Interested in trying out Irish dance, but aren’t entirely sure? We could talk all day long about the benefits Irish dance has, physically, mentally, and socially (and we have—check out these posts to learn more!) but why don’t we let some of our dancers tell you a little more about why they love Irish dance here at SRL! We hope you’ll join us!
Looking for: exercise?
“I love all kinds of dance but Irish dance is a fun fast kind of dancing!”—Rooney
Looking for: long-lasting life skills?
“As an adult, my time at SRL taught me the value of time management, passion and persistence. Until college, I was a multi-sport athlete, competitive dancer and a participant in various other extracurricular activities. I learned quickly how to manage my school load with these other commitments to keep everything in balance. I hold myself to a high standard to do everything the best I can, so being able to manage that while maintaining a passion for the sport taught me so much. Today, I approach everything I do with passion and persistence while remembering I have to manage my time well to accomplish all of my goals.”—Tara
Looking for: enjoyment and self-expression?
“I believe there are many reasons behind why people dance, including because friends or family members did it in the past or currently do it now. But I think that some people dance for the same reason I did: for a way to escape reality from time to time. I remember going to the studio, totally forgetting about the outside world, and just living in the moment that was happening throughout dance class.”—Christian
Looking for: cultural enrichment?
“I think people dance because it is freeing. In Irish Dance, it is you and the floor working in harmony to produce something beautiful and culturally significant. It is a personal challenge…where the only opponent is yourself. It is also an opportunity to celebrate a culture very few understand. To represent and celebrate my Irish heritage through dance has connected me more with my family’s ancestry.”—Tara
Looking for: a supportive environment?
“SRL is an amazing community where all the dancers and teachers are very motivating, inspiring, and caring.”—Bailey
Looking for: friends?
“SRL has provided me with so many opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.”—Lindsey
Looking for: peer mentors?
“I always loved my time as an assistant teacher for Courtney and still keep in contact with some of my students today. When they finally got their jumps or skips, it was such a proud moment for me. I miss working with them!”—Tara
Looking for: something to be passionate about?
Just take Colby’s word for it when asked what he loves most about Irish dance: “Everything.”
If your dancer is looking for it, SRL has it! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June, we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post—tons of testimonials from parents!— here. Also: 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
Is your child interested in dance, but you’re not sure where to start? Why not Irish dance? We won’t try to convince you (check out these multiple posts in case you want some more convincing—we do have a strong case,) but thought we’d let our amazing community of parents tell you why SRL is the right choice, instead!
Looking for: exercise with purpose?
“It’s been great for working on his balance as well as giving him a way to learn something fun that he enjoys.”—Michaela
Looking for: a confidence boost?
“[Irish dance has given my dancer the] confidence in herself to be able to perform in front of large audiences. She is able to give herself goals to work towards and she knows that it will take time and hard work to achieve and is willing to put the effort in because she can see the progress happening.”—Jill
Looking for: dance that teaches life skills?
“There’s the movement, the exercise and athleticism, the focus that some children need to burn off the extra energy while learning self-discipline in a fun way.”—Siobhan
“The most important lesson [my dancer’s] learned are the benefits of hard work and never giving up.”—Judy
Looking for: peer mentoring opportunities?
“I think Irish Step Dancing has been the first time [my dancer] has really felt challenged. But because she enjoys it so much and because of the guidance from the older girls…and of course from Miss Courtney’s teaching and motivation, she continues to try even when she gets so upset that she is not getting a step the first time around.”—Andrea
Looking for: a unique, year-round activity?
“Go for it!!! Some of the reasons I love it are because it is a year-round outlet for my daughter (and her dance mates.) She does not have to wait a whole year for one recital. She has competitions in the fall, performances throughout the winter and early spring, more competitions in the spring and summer, camp and other regular opportunities to dance, hone skills, perform, and become close with her friends.”—Siobhan
Looking for: musical appreciation?
“[Irish dance’s] upbeat cadence and structure definitely appeal to [my dancer] more than ballet or jazz dance. And as a musical family with 3 violin players, we love hearing the beautiful reels and jigs!”—Becca
Looking for: a talented staff?
“[We were] looking for a focused experience that would allow her to continue to advance competitively. Working with Courtney, and now with the addition of Christian and Bailey, [my daughter] has continued to improve as a dancer…I can honestly say the time spent working with the teachers at SRL and the friendships she has forged with other dancers are by far the best things that have happened to her.”—Laura
Looking for: community and support?
“[Our dancers] have learned how to set long term goals and create plans to achieve them, time management and how to take corrections, the importance community and volunteerism, these are just a few.”—Ken & Dana
“I’m amazed at the choreography [my dancer] memorizes. I was so proud that she quickly gained the confidence to participate in a public performance and also do her first feis. I enjoyed watching her teach a dance to some younger Girl Scouts at one of our meetings last year, and I love that she has volunteered to help out at SRL classes with younger children—it’s all been a great growing experience for her in many ways.”—Becca
Looking for: a happy kid?
“Give it a whirl! Just be aware that anything hanging on your walls will be off kilter from your student constantly jumping and kicking down the hallways. 😉”—Becca
Looking for: a way to try things without commitment?
“[Our dancer] quit soccer, basketball, ballet, tap, AND jazz! We were just hoping something would stick. Courtney offered a week-long mini-camp that gave [our dancer] a chance to try it out before committing to anything long-term.”—Ken & Dana
If you’re looking for it for your dancer, SRL has it! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June, we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with an August session available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about our Tiny Jig program, here. Also: 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.
If you can walk, you can dance!
Think your preschooler is too young to start dance? Think again! SRL Irish Dance Academy is proud to offer the Jump’n Jig program for our littlest dancers, aged 2 to 5!
Split into two age groups (2-3 Tiny Jig and 4-5 Pre-Beginner,) this program was designed by early-childhood expert and ADCRG, Fiona Holmes. Classes start with helping our newest dancers learn how to act and engage within a dance class and move on to developing motor skills and musicality (all while making sure there’s plenty of fun in the meantime!) And with each class starting with a friendly welcome where they can bring along their favorite stuffed friend from home, SRL’s adoption of the Jump’n Jig program has helped get even the most reticent new dancer into the studio!
