March is here, and for the Irish dancer that means one thing: performance time! Irish dance performances are never more in demand than in March, and we’re so excited for the number of opportunities this St. Patrick’s Day will have for dancers at all levels and dispositions. But after the last few years have posed more than the normal number of hurdles for in-person performances, we now have dancers that have been with us for multiple years that have yet to been able to perform with us on this most Irish of American holidays. Some dancers may be ready and raring to go, while some may be nervous…and we’re here to support and encourage your dancers no matter their stance on the matter!
First off, why perform? While we definitely don’t require it, we certainly do encourage it for a number of reasons. To begin, taking dance classes without the further step out into performance is a bit like going to basketball practice, but never playing a game. The act of performing is another part of your dancer’s training—where they learn to dance outside of the “safe space” of the studio and adapt to their audience and environment, lending a gravitas and feeling of accomplishment that just can’t be replicated in class. While their nerves could get the better of them, part of what dance teaches us is how to persevere and overcome, building self-confidence as we improve—both in the studio and on the stage!
Beyond that, while Irish dance can be performed alone, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum! Irish dance comes from a rich, age-old tradition that may stem from one country, but now links millions around the world. Performing has always been at the heart of the Irish dance community—and it’s a community that will welcome your dancer with open arms. From the support of the fellow SRL dancers and parents, to the small, low-stakes, and always grateful audiences St. Patrick’s performances can provide, March at SRL is the perfect opportunity for a dancer to make their first foray into the Irish dance community and feel its embrace. This will also help them gain confidence for the showcase in June!
But don’t take our word for it, we’ll let the dancers who have already experienced this speak to it! Here’s what a few of our veteran dancers have to say about why they love performing:
“Irish dancing is a part of my life. It brings me, and my family joy when I dance. So it’s amazing when I can give this joy to other people as well. This is why I perform, and I love to do it.”
“I love the joy in people’s faces when you dance, and all their cheering gives you energy and confidence! Also, it’s great to have a way to show off everything you’ve been working on all year.”
“ I like the preparation it takes. I love learning the new steps, and working with other dancers—it takes away some the stress of performing solo and makes it fun!”
“I like performing because it’s fun to do it with all my friends and the dances are so funny to learn—you get to cool moves you might not get to do in a normal dance. And…it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just for fun!”
“I like to show the reason why I love to Irish dance—the fun part of performing. And I love encouraging younger dancers to start Irish dance!”
The deadline to signing up for any performance is 48 hours in advance. All the information you may need is in the 2022 Performance Handbook (or check your email and the parent portal for details about different performances!) but if you have any questions about the best performances for your dancer to attend, what they’ll be performing, how it works, costuming, etc., feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!
This post is part of a series. Read our last 411 post, all about the parental role in dancer development, here. Check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
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