I know this response is going to sound like a total irish dance cliché, but there’s no use in telling yourself you’re not good enough! This sport, although it is very competitive, is not just about the qualifying spots and the titles you receive. For me, it is an escape and a part of who I am. Even if I didn’t have my Oireachtas title or any of my qualifying spots, I personally would consider my dance career to be significant because it’s something that has made me happy for so many years.
Believe me, I’ve been in your position before, and I understand what it’s like to be beaten by girls you’re better than or to miss that qualifying spot. When I was younger, all my best friends at Drake were top ten, top five even at my Oireachtas. I remember my fourth Oireachtas I was devastated to miss recalling by one spot (and I had recalled at a previous Oireachtas), then had to watch my friends at awards get something like 9th, 5th, and 2nd. I remember Oireachtas ‘08 after awards sobbing into my mom’s arms outside when I missed World qualifying yet again. I thought I would never be good enough and that devastated me.
But you know what? When I got to the ‘09 Oireachtas, I stopped comparing myself to my competition and my friends. I worked my butt off even though there was a chance I’d miss qualifying again. I learned to be okay with any result and to just focus on why I dance in the first place. And with that, I became a lot happier with my career, and ironically I put myself into a position that helped me reach the goals I had stressed over reaching for years.
So stop stressing about being good enough. You already are. No goal unreached is going to rob you of that. If Irish dance makes you happy, then your dance career is already successful.