There’s plenty of benefits to starting your child in Irish dance (and starting them early!) and both our Tiny Jig and Pre-Beginner classes cover all the bases: safe social interactions with peers, instructors, and student mentors, working on not just foundational dance skills, but listening skills, and a way to grow a sense of personhood and independence. Beyond that are the physical benefits! We utilize two movement stations—circle time for direct interaction and a “track” across the room to practice skills solo—to work on single leg balancing (adding accessory movements gradually,) leg and foot strength, foot placement for Irish dance, moving on or around markers and targets, and concepts like right/left and front/back. These skills form a strong base for all forms of movement (think about football players taking ballet!) and many Tiny Jiggers move on through the levels and become life-long Irish dancers!
Irish dance has a long and rich tradition and history behind it, but you don’t need to have Irish heritage to be an Irish dancer. While the steps and the music are part of Ireland’s cultural heritage, Irish dance has become a global community—and SRL is a tight-knit and supportive community within that larger sphere. In this encouraging environment, dancers are exposed to a culture beyond their own while they develop a strong sense of musicality and rhythm—learning to actively listen to the music, find the beat by clapping, and utilizing props so they can dance with the music instead of to the music (the hardest thing to teach a dancer!)
A successful SRL dancer isn’t just strong on technique—we see success as a confident, happy, and comfortable dancer! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June (with every class available as in-person, online, or a hybrid model,) we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open and is a perfect way to judge your littlest dancer’s interest before committing more fully. With two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents, your session also includes discounts on registration and your first four weeks of classes come September. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about our studio, here. Also: 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.
Tradition. Passion. Dedication.
Welcome to Scoil Rince Luimni, also known as SRL Irish Dance Academy! We’re a small, independently-owned Irish dance studio located in South Windsor, Connecticut and we’re so happy you’re here. A little about us:
SRL was founded in 2014 by Courtney Jay, TCRG after she finished her BA in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. (In fact, that’s why we’re SRL—in Irish Gaelic Scoil (scull) is school, Rince (ring-ka) is dance, and Luimni (lim-nee) is Limerick!) Miss Courtney, as the dancers call her, has been an Irish dancer her whole life and has been teaching and mentoring younger dancers since she was 13. During her time in Limerick, Courtney trained at the Fleming-Ball School of Irish Dance, where she danced her way to 2 solo world medals, regional titles in solo and team championships, and top 10 at every international major competition. Before leaving Ireland, Courtney was certified by the CLRG (the largest and oldest governing body of Irish dance in the world) and then came home to Connecticut to create SRL!
7 years later and SRL is a tight-knit community that instructs in the storied tradition of Irish dance for those as young as 2-years-old (check out Tiny Jig to learn more!) into adulthood (check out SRL After Dark to learn more!) We take this traditional art form and honor the artistic components while taking a modern approach to what has become a highly athletic discipline. We train our dancers to identify and work towards their own, personal goals—whether that be recreation, casual performances, or the competitive track. Our structured environment, supported by our knowledgeable instructors, focuses on the whole dancer: technique and whole-body conditioning to be sure, but also the promotion of healthy life skills (such as setting and achieving goals, teamwork, focus, and dedication.) In line with that, SRL offers mentoring opportunities at every turn—from class helpers to buddies at dancers’ first competitions and performances—and cultivates a spirit of support and community that’s really what Irish dance is all about!
Our small, but passionate staff is ready to help guide and encourage your dancer—whether they be just starting out or qualifying for Worlds—through structured lessons that optimize their opportunities to grow both as dancers and as people. While Irish dance has a long tradition (read more about its origins here!) and strong ties to Ireland’s national identity, you don’t need to be Irish to do Irish dance. As the Irish diaspora has spread across the world, Irish dance has become more than a traditional art form (though it retains those roots and music)—it’s a global community. All you need to join in is passion, dedication, and someone to teach you—and we’d love to help out!
SRL is registered with the CLRG, the Irish Dance Teachers of North America, and the New England Irish Dance Teachers. While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June (with every class available as in-person, online, or a hybrid model,) we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about the benefits of Irish dance, here. Also: 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.
The question Irish dancers get asked the most is: why Irish dance? There’s a lot of amazing things to love about this artistic sport—its long and storied history, cultural enrichment, and beautiful costumes, to name a few—but the benefits of this particular type of dance can be wide-reaching, both physically and mentally, and even life-long! Let’s explore some:
Motor Skills & Mind-Body Connection: At the youngest age range—we offer classes starting a 2-years-old!--we concentrate on motor skills and correcting any left/right imbalances early in their development. Starting dance at any age is beneficial, but check out our post about the benefits of starting your dancer early here.
Flexibility, Balance, Coordination, and Strength: While many dance studios in the past concentrated more on the steps than the conditioning, SRL has always been committed to providing balanced training that looks at what the whole dancer needs, not just their feet! All age groups are doing more than learning to dance, they’re stretching and completing exercises in class that strengthen the whole dancer.
Independence: Whether your dancer is 12 or 2, they’ve been spending A LOT of time with you over the last year. Going into dance class by themselves can be the first step toward forming their own personhood in this time when kids have been isolated at home more than ever. It’s also a fun, safe space for your dancer to make new friends without parental influence!
Musicality: Irish dance is unique in many ways, but its connection to music is particularly strong! (Learn more about music in Irish dance here.) Dancers not only develop their sense of rhythm and a deeper understanding of music, but also cultivate an appreciation for traditional Irish music, often choosing to supplement their dancing by learning to play an instrument.
Social Skills and Teamwork: Not all of Irish dance is a solo performance! Dance class is a great time for your dancer to practice appropriate social skills, as well as make new friends. Later goals can include céilí dancing and teams, where dancers learn to dance in unison and work together.
Goal Setting and Self-Determination: Whether the goal be big (going to Nationals!) or smaller (getting to perform in a fancier dress,) SRL is all about small, every day steps leading to larger goals. We help each dancer set personal goals in their dance career, and this example has proven to carry through in many dancers’ school performance and at home behavior. Irish dance is more about building up skills over time, and is less about instant gratification and more about hard work and dedication—skills that will serve them all their lives!
Community: SRL is a community-focused studio where we’re all about supporting each other, even when we’re competing! But Irish dance is more than our studio, it’s a tight-knit, but also global community. All you need to enter that community is a love of Irish dance, and then you’re welcome!
