March 10, 2012
You trickle in, softshoes in hand, and sit on the ground to loosen the laces and slide your feet in. I turn on some music and a couple of you can’t wait until after the warmup. You just have to dance. You start running the new section of your reel and asking me questions. Yes, yes, I danced in the aisles at the market too.
Another student arrives and several huddle together to hear each other’s news. I love that you’re friends, but I hide it under a stern admonishment that we need to get to work. Another girl bounds in to give me a hug. It makes me feel excited to start the day. We’re partners in a goal, and it’s thrilling for all of us to see the improvement.
Okay, time to focus. The drill music goes on and everyone begins to move together, slow at first, lazily stretching tight muscles and sore joints, then increasing in spring as the blood flows. I worked that muscle hard last week, and we both enjoy exchanging tales of how sore we are from that drill last time. Finally, your faces begin to shine and it’s time to dance.
Let’s get to work.
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.
July 21, 2009
I do Youtube… sometimes there is a new move that oldie me can’t replicate, so I comb Parade o Champions videos till I find what I need.
I came across this one, and I think it is fabulous!