Western US Region Irish Dance Oireachtas 2010

Oireachtas Practice Tip: Don't Push Yourself Too Hard


You work hard for it all year, and when the Oireachtas is finally only a couple weeks away you start to feel the nerves. In the past my nerves have driven me to work a little too hard, leaving my muscles incredibly sore and sometimes even injuring myself.

This year I've decided to practice hard, but make sure to take breaks whenever I feel I need them. Last week I felt a pain in the bottom of my right foot after doing a certain toe lift drill too many times in class. When the pain didn't go away the next day, it had me worried, so I took a day off practice the following week and have stayed away from doing that drill again. A few days later the pain faded I haven't felt it since.

This year, as you get close to the Oireachtas make sure you don't push yourself so hard that you end up injured and unable to compete. The body can take a lot physically and your TCRG is going to work your muscles hard, but only you know what your limits are. No competition is worth a serious injury. I've heard stories of Irish dancers competing with injuries and still placing, but just think of how much better they would have done if they'd taken the breaks they needed and had the opportunity to compete at full strength.

I'd like to wish everyone good luck at the Oireachtas this month! Work hard and take the breaks you need so you have the chance to truly do your best when you get on stage. And don't forget to have fun! That's what Irish dance is all about.

Article written by Shelly Allen
Photo by Shelly Allen Photography

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