I'm Back! It Feels Good to be Irish Dancing Again

02.04.14

This is for all the adult Irish dancers who either run out of money for Irish dance classes, get sick of dressing in puffy stiff dresses, or feel out of place in a school full of younger dancers. Keep Irish dancing on your own!

I danced with a local certified school for about 10 years and quit about a year ago. I wasn't feeling the passion for dancing anymore and was tired of dancing other people's steps, not to mention tired of the politics, the elaborate costumes, and always being told I was doing everything wrong. Don't get me wrong, for 8 out of those 10 years I was enjoying every minute, but about 2 years before I quit I started to feel an itch for something more. I wanted to choreograph my own steps, I wanted to focus more on heart than technique and I wanted to find my love for Irish dance again.

So I made a really hard decision: I took a break from Irish dance. I wasn't sure how long it would be, but I knew I would one day feel like dancing again. It ended up taking a whole year to get past all the junk in my head that was making me feel like I wasn't a good dancer anymore.

Finally, a few months ago, I decided to add some Irish dance drills to my exercise routine. It was like I'd never stopped dancing! It felt really good to be dancing again. After a while I pushed myself a little - I decided to start choreographing 8 bars a day, 3 times a week. After day one I was hooked! In only a month I choreographed an entire dance to Dance Above the Rainbow, a song I've been wanting to choreograph my own piece to for over 5 years! ...and I did it in only a month!

I recorded myself dancing the full piece at my old dance studio and even sewed myself a pretty dress to wear for the video. I also wore a comfortable pair of sneakers instead of my slippery hard shoes or 'feet squeezing' ghillies. I have always done my best dancing in sneakers, so that's what I wore in my video. Anyway, here's the video, I've very proud of it: Click here to watch the video

So if you're an adult dancer like me, you need to know that there is so much you can do all on your own. I still have huge Irish dance goals for myself and none of them involve classes, elaborate hard as a rock solo dresses, feiseanna or tan legs. In fact like the video I just recorded, I may be doing all my future videos either barefoot or in sneakers.

The fact is, I don't care what anyone tells me, you're never too old to Irish dance, you CAN do it your own way, and technique is NOT everything.

Anyway, I hope this article inspires someone else to keep dancing on their own. You don't need anyone but yourself.

Happy Dancing,
Shelly Allen

See my Irish dance graphic art >>
I sell Irish dance stock photos >>

TAGS: above, adult, allen, alone, art, barefoot, black, choreographer, choreography, dance, dancers, dress, green, irish, original, rainbow, sewing, shelly, sneakers, solo, video

Back to top