When You Grow Up

February 20, 2010

I loved dancing.

I would get my steps stuck in my head, just like you’d get that annoying top-40’s song. I would doodle dress designs on my school notebooks. I would ponder at length which touring show I wanted to be on. I would live for the day of class each week. I loved announcing to my schoolmates on the first day of school “I’m an Irish Dancer!” I loved going to feiseanna, waiting around sidestage and chatting about how late the feis was going with my fellow competitors. I loved doing dance-outs, performing for audiences who loved to see “that riverdancing stuff”.

Then I started teaching. Helping out with beginners really. And my life changed. I didn’t know that helping a child learn how to do something new could be so fulfilling. I didn’t know that I would eagerly comb results for the dancers I helped before finding my own. I didn’t know I would jump up and down with joy when trophies were announced and they won their special and I didn’t win my championship. I didn’t know I would start loving to go to class because I loved helping others find their dreams.

I’m not sure when it happened. People used to ask me “Are you sad you took the test so you can’t compete anymore?” Every once in awhile, I am. I remember the adrenaline rush, the lights, the way my costume felt. But mostly, I would rather be here, where I am more than anything else.

So long Jean. So Long Mr. Flatley. I’ve got my own troupe now.

Being a Grown Up never felt so good.

2 Responses to “When You Grow Up”

  1. Spaghetti said

    well said!!! That’s exactly how I feel! 🙂

  2. red said

    Wish you were my dd’s dance teacher. She just got to Opens level at 17 & is one of the sweet ones. Her time is running out but she’s having a blast. When she’s on stage she just grins from ear to ear because she’s so happy to finally have made it to the top. She may never place again, who knows but her joy is contageous. She thinks of becoming a TC one day and I will leave that up to her but I think helping kids to achieve their dreams is a worthwhile persuit and I applaud those of you who care about the kids you’re teaching. Believe me, they know it and appreciate it.

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