How to deal with an injury without losing your mind

How to deal with an injury without losing your mind

Leg and foot injuries are extremely common with Irish dancers – and for obvious reasons! I can’t count how many dancers I’ve heard of who have experienced broken feet, shin splints, broken toes, sprained ankles, and the list goes on. I recently broke my 5th metatarsal in my foot (also known as a “dancer’s break”, to give you an idea of how common it is) and have had to deal with finding ways to occupy myself while propped up in…

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What’s the deal with grades exams?

What’s the deal with grades exams?

As of January 1, 2018, the CLRG requires candidates who want to take the TCRG exam to first complete grades 1-12 before even applying to go further. There are pros and cons to this decision – and just as many opinions to go around! But mostly this has left a lot of dancers and aspiring teachers confused and asking, “What’s the plan now?!” So I’m here to tell you what the deal is with these grades exams! **First of all,…

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Blackout Feis Review

Blackout Feis Review

Last weekend introduced a new style of feis to the New England and Eastern Canadian regions – the Bracken School “Blackout Feis”. When I first heard about this concept, my (admittedly old-school) reaction was that this is great! This is finally a way for dancers and parents to enjoy a feis for what it should be about – simply the dancing. But with everything else that goes into feising these days, is a blackout feis that simple anymore? What is…

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Top 5 Tips to Keep up Motivation

Top 5 Tips to Keep up Motivation

It’s time to get real about motivation. February is well under way, and in many cases the energy of New Year’s resolutions is starting to fade. If you’re one of the lucky ones competing at a feis or All-Irelands at this time of year, then you’re probably still going strong. But if you aren’t, how do you keep up the motivation to continue for a few more months until the next time you’re on stage? First things first though: in…

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Top holiday gifts for Irish dancers

Top holiday gifts for Irish dancers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Oireachtas are (for almost everyone) past, it’s now time to celebrate successes and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Growing up as both an Irish dancer and someone whose name is spelled quite specifically, it was rare to find personalized or dance-related holiday gifts. Shout out to all those Irish dancers who got Highland dance themed gifts from well-intentioned family members (“it’s almost like Irish dance, right?”)! Thankfully, the times are…

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TCRG/TMRF/ADCRG EXAM: MUSIC SECTION

TCRG/TMRF/ADCRG EXAM: MUSIC SECTION

Ah, the music section of the TCRG/TMRF/ADCRG exams. This is one that, in my experience, people either love it or hate it (and if they love it, they’ll often come to hate it by the time they’ve heard the same sets for the 40th time!). It may feel as though you’ve been listening to Irish set and ceili music since you were a beginner, but this exam section is a bit more complicated when you have to pick out all…

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Heading to ECRO in Toronto?

Heading to ECRO in Toronto?

Toronto is a great city – packed full of people, cultures, restaurants, and shopping! This isn’t the first time that Eastern Canadian Regional Oireachtas (ECRO) has been hosted in Toronto, but there is always something new to see and do when you visit! Oireachtas is a busy dance-filled weekend, so it can be hard to take time to get outside of the venue even for a few hours. As someone who has competed at many an “O”, trust me, you’ll…

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Goal Setting Part 2

Goal Setting Part 2

As we talked about in part 1 of this goal setting series, competitive Irish dancing is a tough sport these days. Results may feel very subjective, the top dancers are working harder than ever, and setting a broad goal like “do better” won’t get you to the top anymore. That said, if you’re prepared to set specific goals and work hard to get there, you can reach those goals. And you don’t have to be a champion level dancer to…

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Goal Setting Part 1

Goal Setting Part 1

It’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing colour, everything has become pumpkin flavoured, and Irish dancers everywhere are starting to stress out about their regional championships. With the Oireachtas comes annual stress, but also big dreams of recalls and World placements. In order for you to get the most out of your season- whether you are going to a qualifier or not- it’s time to talk about goal setting. Proper Goal Setting Proper goal setting is not…

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A Letter to My Dance Family (Guest Post)

A Letter to My Dance Family (Guest Post)

I have two families: the family I was born into, and the family I danced into. And I know I’m not the only dancer who feels this way either. I’ve seen other dance schools at feisanna and the genuine love for each other that the dancers have. Recently at an event, I shared a thank you letter to my dance family. I’ve modified that letter here to share with you an experience that translates beyond my dance school to help…

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