Interested in seeing all that Irish dance has to offer? Check out SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp for your dancer! This is a low-commitment way for students 2-12 (and their parents) to gage interest before signing up for classes. Check out the details (and the deals your session will include!) here. We hope to meet you soon!
Have any questions? Feel free to call or text our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, a longer explanation of our Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, here. Also: 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.
Does your child love to jump, wiggle, and move? Have they been bouncing off the walls all year? Are they obsessed with watching dance videos on YouTube when they get their coveted screen time? (Us, too!) Maybe it’s time to find a new outlet for all that excess energy…and why not try Irish dance?
With Scoil Rince Luimni’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, dancers from ages 2 to 12 will spend a week of classes letting that built up energy out, learning a new skill, and having safe, positive social interactions with new friends! This program is designed to really let your child try out this extremely active and fast-paced artistic sport in a secure and fun environment, but also to let you, as a parent, see if this is the right fit for your family. During one of our two Intro Summer Camp sessions, your dancer will take one class each evening (at a work-friendly time for parents,) for a full week to help them gage their interest (and get in some social time and physical exercise!)
As Irish dance has innumerable benefits (like increased coordination, flexibility, balance, and strength…along with musicality and life skills such as goal setting, teamwork, and self-determination,) we’ve added extra value to the Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, as well! While you’ll be able to meet our staff, explore the studio, and get a feel for what Irish dance is all about, your purchase of a session also waives your Fall 2021 registration fee and gifts you the first four weeks of classes come September for free! For our littlest dancers in our Tiny Jig or Pre-Beginner programs (2-5) this is a $155 value for only $82.50, and for our Beginners (6-12) a $216 value for only $132.
Sign up and see the full details here:
Session 1: July 19-23 or Session 2: August 16-20
Ages 2-3, 5:00-5:25PM
Ages 4-5, 5:30-6:00PM
Ages 6-12, 6:00-6:45PM
Have any questions? Feel free to call or text our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s happy to help!
We look forward to dancing with you soon!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about the general benefits of summer camps, here. Also: 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.
While innumerable things have changed in our world in the last year, no virus can stop the seasons from changing. From this vantage point in March, we’re all dreaming of spring, but parents know there’s something slightly more ominous looming in the horizon: summer. Two or three whole months of no school, and these days, little social interaction outside the house. But since the 1870s, parents have been turning to the most active possible solution to keep their kids engaged during the hottest months…summer camp!
Connecticut has a long history with summer camps, with the first American summer camp having been founded in Gunnery, CT just after the Civil War. The idea caught fire and in a less than 20-year period around the turn of the century the number of summer camps in the United States rose from 100 to over 1,000. These first camps were all about removing children from urban environments to reconnect with nature, and this kind of summer camp hasn’t changed all that much since. But after WWII, parents were eager to return their children to a more innocent time and summer camps had a second boom—this time with a wider range of variety as special-interest camps such as sports camps and arts camps popped up all over the country.
But what has made the summer camp an American institution? The skills taught at summer camps—be it outdoorsmanship or art forms like dance—have always been only part of the equation. The Harvard Graduate School of Education puts it this way: “All those classic camp dynamics—being away from home and parents, making new friends, being part of a team, and trying new things—are building blocks to crucial social-emotional [learning (or SEL)] skills.” Foundational, SEL skills include “self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making” and have been found to be crucial for both success in school and in later, professional life. But, unfortunately, due to the restraints placed on teachers by state-mandated curriculums, we often see this type of learning not prioritized in the classroom. Americans have been turning to a solution outside of school for 150 years now, and we have the data to back it up: a 2005 study conducted by the American Camp Association found consistent and significant growth in SEL skills (and self-confidence) in children after only a single summer camp session!
As important as SEL skills are, there’s another factor that’s helped give summer camps such staying power: the physical benefits. The majority of summer camps have always included a focus on physical activity, and in our increasingly digitized world, finding a healthy and active outlet for kids is more important than ever. We all know that our country has been facing issues for years when it comes to the health of younger generations—but it turns out summer camp could be of help. In a 2011 edition of the Journal of Adolescence, a study reported that adolescents with no organized summer activities were at the greatest risk of obesity, while a 2010 study found that day camp campers who were exposed to active peers and active teachers were more likely to be physically active even after camp ended. While a week of physical activity is definitely good, the way camps instill the habit of exercise is even better!
While our registered dancers here at SRL Irish Dance Academy (from Beginner level up!) know all about how fun one of our summer camps can be, what about someone who’s never attended an Irish dance class? Don’t worry, we have a great option for even the newest dancer, as well! SRL is hosting two, week-long “Intro to Irish Dance” Summer Camps this year. Each week consists of five straight days of one class a day (at work-friendly times for parents!) to give new dancers a real feel for our year-long programs. The best part? Until May 1st, SRL is running a deal that will carry you into the school/dance year: sign up for this "Intro" Camp and we'll include a free four-week Taster Session in September (and wave your registration fee when your dancer falls in love with Irish dance and insists on signing up!)
This camp is multipurpose, for not only will it ease any parent’s mind about how interested their child is in Irish dance before enrolling for the year, but it will provide that social and physical outlet kids need every summer (but this one especially!) Even if your child finds out Irish dance isn’t right for them, they’ll still be invited into a fun, welcoming environment, taught to stretch and move their body in new ways, and be able to interact with their peers as both team mates and friends while they increase their self-esteem by learning a new skill. We’ve been holding classes in our clean, appropriately socially-distanced studio since September without any issue, and are excited to introduce your child to the world of Irish dance!
We could go on and on about the benefits of starting dance early (and we already have! check out our post about it,) but the real takeaway from SRL’s intro program is the same as any camp: increasing your child’s SEL skills while allowing them to express themselves in a healthy way and have fun! This opportunity creates a break from technology, lets them develop a sense of independence, let all that silly energy out, and have more and varied social interactions. And, not to mention, it gives parents a much-needed break, too!
Learn more about our “Intro to Irish Dance" Summer Camp—with a special discount (and additional savings!) running until May 1st! Or feel free to reach out by phone or email (email@example.com) for more info. We look forward to dancing with you soon!
