing wigs.

It sounds like a pretty cool thing to be involved in.

km said...

My little one walked in just as I was reading this post. She was so excited about all the dancers. Having this little girl is so different than my previous experience with boys. R was impressed that all the girls had lipstick. Of course, that's the first thing she noticed.

I think the hotel you were at was featured on HGTV's Design Star last night.

Hopefully you can sit and work on other stuff during the workshop. My bro & I were swimmers. My mom planned all her homeschooling at the pool.

mermaids said...

congrats to the girls for maintaining their composure. while it is fun to win, i think learning to "not win" is a valuable lesson.

Tara said...

Oh, they are so cute! I'm glad the competition went well and everyone survived.
I'm in frantic pre-recital mode here and really looking forward to the two week break we're having from dance at the end of this month.

Staci at Writing and Living said...

The girls look adorable. I'm glad they did so well.

I still don't understand the purpose of the wigs (maybe it's because I'm Scotch-Irish and therefore missing some kind of wig-understanding DNA), but they look very cute.