(1) We say it’s all about the dance. It is. We say it doesn’t matter how we do. That’s true.
We say that as long as we danced our best, finished strong with outstretched chest, As long as our teachers will still be proud, as others make their way up through the crowd, As long as we didn’t fall on our face, and tumble our way to last place, As long as we still have the next competition, the next opportunity to apply correction,
Results don’t matter.
(2) But how many of us believe that’s true?
When tears stream down and it’s not a win, When you choke them down to hug your friend, When your name is called far sooner than expected, When your once-near dream has been rejected,
When your breathing was too heavy, Your jumps too low, When you just weren’t ready, Your work didn’t show.
When everything we believed Falls at our blistered feet,
(3) Every feis you didn’t lose. The day you qualified. Your first pair of shoes.
Each and every blister. "Is that your real hair?" And your dance school sister.
Irish dance tunes. "You Riverdance, right?" Joe Bitter. *swoons*
The little girl that you inspire. Your favorite dress. That Irish fire.
St. Patrick’s day shows. Softshoe en pointe. New hardshoe woes.
Watching beginners. Learning new steps. Congratulating winners.
Watching YouTube POCs. Celtic Star. Leaps that freeze.
Early morning feises. Protein-heavy breakfast. Ogling the sashes.
Your dance school’s jacket. Irish Dance Magazine. And feis stage racket.
Crystals, EVERYWHERE. Gavin models. And overpriced dancewear.
Post-major blues. Your second family. New practice shoes.
Your teachers’ pride. Getting that trick. Learning to fly.
(4) Results don’t matter. It’s all about dance. You can dance forever. Competing is a chance.
(5) Go practice with pride, no matter what your placement was. Champions are those who can smile at defeat. Those who dance because they love it. Congratulations. You danced beautifully.