If you’re reading this, it’s fair to say that you’re probably browsing the SRL site. And if you’re browsing our site, you may be considering signing your child up for Irish dance. One of the most common questions any studio gets asked is: how old does my child need to be to start dance lessons? Our answer is always the same: If you can walk, you can dance!
While dance has been proven to be beneficial to all age groups and we’ll never discourage an older student from beginning, there’s upsides to starting early. First of all, let’s acknowledge the elephant in every single room: it’s 2020, so your kids have been spending ALL their time with you. And as much as some extra family time has been the major benefit of this year, it does mean less opportunities for your child to develop a sense of independence and personhood, as well as for practicing social skills outside the home. There’s no “Mommy and Me” classes at SRL—we see even our Tiny Jig classes (for 2 to 3-year-olds) as a way for our students to not only learn to dance, but also: practice taking turns and sharing attention with others, being kind and respectful to peers and adults, learning about personal space boundaries, as well as a myriad of other not just social, but developmental skills they may not have a lot of chances to practice right now.
Beyond the developmental benefits dance can foster, are the physical benefits. Our youngest classes concentrate not only on dance skills, but help improve motor skills, as well as help catch and correct any issues with right-left dominance. And, of course, it’s excellent exercise. (Especially during New England’s winter months!)
Innumerable studies confirm that dance also improves cognitive ability and can led a better quality of life. Why? While there can’t be a downside to forging a mind-body connection early in development, dance classes also help kids practice patience, goal setting, and routine—all things that will benefit them in their future studies—as well as musicality. We’ve all seen the reports about how stimulating music is for the brain—why not develop that appreciation early?
Additionally: if your child is already interested in dance, they may want to continue with it as they get older. Early dance classes aren’t a requirement, but they will lay a good foundation for your dancer’s success later on by instilling technique and creating a well-rounded dancer. In fact, it will be beneficial for any physical activity they choose—haven’t you heard the stories about NFL players taking dance classes to improve their coordination, flexibility, and footwork?
With fewer children attending in-person preschool or even elementary, SRL’s dance classes provide a safe, socially distant space (with small class sizes to assure safety and close attention to all students and online options) for your kids to grow, learn, and play. It may not be easy right away—your kids may get discouraged or have the occasional tantrum or issues listening—but that’s what dance is about: learning, growing, and pushing through. Irish dance, like life, only has a couple moments of instant gratification…but isn’t that what makes real, earned successes all the sweeter? Here at SRL, students get moved up levels as soon as their skills have progressed, not by any specific age designation (that’s just to start!) Your child’s hard work is the only thing rewarded. And what better lesson to instill in your kids at a young age than that?
Hear our Director, Courtney Jay, TCRG, discuss the benefits of our programs (for children as young as two!) here:
This is our second Saturday bonus post! Check out our first here, all about battling back to school burnout. And 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
No matter how many years out of school I am, I’ll always think of the new year as starting in September. Somehow, New Year’s Eve has nothing on the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, new books in a new backpack, and that outfit that’s just a little bit too hot for the weather (every year! I never learned.) But, for everyone still actually school-age, especially in the year 2020, there’s also the downside to all the excitement: having to learn a new routine after months and months of routine-free fun.
Your happy kid, so full of energy all spring and summer, suddenly doesn’t want to do anything. This is the year you signed them up for new activities they’d been begging to try (maybe even an Irish dance class?) and all of a sudden they have no interest. So, what now?
The back to school burnout is real, and probably worse this year for the obvious reasons. The first step is simple: recognize it’s happening and understand that it’s normal. And, as much as it’s normal, remember the adage that’s now backed up by a bevy of scientific research: children need routines. Regularity in daily and weekly routines has been proven to produce better adjusted and more successful adults across the board, in all fields. Notable, studied benefits include improved attention span and self-control, better time management, decrease in anxiety, better social skills, a higher level of emotional intelligence, better academic performance, and even increased employability in adulthood (among others.)
Expert tips about how to combat resistance to the new routine and avoid the worst of the burnout are pretty standard across the board: Commit to a reasonable number of activities, but don’t say yes to everything. Be flexible, but be clear about your expectations. Keep as regular sleep schedule as possible. Eat a balanced diet. Forge open communication within your family. Encourage asking for help whenever you need it. Put a limit on screen time. Make sure to make time to relax and decompress. Set goals and celebrate achieving them.
One of the most constant and repeated tips? Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. While we at SRL recommend Irish dance classes as the best way to get up and going, 150 minutes of any moderate movement-based activity a week is the standard recommended by every medical organization. Why? Besides the obvious—physical health—exercise has been proven to help decrease stress and increase endorphins (among other happy-brain chemicals,) as well as boost overall energy and mental acuity. Simultaneously, exercise classes promote community and social development, while also promoting better sleep habits when your kids get home. That’s right, ironically, just getting them to the class they’re reticent to go to will help with everything else!
Lastly, and just as importantly, remember that self-care isn’t just a buzz word, it’s how parents can continue to be great parents! We all need to take moments for ourselves throughout the day or the kids won’t be the only ones burnt out. Besides, let’s be real…you deserve it.
This post is our first Saturday Bonus post! 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.
So we can’t sit this close together right now - don’t let that deter you from the many benefits dancing can offer your little one!
We know how important it is for toddlers and pre-schoolers to interact with their peers. Interacting with other children their age is a huge part of their social development and it can’t be recreated at home with siblings and parents.
This has always been a huge part of our Pre-Beginner program and it is more important now than ever before. In our small dance classes (maximum of 8 students), tiny dancers learn to take turns, share the attention of their instructor, follow directions, and most importantly build their independence from their caregivers.
After months of staying home or with close family, it will be very normal for children to experience separation anxiety. The longer you avoid independence building activities, like dance class, the more severe the anxiety may become.
Our popular Jump’n Jig program has been adapted to allow for physical distancing without sacrificing any fun! We want you to feel safe joining us and allowing your little dancer to enjoy time to jump, wiggle, and jig with us!
We are so excited to re-open our doors this Monday June 29, 2020! It has been too long since we've heard giggles in our halls, seeing practices of the latest Tik-Tok craze, and the sound of trebles on our wooden floor. While the reopened studio will look and feel different than pre-pandemic times, the heart and soul of our community will bring the warmth and comfort we're all seeking.
