Sunday, December 6, 2015

Irish Dancing - Then/Now/Future

I started Irish dancing thirteen years ago at age 14. I immediately fell in love with it and could not get enough of it. I competed extensively for three years before falling victim to three things: extreme anxiety, college, and lack of help from my former dance teacher. Before I go any further - that particular dance school was a great start for me. I learned a lot, and both teachers helped me further my obsession and love for Irish dance. I competed at two oireachtas, both of which were great (but disappointing) experiences. I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes, anxiety and college.

I've spent the better part of ten years doing/figuring out the following:

  • Minoring in dance - I decided use my minor credits in college to further explore all styles of dance. Ballet was my favorite, African used muscles I didn't know my body had, Tap was a fairly easy learn (thank you, hardshoe!) even though I couldn't hold my body 'loose enough', and Jazz was just 'eh'. Ballet, however, strengthened me like no other dance form OR sport had before. I've realized now that in order to achieve my newly reformed Irish goals, I must take ballet to supplement. 
  • How much anxiety actually fucked me over at regionals - and how to overcome that amount of stress and anxiousness (is that a word?) in the future. This is something I still have to work on.
  • Taking Irish at two different schools before giving up...almost four years ago. 
  • FINALLY. Finding the Irish school of my dreams - only to be really old in the Irish dance world. Which brings me to today.
I am 27 years old and have been taking Irish classes weekly for the past 7 months. I have goals for the next several years, ending with me taking my TCRG and ADCRG. Wow! I actually wrote that. This is something I've kept mainly to myself for awhile...and it's honestly exciting to share it with the world (or whomever actually reads this). In order to keep myself from being overwhelmed, I am starting off with some smaller goals:
  • Practice 2x weekly outside of class. 
  • Improve overs - would like to get both legs 'frozen' by end of Jan 2016. My right leg is coming back nicely; my left - not so much. 
  • Dance 3 steps in a row without dying by June. I will probably restart as an &over pw, but it couldn't hurt to start working toward that now.
  • Do multiple performances before first feis back.
  • Sign up for first feis back (May/June 2016)
OK, I think that's enough for now. I want to head to bed early so I'll be rested enough for practice tomorrow. 



  1. We are very like minded in our goals and aspirations and I think your plan for getting back into shape and ready for competitions is good. I can't wait to hear how you are doing in a few months!

    I'm with you on the whole anxiety thing. While I feel like dance soothes away a lot of the other anxiety in my life, I do feel like I sometimes don't do as well at competitions because of nervous energy. It also seems like my feet always cramp up at a feis too, it almost never happens in class. Hopefully the more we feis, the easier it will get.

    Loving your blog! Can't wait to read more!

    1. Thanks Kay! I enjoy reading your posts as well. Irish is weird with my nerves. There are days where it makes the rest of the world go away, and other days where it makes me so agitated it's frustrating to dance.

      I think with time you'll be able to get a rhythm going with feising. You'll know when to make yourself eat a bit more, and when to stop eating. Lord knows I never drink enough water until I'm done dancing, as I don't want to keep running to the restroom. The same will go with keeping muscles warm. :)

  2. Yay, another blog from an adult in the Irish dance world! (I found this as a link off of Kay's). I also get the anxiety thing, although sometimes it affects me on stage and sometimes the stage is an escape, where I can shine and not be constrained by the anxieties of every day life. When I was doing community theater, I was surprised by how many talented people mentioned dealing with anxiety... I guess it goes along with creativity sometimes :-/ Anyways, best of luck with your return to dancing!

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much.

      I also agree with anxiety and creativity going hand in hand; others seem to have an easier time of it, but you never know until you ask, I suppose.

      Good luck with your dancing this year! :)

  3. Hello! It's wonderful to find another adult Irish Dancer blog! :) I'm 26 years old this month with 3 kids and I'm an adult dancer competing in the adult levels. I want to go as high as I possible can in competitions, and then I'd like to get my TCRG too. It's great that you are sharing your goals and are working towards them; they are very exciting goals. ;)

    I danced as a child and young teen, and I love dancing again as an adult! I've got my second Feis as an adult next weekend and I'm really looking forward to it! Blogging about Irish Dancing and my goals and things I need to work on has been really helpful and fun. Welcome back to Irish Dance! ;) It's nice to meet you and I am enjoying your blog!

    1. Thanks - me too! Now I have 3 adult Irish blogs to follow. :D

      Wow! I really applaud you being able to continue dancing with kids. I have a hard enough time finding time to dance with just a 9 to 5, where my work responsibilities end AT 5.

      I hope you did well at your feis last weekend. Best of luck this year - I hope you achieve the goals you are working toward.