We drove down to Nashville in the POURING RAIN Saturday morning, arriving at Gaylord Opryland, site of the 2009 North American Nationals (or NANs) of Irish Dance, in the afternoon.
The kids practiced their 8-hand.
And then we went our separate ways. We opted not to stay at Gaylord this year, wanting to get away from the hustle bustle of 3000-plus competitors (although it turned out there were other Irish Dancers in our hotel, which was a few miles away)
The next morning we arrived around 9:30 to start getting ready for our 11:45 competition.
In the next couple of hours makeup was applied.
Hair was poofed by one of the Masters of the Poof
So I now know how to do this better, except I think I left my rattail comb in the Gaylord lobby.
The dancers warmed up, and did some last-minute practicing.
Then the call came that it was time to dance! Everyone zoomed down the hall to the proper competition room, hearts racing.
Our team is the first dancing in this particular competition, which might be a slight disadvantage, but they're pumped up and ready to go.
And then ...
Oh, oops, we're going to wait on this particular competition until another competition in another room is finished.
The judges and musicians disappear.
We're left waiting, with no word on when to expect our competition to resume. It's lunch time -- do we have time to eat something? Who knows, so we better not leave.
The older girls try to help our team stay focussed and ready to compete.
You know how sometimes a timeout will be called for the express purpose of throwing the opposing team off stride? It was sort of like that, but multiplied by AN HOUR. With young kids.
Finally, the announcement (an hour later) that they should line up for the competition to begin.
Except the judges still aren't in the room, so more waiting by the side of the stage.
Finally, they get to dance. And they did a great job, and appeared to enjoy it. Sorry, no pictures of that -- photos aren't allowed during the competition.
Then back down the hall to change out of the dresses and get something to eat.
(Ami,I'm putting in the above photo just for you -- Annabeth says their wigs looks like worms in this photo.)
Lunch. Then waiting around for results.
All teams in their competition recalled, so all teams needed to attend the awards ceremony. This was a loooooong event that started at least 2 hours late, with Mr. Whiney Pants running the show. (Several hundred people waiting in the auditorium to see the awards, and *gasp* actually chatting with each other to pass the time since the Powers That Be are apparently incapable of running efficiently and on time. And this guy says in a tone of voice that is typically reserved for Disney Channel caricatures of The Teacher the Kids Don't Respect, "You must not want to really hear the results because you're not being quiet." Seriously. What a twit.) It was nearly 8pm before our competition results were announced.
The kids were brought on stage, and were awarded 4th place. Out of 4 teams.
Sort of disappointing, but I honestly think they were at a disadvantage dancing first after a long, unexpected break. And, hey, at least they got medals.
And on the way out the door we saw John Carey, who has worked with our team to get them ready for this event.
Annabeth was pleased to get a medal, and overall had a pretty good time. Which counts for a lot.