Our last in-person classes were Friday March 13 and I will never forget how that week unfolded in slow motion as we all watched our world change in disbelief. Right in the midst of St Patrick's Day excitement, events that our dancers look forward to and work hard for as long as 6-months prior, everything came to a sudden halt. Schools were announcing two week closures, businesses were shutting down, and families sheltered in their homes to stay safe and healthy. Never again will we take for granted trips to the grocery store, play dates with friends, or hugging others for greetings or goodbyes.
During our time at home, students continued their dancing online in our virtual studio (thanks Zoom!) and we heard so many times from parents how dancing was the bright spot in their child's day, the meeting they most looked forward to, and how on days they had dance class their mood was better. Others struggled with only being able to connect with their instructors and classmates through the computer screen or losing the huge dance floor and mirrors they were used to.
Our re-opened studio is outfitted with changes for everyone's health and safety - small class sizes, physical distancing during classes and within the building, mask wearing when less than 12ft apart, restrooms outfitted with new faucets and dispensers to prevent surface contact, new entry/exit and drop off procedures, and of course - lots of hand sanitizer. While on the surface it looks cold, clinical, and that some of the joys have been taken away, we're confident that our people make the studio: our dancers, their families, and our staff. We know that bringing together (6 or more feet apart, of course) our community safely, the mental and physical health of our dancers will improve long after they've left the studio from the in-person interaction, returning to a familiar place, and experiencing class outside of their computer screen.
Stay tuned for program options for new students. We know there are families who are looking for safe activities for their children to resume movement and social interaction over the summer and we want to be your destination for dance!
What’s the best way to get 2-4 year olds started Irish dancing? It’s Jump’n Jig, and Scoil Rince Luimni is the only school in Connecticut to offer this program for pre-schoolers!
The program was designed by Irish dance teacher, adjudicator, and early-childhood expert Fiona Holmes ADCRG and is tailor-made for our youngest dancers to learn and understand how to be in a dance class, develop their motor skills and musicality, and of course enjoy every moment of their class.
Each portion of class is designed with the preschooler in mind, from the inviting welcome, a reminder of our expectations and manners within the studio, social engagement between the dancers, working on our listening and dancing skills, and rewards and positive reinforcement.
There are two movement stations within the class - one in a circle so all students can engage closely with each other and the instructor and a long line acting as a ‘track’ for dancers to practice various skills. We open and close class in the circle and incorporate props kids love - teddy bears, wands, musical instruments, and more!
Along the track, we work on our single leg balancing, single leg balancing with accessory movements, leg and foot strength, moving on or around markers and targets, foot placement for Irish dancing, and the concept of right/left and front/back. As dancers become more proficient with their motor skills, they progress to dance skills that will help them transition to our Beginner program when they are old enough.
Dancers also practice actively listening to the music and finding the beat by clapping and utilizing props so they can dance WITH the music instead of TO the music (the hardest thing to teach a dancer!). Our Pre-Beginner program is all about setting each preschool dancer up for success - and by success we mean happy, confident, and comfortable with their abilities and in their class. Dancers who love to dance and have strong foundations will grow to work through the inevitable bumps in the road or challenges they may face as they progress.
Ready to join in? We have limited space in our Saturday morning class and we have a brand new class opening Friday mornings in October.
To all of my amazing dancers on the (almost) eve of the Oireachtas,
I am so proud of you.
Thank you for your hard work in preparing for this big event and I want to let you know how honored I am to be part of your team. After months of classes, practices, private lessons, competitions, and an emotional breakdown here and there, I want you to know that no matter what happens you’ve already won.
There are not many kids these days that are willing to make the sacrifices you have made to excel at their sport. There are not many kids dedicated enough to something to keep putting in the work day after day, week after week, when the reward isn’t guaranteed and is often far in the future.
As long as you stay calm, project confidence, dance like you do in class, and show great sportsmanship, there is nothing more I can expect or ask of you. Please let that comfort you and lighten the load you feel on your shoulders. I’m sure you have put greater pressure and expectation on yourself and I don’t wish to add to that. Remember to be kind to yourself and be your own number one fan.
I hope that you can celebrate your result no matter what your ranking is - after all, this is one day among many in your dance journey. This is one little mile-marker along the marathon that is your continual self improvement and you HAVE improved just by peaking for this event. Even if you feel a sting of disappointment, remember that it’s okay to feel that pain temporarily but it’s also important to not let it keep you down or become a limiting belief. Instead, dust yourself off and be ready to cheer on your friends. Just because you’re not happy with your own results doesn’t impact your ability to support others.
Whether you win the whole thing or fall all the way to the bottom of the results, we turn the page together at the conclusion of the Oireachtas. Either way we move on to an improvement season, learning new choreography, and setting new goals and my opinion of your potential of a dancer does not change based on the outcome of this weekend. Your power is in your ability to take your result and use it for motivation.
Finally, say thank you to your parents. While they may not receive a medal for their efforts, they should not go unnoticed or under appreciated. Together, we all stand behind you on your team and they make sure you get to class, get to competitions, have the supplies and equipment you need, and experience everyday’s ups and downs along with you.
Now go out there and be fiercely you! You can do this, I believe in you!
Confession: I’m a podcast addict. I hate having ‘dead time’ when I’m driving, getting ready to go somewhere, walking around and podcasts are the way I choose to fill that time.
I was listening to one today about habits and while this was information I already knew, it was presented in a different way and now I’m sharing it with you.
We all know to set goals and many of us do this regularly. All of our Beginner II & higher classes have made fall goals for the first quarter of our dance year and they’re awesome! But why will some of us achieve these goals (or any goal) and why will some of us fall short? A quote from the podcast was, “you don’t rise to your goals, you fall to your systems.” If you don’t have the right processes in place you won’t achieve the goal - makes sense, we know this - but I loved the way it was presented.
As it went on to talking about habits (ie the processes you want to implement to achieve your goals), it got me thinking about how our dancers can work on their everyday habits relevant to their own goals. A common one was practicing more (4x/week, 2x/week, etc). We ultimately succumb to our ‘bad’ habits of not making time because we just never start. Instead of worrying about what to practice, whether to do it before dinner or after dinner, if you have the right bandaid to cover your blister, or leaving your notebook at the studio - just start. Just start by putting your shoes on. Maybe that’s all you accomplish for everyday that week.
