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Category: Dance lifestyle

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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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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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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10 Things I wish I’d known before becoming an Irish Dancer

10 Things I wish I’d known before becoming an Irish Dancer

When I started this website, I set out to create a resource for dancers, teachers, parents, and anyone interested in Irish dance. Which is why I kept coming back to this question: what do I wish someone had told me when I was just starting to become a competitive Irish dancer? So here is my list for all you dancers (and parents) as a warning of what you’re in for! 10 Things I wish I’d known before becoming an Irish…

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5 Words that are Different for Irish Dancers pt.2

5 Words that are Different for Irish Dancers pt.2

Here at the Happy Dancer community we’re always coming up with new ways to talk about Irish dance, and the more we talk about it, the more we realize just how many different words we use! If you missed the first five words, read part one here. Then read on for: 5  *more* words that are different for Irish dancers 1. Rock What others think: inanimate object found in nature, varying in size, sometimes used as a pet. What we…

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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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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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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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Riverdance 20 years later…what’s changed, what’s the same?

Riverdance 20 years later…what’s changed, what’s the same?

Let me set the scene for you: it was just another Tuesday night (cheap night at the movie theatre). I had just bought a ticket to see a movie and sat down for the ‘pre-show’ when I received a text from a friend saying she had free tickets to see the 20th anniversary tour show of Riverdance in town that night – and starting in an hour! Cue to an hour later: sitting in the arena at the very back…

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