Today was the first night of preliminaries, so this morning consisted of dress rehearsals and testing the microphones. Before the stress of the show could start, we walked to the Mobile Mardi Gras Museum for lunch and a tour. It was so exciting! We were told once again that Mardis Gras started in Mobile, not New Orleans, which the residents are very proud of. The museum itself was absolutely beautiful! I have never seen such intricate clothing in my life-and coming from an Irish dancer, that means something! Each year, a king and queen are picked for the Mardi Gras festival, usually based on their parents position in society. The king and queen of course must have a royal robe, and boy what a train! Each robe symbolizes the person's family or interests and is hand embellished with more rhinestones than I have ever seen in my life. It was heaven :)
After our lovely distraction, preparation for the show began again. Hair and makeup artists were brought in to offer their services to us. I went in tired and came out looking like an evil swan-it was so much fun to be pampered! The show itself was an adrenaline surge like no other. The reality of where I am and what I am competing for finally sunk in. After my quick change from the opening number, I ran onstage in my gorgeous tutu determined to perform my best...and it was the best I have ever done! With such a large stage, it was easy to add the theatrics and technique and I even stuck my fuetes that I always fall out of! I was so proud of myself and how I have been doing so far. Tomorrow is fitness and self expression, so I'm excited! The portions with the biggest weight are already done and I'm feeling great! Thank you for all of the love sent, it is so encouraging to hear from all of you! Wish me luck tomorrow on those push ups!