The starting point feels good and eventually evolves. You get used to starting, figuring out what you need, and get into a routine. THEN once that’s easy you can dive deeper and start working on what you practice, how you practice, when to practice, how long to practice, and so on.
Dancers - think about the fall goal you set for yourself. Now think of 3-5 ways you can help yourself achieve this by taking small but consistent action everyday. For the practice example, maybe you’re going to bring your dance bag to your practice space right when you get home from class so everything you need is already there. You might put your practice clothes in the practice area so you don’t have to go upstairs hunting for clothes to change into after school. And finally, you’ll commit to getting off the bus and putting your dance shoes on right away - even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
The fall competition season is well underway and it’s a roller coaster of emotions for our intermediate and advanced dancers as they inch closer and closer towards the biggest competition of their season, the Regional Oireachtas. While we do everything we can to prepare both in class and at home, not every feis is smooth sailing or rewards each dancer for their hard work.
It’s easy to love dancing and competing when you’re rewarded for your efforts - but what about when dance doesn’t always love you back?
You might be doing all the right things - taking in your corrections at class, practicing at home, getting enough sleep, fueling your body for success and still come home empty handed or disappointed with the results you received. You might wonder, what am I doing wrong? Why are my friends being rewarded and not me?
It’s a painful reality but one that exists. I’m here to tell you it’s normal - necessary, even - for truly appreciating what it takes to go after something you want. If you worked hard and were rewarded every time, you’d leave feeling happy but you also might not work as hard next time. When you have to really fight for what you want, you appreciate it so much more when it finally happens and you’re ready for the next challenge.
I recently asked a group of students, “what do you think would happen if you won all the time?” and the responses were very insightful:
One of our most frequently asked questions by parents at the beginning stages of the dance journey is:
How can I tell if my dancer enjoys this? OR
How can I tell if this is right for my child?
Of course every child is different but we have some common threads and patterns that have emerged over the years to help guide you.
1. Some children will happily show you EVERYTHING they did in class that day. Others won't, and it's a common misconception that the shy variety of dancers aren't enjoying class. Dancers that are reluctant to share what they've learned are often very protective of their new skills and have early signs of perfectionism that you may not have seen before.
2. Little by little you may notice your dancer skipping, jumping, and hopping from place to place more than they are walking. While it's not formal practice or dancing, their more expressive movement is a CLASSIC sign that they are taking in everything from classes and learning to move like a dancer. Soon you won't be able to go anywhere without them dancing along next to you.
3. You may hear that your child is teaching their friends and classmates at school or other activities how to dance. It is quite common for new dancers to feel more comfortable sharing their dancing with their peers than their parents, though the more outgoing personality will share with just about everyone! Teaching others what they are learning in class shows a very deep understanding and enjoyment for dance and is a huge step towards a loving relationship with learning more!
You can support your dancer's journey into dance by not forcing them to show or tell you more than they are comfortable. Each dancer takes a unique path through the early stages of dancing and there is no 'right' or 'wrong' one. Ultimately, your dancer leading their journey with you in the supporting role will result in the best outcome.
We’re just giddy with excitement over our new dance year starting! We know you might be concentrating on getting your kids back to school and aren’t ready to complicate things by adding new activities, but you still have time to join us this year! Our classes for new students begin September 8 - 13 and you can schedule a complimentary trial class before you commit to more classes.
We know just how much Irish dance can add to your child’s life, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top 10 to share with you! For more details, like our Facebook page and follow along as we go in depth about each of our top ten and countdown to our September 10th launch!
"[I appreciate] Courtney's structured, patient, and kind approach. She has her finger on the pulse of her students, knowing what they need and when, and I believe she had a lot to do with [my daughter's] growth this year."
We’ve just come off of a grand total of 145 hours of camps for both new students and our returning dancers. It’s a humbling juxtaposition of dancers who are falling in love with Irish dance for the first time and those who love the sport and are chasing every aspect of it with everything they have.
Dancers ages 2 through almost 30 worked to develop their repertoire, technique, and joy for dance over the last four weeks. Each with different goals - some just finding their feet and others chasing big dreams - they came to the studio each day with open minds, purpose, and their unique personality that reminded me why we take an individual approach for each dancer.
We have standards and expectations that set a framework of mutual respect between teacher & student, commitment to the process from both sides, and the support of classmates and teammates while pursuing individual goals at the right pace for each dancer. I’ve always held the belief that two dancers that appear very much the same on paper will end up with two very different journeys on two very different timelines.
Some journeys require more patience, more sacrifice, more sensitivity, or more reassurance from either parent, student, or teacher. It’s like we’re all walking through the same park but taking different paths and some will arrive on the other side later than others - and that’s okay.
Our goals at Scoil Rince Luimni are to first and foremost develop a love for Irish dancing - all of it, some of it, or simply an appreciation for movement, fitness, or expression. Next we aim to expose dancers to different routes of exploring dance outside the studio walls - performing, competing, exams - whether they try one, all, or a combination of the three. Some dancers will respond well to all avenues while others will have one or two that really speak to them. Finally, we support the whole dancer as they walk their chosen path(s). We make sure they are supported in just about every way - mind, body, and soul by bringing in outside experts where appropriate, continuing to innovate and adapt to new research and technology, and checking in with the dancer often on their approach, goals, and expectations.
Every dancer’s journey is met with challenges along the way - scheduling conflicts, choosing their primary activity, injuries, slumps in motivation and results, etc. While the road isn’t always smoothly paved, we like to help guide parents and dancers through the detours with our expertise and dancer-centric approach.
In many families, Monday morning (or even Sunday night) through Friday afternoon feeling running the gauntlet - school, work, activities, homework, projects, meetings, CCD, scouts, the list just never seems to end. You might not even have a free night, but on the rare occasion you do it might be your only chance to have a family dinner or have time to slow down.
We totally get it, and in our effort to make Irish dance classes as accessible as possible we hold classes on Saturdays in addition to our weekday schedule! Designed for first and second year students, our pre-beginner and beginner classes on Saturday mornings are perfect for busy families. Whether sports are on the calendar in your house or not, there’s something about Saturday morning that just has more ease to it.
Our Saturday classes are open and ready for new student enrollment! Irish dance classes are very active - even for those who aren’t into sports (psst, I never was!) - while also being extremely social and engaging. We have dancers from all over Connecticut so there are so many new friends waiting for your young dancer to meet. We have fun at every class while learning strong basics and encouraging a love of dance.
