Are you thinking of a new activity for your child? Are you looking for an activity that will help your child become independent, confident, part of a team, learn life long skills and make new friends all in one? When you hear the word Irish dancing do you immediately think " it's a bit of diddly - di" or wigs tans and make up! Neither is the case- read on to see a different insight into what can become a life long passion for many children and young adults.
Modern day Irish dance classes encourage children to become confident young adults. Like every sport step one for any young dancer is social interaction with their peers. Making friends while learning the basics in a fun filled envoirnment. Confidence grows with each class as they progress along the ladder, learning to love the tradition of dance.
To answer some myths that are out there in relation to Irish dancing!
" It is extremely time consuming" - So you are at work and you over hear a conversation about an Irish dance class, things like "I was all evening on the road"! Along with been an Irish dance teacher, I'm a parent. The time I spent on the road with my children when they were younger in my opinion was well spent. When we were travelling not only to Irish dancing but to football, swimming,soccer, music , it was a time for chatting, catching up on the days events. A time which allowed for me to listen to each of the childrens stories, a time of great laughter and fun. Bonding time - very important to all of us.
"It's very expensive" - Again it is how you look at things! To me, investing in my childrens after school activities was something I was very willing to pay for. All of their activities including their irish dancing helped develop their confidence, their independence, their appreciation of performing arts, a love of all sports and an appreciation of hard work, dedication and committment. Having taught Irish dance for over 30 years, I have seen so many children and young adults including my own children, learn many life long skills that they carry with them into all walks of life. Remember, it is always up to you as the parent how much you want to spend on an activity. You are in control as to how deep you wish to get involved in a particular activity and sport. For many, a weekly class is just the right fit. In time if you wish to do down different paths and roads with it, I am certain you will find the path that suits you and your child.
" It's all wigs, tan and make-up" - Not so! Yes, there is a certain amount of families who embrace this side of Irish dancing but it is not compulsory, it is not for every family. It is a choice, a choice which you as a parent have control over. Dancers are all welcome to take part in a nice plain outfit, with their own natural hair. What you will need are shoes! Dance shoes are available second hand or new from many outlets. In fact, for many starting off all you need is a pair of trainers and a tracksuit!
"It's a bit of diddle-di-i" - Irish dancing is part of our culture, our heritage, our history. Like the GAA Irish music, song and dance are part of our very make up. By encouraging your children to take part in Irish dancing they are learning part of their history which they will in turn pass on to the next generation therefore helping to continue Irish traditions while keeping fit and making new friends. Nowadays, irish dance classes incorporate all types of music, not just the traditional reels and jigs, warm-up's cool downs. Itis ever evolving, new music, new steps, new movements. Irish dance never stands still! It is constantly developing with every new generation that is introduced to this exciting world that is Irish dance.
There are many more questions that I am certain you would like clarified but if you are thinking of an activity that will give your child life long skills, confidence, independence, a sense of movement, rhythm , space and much much here then Irish dancing is definitely worth looking into! See you on the dance floor soon!