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Month: July 2017

What Practice Music do I start with?!

What Practice Music do I start with?!

One of the first things I hear as a dance teacher when my dancers start to become more interested in practicing is, “can you give me some music to use at home?” or, “what practice music do I search for?” That’s why I’ve put together this collection of music/artists to help your at-home practicing. A note on music speeds: beginner/advanced beginners tend to dance to faster music than the more advanced levels. This is because the steps are more simple…

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What to expect at your first feis

What to expect at your first feis

Welcome to the wonderful world of competitive Irish dance! So you’ve decided you (or your dancing child) are going to take the leap from recreational classes and try out this thing called a “feis” (pronounced “fesh”)? Fantastic! Let me show you around, I’ve been here a while… 1. Your first feis will seem like organized chaos. This is to be expected, don’t panic! Feis venues can be hosted at any number of locations: community centres, high schools, colleges, convention centres,…

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5 words that are different for Irish dancers

5 words that are different for Irish dancers

We all know that words matter in Irish dance. Go to any studio and you’ll hear a silly combination of lilting (singing to the tune of the music), made up words, and indescribable sounds coming from your teachers. To make things more complicated, dancers often use different words to describe the same move – do you call it a treble, a rally, or a batter? One thing we can all agree on though, is how much fun it is to take…

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I retired from Irish dance…now what?!

I retired from Irish dance…now what?!

I recently officially ‘retired’ from competitive Irish dance. That’s a tough sentence to write, even despite knowing it was the right decision. After spending almost 16 years of my life focused on competition and the dance world, to step back now begs the question, “now what?” How do you know when to retire? Before making the decision to stop competing and pursue the next step (for me, it was going to be the TCRG certification), I spent a lot of…

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Top tips for summer training

Top tips for summer training

It’s summer time! Time for sunshine and afternoons by the pool, and if you’re a dancer, a new level of sweatiness. Summer can be a tough time for Irish dancers. We don’t have a “season” like other sports that allows us to alternate between high intensity and downtime. Add in the fact that North American Nationals (and local feises) are smack dab in the middle of the summer and you’ve definitely got an uphill battle to maintain stamina and performance….

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Heading to Feis Nova Scotia 2017?

Heading to Feis Nova Scotia 2017?

Read on for everything you need to do to enjoy the full weekend in Halifax and Dartmouth when you go to Feis Nova Scotia: The feis hotel block closed on July 4th, but there are other hotels close by in both Dartmouth and Halifax depending on your budget. Find one below: Booking.com Getting around the city The feis, hotel, and ceili are located in Dartmouth, not Halifax! The cities are essentially two sides of the same harbour, but there are…

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The Case for Competitive Irish Dance

The Case for Competitive Irish Dance

Or: No, ma’am, your child doesn’t get a trophy this time It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a competitive person. As a child, I was always involved in competitive sports- starting with soccer, moving to swimming for a few years, and then I found my real passion in Irish dance. It’s a personality trait that I wonder if it’s genetic or not (here’s the classic nature vs. nurture argument) because my parents never really pushed me…

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