Children ages 3-5 are able to join our pre-beginner program from 9:30-10:00am each Saturday while children ages 6+ can join our beginner program from 10:00-11:00am. We have weekday offerings for both programs but they are filling fast! You can register on our website, https://www.irishdancect.com/register.html
Exciting news out of our class of 2018! Among our Scoil Rince Luimni dancers, two have been named their class valedictorian for 2018. We congratulate Lillian Bluestein, St James School Class of 2018, and Tara Lynch, Cheshire Academy Class of 2018, on their outstanding achievement in their respective schools. Both Lilly and Tara exemplify how Irish dancing and academic achievement go hand in hand.
As dancers progress, their time in the studio increases and coupled with getting older, dancers quickly have to learn how to manage their time in order to stay on track in school and with their dancing aspirations. We tend to see dancers figure out how to manage their time rather than curtail their dance career, a trend that is seen not only within our school but the greater Irish dancing community as well. Over the last few years we've seen the oldest competitive age bracket expand and split to manage the higher number of dancers pursuing their competitive goals after college graduation, joining the workforce, and beyond.
As dancers learn how to manage their time, they also learn to prioritize what is really important to them. It's no surprise that both Lilly and Tara find time to fit in community and family time as well as other commitments - Lilly is involved in her church and Tara is a soccer player. Other dancers within our school are involved in school clubs and sports which gives each dancer 3-5 priorities that come before screen time, trivial activities, or getting into trouble ;)
Irish dancing is a disciplined and fairly regimented sport so this continues to feed the goal-focused, work-first, and continuously striving mindset that brings achievement in both academics and dancing. We teach goal setting and maintaining a positive mindset in ways that go beyond dancing and can be practiced in real life.
We are sure Lilly and Tara will continue to do great things both in and out of the studio! Lilly will continue her studies at Northwest Catholic High School in the fall and Tara has been accepted to Ithaca College for communications.
It’s recital time! At Scoil Rince Luimni, we call our recital our annual Showcase. It started as a dinner dance and has evolved into a more traditional recital as our student body has grown. To keep true to our earlier days, we have two great receptions available before and after the show for families to connect, friendships to flourish, and keep a more relaxed and family friendly atmosphere.
The spring and early summer is always jam packed with activities, recitals, concerts, field days, graduations, communions, and everything from the academic year coming to a close. Especially if you’re a first timer to our Showcase, you may wonder how your dancer will cope with it all. The truth is - we really don’t know! You know your child inside and out but until they’re on stage for the first time, anything could happen.
In our classes we approach the Showcase with a pretty low-key attitude. True to our dinner dance roots, we speak to students about the Showcase as a way to share their new skills and joy for dance with their favorite family and friends. Instead of playing up the role of the audience, which can be an overwhelming and frightening thought for a young dancer, we make the role of the dancer shine. We talk about doing our very best and showing our best skills. We practice looking straight ahead and focusing on our technique so there’s no difference whether your dancer’s teacher is watching or a room full of hundreds.
When the realization of the audience does come up, we talk about how it’s a friendly audience. It’s a room full of supportive moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and siblings that are there to cheer everyone on. It’s an audience that understands it’s okay if you make a mistake and understands this is a learning experience. The audience appreciates great dancing but also doesn’t expect a class of beginners to be professional dancers. Often our dancers expectations of themselves is exponentially higher than the expectations of their parents or teacher.
Your dancer might show you nothing at home and then go out and nail it on stage. Your dancer might practice 24/7 and be the top of their class but go on stage and freeze. Your dancer might go out and do the hokey pokey despite knowing their reel inside and out. We don’t know and there’s only so much worrying we can do about it. As a parent, we encourage you to celebrate your child getting to the stage. Every year we have parents who swear their child is too anxious or too shy to get on stage - and then they do it. We often underestimate how much celebration this calls for and how amazing your dancer will feel afterwards. Conversely, if your dancer gets on stage and freezes or decides to freestyle - don’t assume they’re not cut out for dance or that they didn’t soak up any knowledge this year. Performing on stage is no easy feat and takes practice over time. You might consider doing some more casual performances throughout the year to help build your dancer’s confidence and give them experience. Remember, this is just the beginning of the road.
Many dancers will leave the Showcase feeling inspired by seeing all of the older and more experienced dancers perform. For some, this will be their first glimpse at what all those weekly lessons add up to over the years. Many will leave wanting to dance like this dancer or that dancer, or be able to do this trick or that trick. This is something to be celebrated too - seeing your dancer get excited, passionate, and more deeply interested in Irish dance as a whole. If your dancer is of the quieter, more reserved variety, they might not express this excitement aloud. Instead you may find them drawing or writing about dancers they saw in the Showcase or you may glimpses of them ‘practicing’ the hard shoe or championship numbers.
We are so excited for you to join us next Saturday! Our show begins at 5:30pm on May 19th at East Catholic High School in Manchester. Tickets are available through 5/12 online or for $25 cash at the door.
Today, Wednesday February 7, is Girls and Women and Sports Day. Most of our audience is in full acknowledgement that Irish dance is a highly athletic, artistic sport. It might not be played on a field, but our dancers train, think, and live as athletes each and every day. My biggest pride, and perhaps my biggest responsibility, as the director of Scoil Rince Luimni is the influence and impact I have in our students. While Irish dance is an activity for boys and girls, the majority of our students - like other dance forms - are girls and women. Boys will always be welcomed by us and other dance studios alike, there’s a part of me that feels so joyful that dance studios are a place where girls and women are the majority, feel safe, and can be unapologetically themselves.
From our tiniest little dancers that are often taking dance for the first time, I want them to fall in love with dancing. Even when we get distracted and just want to twirl around the room, I can’t get too upset as at the heart of the matter - they are enjoying movement, expressing themselves, and finding their confidence. I want them to always make the proud, excited faces I see when I encourage them or congratulate them on doing a step or movement correctly for the first time. I want them to continue to tell me all the little things on their minds while we stretch because it shows me they feel safe and comfortable in the studio and with me as their teacher. These are the moments that make build these little girls into well adjusted women someday.
