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1st Blog from Emma McCarthy from Adelaide, South Australia for The Highland Dancer

1st Blog from Emma McCarthy from Adelaide, South Australia for The Highland Dancer

Hi all!!!

My name is Emma McCarthy and I am a Premier dancer with the Garrick Stewart School of Highland Dancing in Adelaide, South Australia.

I am a new Blogger for The Highland Dancer & invite you all to follow me as I navigate the "Life of a Highland Dancer" and balance study, training and competitions.

I have a competition coming up in two weeks. So I have been training hard in the lead up for the championship as well as the titles and the choreography competition!!!

I thought I would give you a bit of an insight into how I train leading up to a competition.

Leading up to a championship I train differently than a normal competition due to the amount of energy, strength and stamina needed for the long steps of a championship. I have to be extra careful during class and make sure that I warm up and cool down properly so that previous injuries don't flare- up again and so current injuries don't get any worse.

I take group class twice during the week plus a private lesson before one class (taught by the principal teacher at my Dance school) as well as a Pilates focused class with another teacher within my dance school before a Thursday class.

I also try to practice 4-5 times a week for an hour outside of class time whether that includes doing stretches or going through steps and corrections.

The main focus during class time is the championship dances: Fling, Sword, Seann Triubhas and the Strathspey Highland Reel. Once we have completed working through those dances we move on to the title dances. Towards the end of the class (though it sometimes happens at the start of the lesson depending on who is at class) we work on the choreography piece that my dance school has entered into the competition.

Generally before the competition I will go through all my costumes and make sure I have everything that I need - especially considering that my bobby pins and hair nets seem to disappear into thin air!!! I back my dance bag and put the costumes into a costume bag ready to go. I'll pack some snacks to snack on as I tend to not like to eat big meals while I'm dancing. I often pack nuts, dried fruit or small containers of jelly for a bit of a kick during those long competition days.

At the end of the day I love doing competitions as it where you get to put together all you have been working on up on stage and you get the amazing feeling of working hard at something that you love doing!!

Thanks for reading!!

I look forward to keeping you all up-to-date with everything dance related and more!!

Emma xxx


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  • Kylie

    Great reading Emma love your work x

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