For our school aged crew that are finding Irish dance for the first time, they sometimes come in with reservations or fears. It might be a bad experience with a different activity that keeps them guarded or just carryover from other events in their life - a move, academic stress, and school bullying - that brings them into dance class as a shy, skeptical student. Week to week I see them start to flourish as they can’t help but let go and enjoy their class. The music, the movement, the other students - it lights up these students from the inside out. I see their love of dance grow alongside their love for life. The transformation that takes place over the first few months of classes is something that I will never grow tired of. These are the moments that build girls into happy, vivacious women someday.
For our developing dancers who are moving up the ranks and getting older and wiser every year, they are starting to struggle in one way or the other. Whether it’s getting harder to pick up choreography, a first injury, or a mental block that starts to creep in, each dancer will have a personal struggle to face. I want these dancers to know that we all face challenges in life and one day they will have a challenge much bigger than this. I want these ‘big girls’ and pre-teens to develop the grit and tenacity to face these challenges head on and work through them. It’s a much quieter celebration than seeing the little ones’ proud faces, but the subtle signs show me I’ve done my job. I start to see dancers who were once too afraid to take a risk start to step up. I start to hear them passing on words of wisdom to others that up until recently they needed to hear themselves. These are the moments that build big girls into mentally and physically strong women someday.
For our teenagers and young adults, you’re working your way through some of the toughest phases of life. Dance class becomes your escape - your stress relief, your outlet, and your social hub. No one wants to go back in time and be a teenage girl but everyday I get to help students through this phase of life. These dancers live the student athlete life even though their schools likely don’t give them the same treatment as the football or basketball teams. They wake at the crack of dawn, attend eight hours of classes, only to come home and complete another few hours of homework, and a couple hours of physically demanding dance classes. These young ladies are wise beyond their years when it comes to time management, assessing priorities, and doing whatever it takes to meet their goals. I want these young ladies to know that as a former teenage girl, I commend their daily commitment, effort, and desire to be part of our community. These are the moments that build young women into warrior women.
Irish dance is an amazing vehicle for girls and women of all ages who want to be active. The goal of sports isn’t solely to be “good” at that sport - it’s to develop skills and the character to face real life in the future. It brings me great joy to be part of the evolution of our girls whether they’re in the studio for half an hour each week or for many hours each day. I hope that my leadership, influence, and experience makes a positive impact on each of them.
It’s winter - darkness looms in the early afternoon, the bitter cold snaps at your skin, and just seconds of being outside feel like a punishment. The winter affects everyone differently and children are no exception. As a parent, you may silently rejoice when your dancer whines, “but do I have to go to dance class tonight?” and give in without much of a fight in favor of a movie night in, cozy sweatpants, and a glass of wine.
On occasion we all need a night off, a mental health day, or time to regroup. Please make no mistake this is not what this article is about. Rather, this article is about the growing number of children that haven’t learned to - for lack of a better term - ‘suck it up.’ This may be a controversial statement to make, but I am not talking about truly harmful situations here - like dancing through an injury, true psychological issue, or in any kind of bullying. We’re talking about children going through temporary bouts of feeling unmotivated, a little lazy, or even a bit burned out.
It’s a slippery slope if you give in - it starts with a song and dance about not wanting to go to class. I’m too tired, it’s cold, I don’t want to get in the car. Then it manifests to other things - I don’t like this dinner, I want macaroni and cheese. I hate the dentist. I’m not doing my chores. I don’t want to go to school today. I’m willing to bet if you let your children get away with doing nothing EVERY time they said they didn’t feel like it, nothing would get done.
There are lots of things that even as adults we don’t want to do. Do I light up with joy thinking about going to the doctor? Cleaning my toilets? Waking up early? Paying bills? No, but I do them anyway without dragging my feet (at least most of them time). As an adult I am not motivated 100% of the time, but by working through moments of boredom or tension, trudging through tasks or activities I didn’t want to do at that precise time, and putting my head down and getting stuff done as a child I learned the difference between genuine dislike of something vs trying moments that are worth working through.
We often talk about dance class being about more than just dance instruction - it’s about life lessons and here’s a BIG one! Even if getting your dancer in the car to go to dance class in the winter feels like a trek across the Sahara, chances are as soon as the music turns on they’re so glad they came. I hate to tell you, parents - but most of the time children save their best drama and sass for you.
Use dance class as a lesson for your child about commitment - what it means to make a commitment and what it means to follow through. Teach them about work ethic and how nothing worth having comes easy. Teach them how to live responsibly by reminding them their classmates and their teacher are counting on them to show up. We don’t always have to “feel it” but we have to push through together. You’ll thank yourself as your dancer ages and the temptations to back down on our commitments grows during middle school, high school, college, and even as young adults enter the workforce.
So the next time your dancer opens their mouth to say they’re too tired, bored, busy, [insert excuse of the day here] to do what you know is the right thing to do, make sure they show up anyway.
With the New England Oireachtas coming to Hartford, this provides an opportunity for our dancers to have their local friends and family come see them compete without having to drive for hours round trip. I’m sure your favorite dancer would love your support, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you’re new to Irish dance checking out the Oireachtas, it can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that this is the top percentage of dancers in our region and it takes time and hard work to reach this point. At SRL, dancers are not required to compete so if this is too much you’ll never have to step foot into this little world again - you can enjoy performing and learning in class without stepping foot into the competition world.
Did you know SRL offers yoga? That's right, certified LivFree yoga instructor Colleen Macsuga teaches Vinyasa yoga here at our studio. A popular program with parents, students, and the public, Colleen guides everyone through a practice that is suitable for their level. If you're a beginner, Colleen will make sure you have the foundations down while being encouraged and uplifted - this is absolutely a #judgementfreezone. If you're an improver or a veteran yogi, Colleen will modify for you to ensure your practice is appropriately challenging.
Yoga is on Wednesdays from 7:30-8:30pm from Wednesday November 1 through December 20. Classes are drop in, however you must register to appear on our class roster. Create an account and then log-in to select "Yoga for All" from the yoga tab. Once you've registered, you'll store the card of your choice on file so we can auto-debit it after only classes you've attended.
Come see us on Wednesday with a mat and comfortable clothing. SRL Studio is located at 400 Chapel Road 1A, South Windsor CT 06074.
Find all of our latest news on our Scoil Rince Luimni Facebook page!