Wednesday, January 29, 2014

UPCOMING: Strengthening Those Irish Dance Legs

I live in Utah so I am apart of the Western US Region Oireachtas.

I wasn't able to go in 2013 when it was in California, but a few of the dancers at my school and my teacher went. I was incredibly proud and a wee-bit jealous when I saw their pictures and read their updates on Facebook.

My teacher came back to glass after Oriechtas with the goal to strengthen our legs. She said, compared to the girls at the competition, our legs "are a bit flabby."

I laughed at this but it is indeed true.


That being said, it is my goal this year to strengthen my leg muscles so I can aim to look like this:

Aren't her legs the most gorgeous things you have ever seen?

She looks invincible. 

I bet she feels invincible in those legs.

I want them!

We are Irish Dancers. We have strong legs and wimpy upper bodies. And that's fine with me. 

Here's a bit of humor...

That being said, I'm currently in the process of making a killer Irish dance leg-strengthening routine to share with you.

So look out for it. 

Let's get our dream Irish dance legs together!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Power of the Irish Dance Solo Dress

So here's a question:

If you are able to remember, can you recall what you thought of the Irish dance solo dress the first time you saw it?

Positive? Negative? Blown away?

Me, I was blown away.

"Really?? How can anyone dance in that? How much fabric did it take to make? How many jewels are on that dress?"

And finally,

"How much did that cost?"

Little by little, I've come to realize how FABULOUS the solo dress is.

They certainly have evolved from what Irish dancers used to wear:

I found this article from the New York Times about the Irish dance modernized look. The interviewee, author John Cullinane, explained the solo dress in an interesting way:
For girls’ costumes, there were certain things that constituted the early Irish dancing costume: the shawl, the use of the Tara brooch as an Irish national emblem, a lot of Celtic embroidery and Celtic lace. Now you look at some of the contemporary creations. They are fashion creations — lovely colorful designs, etc. — and not a scrap of identity to say that they’re Irish. Also, the costumes nowadays are designed to facilitate a very elevated kind of dancing. The dancers appear to float about three feet off the floor. That wasn’t the case in my time, in the 1960s. So the dancing style has changed enormously, and so too then has the costume.
It's interesting that perhaps the costumes we wear have changed in order to incorporate the new and different dance moves we progressively learn.

Have you noticed this? How so?

It's always a new Irish dancer's dream to work up to the level it takes to get a solo dress. I love how the dresses can be completely personalized to represent the personality of the dancer. 

I've never owned a solo dress. But this year I finally get to buy one so I'm on the look out for my dream dress. 

Here are some of all-time favorite dresses I have found on Pinterest!

(Click on each picture to pin it on Pinterest if you want)

I LOVE the twist on this next dress!

I adore the simplicity of this one.

And this picture is absolutely adorable!

But here is my all-time favorite dress! I want this in my size, on my body, right now! I don't care what it costs!
(Famous last words)

And just for fun, take a look at this old set dance recorded in 1963 and compare our style of wardrobe and dance moves to the man dancing. :)

Fun fact: The man dancing is the same author I quoted above.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Figure Skating/Irish Dance cross-over routine by Jason Brown = Amazing!

I've watched this video so many times.

If you haven't seen it yet, drop everything you're doing, take 10 minutes and appreciate the beauty of this figure skating/Irish dance cross-over routine.

Jason Brown is a 19-year-old figure skater from Illinois. He qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia during the U.S. Championships in Boston.

He wowed the viewers with his gracefully leg work and amazing axel jumps while skating to the opening song from Riverdance.

Jason nails this performance and I cannot wait to watch him in the Olympics.

Watch clear to the end because his reaction when he gets his score is priceless.

Thank you Jason Brown for incorporating Irish dance into figure skating! We love you!

You did it!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm new but I'm dedicated

I've been planning on creating this blog for a while.

It will help me stay motivated and let me connect to others in the Irish dance world. Read more here.

I'm new to this blogging world but I've got a lot of ideas, so keep coming back and join with me in exploring the world of Irish dance that we oh-so love.


Follow me on Pinterest or Twitter for updates. And if you want, you can follow my personal Instagram account that goes beyond my Irish dance interest.

What kind of content would you like to see on my blog?

I am an adult Irish dancer

It's true.

Often I feel like an oddball, being 26 and a novice, but I've always heard to do what you love and that's exactly what I am doing.

I'm jumping back into the Irish dancing world after a couple years on break while I was at college. I still danced, in my apartment kitchen mostly and on St. Patrick's Day with friends, but that's about it.

I missed it.


Besides being done with school and getting a full-time job, Irish dancing again was the thing I looked forward to the most after graduation.

I've been practicing like crazy (I lost so much of my technique!) and I've overloading my mind with all sorts of Irish-dance motivation. Pinterest has been wonderful!

One day I found a beautifully worded, beautifully created meme that describes my situation perfectly:

It's one of the highlights of my week to go to class after a day at work and hang out with junior high and high schoolers. We giggle. We talk about boys. We talk about their college plans. 

And we dance.

It is a delight.

I know I'll never "win it big," but I'm not dancing for that. 

I'm dancing because I can't imagine life not Irish dance.

Why do you dance?

Need "Irish Dance" Motivation???

I think we've all had the feeling of intense motivation in our Irish dance career. That being said, we've all experienced the exact opposite:

Moments of extreme discouragement and lack of interest.

What are some things you do to increase your motivation?

For me, few things have come close to the motivation "Jig" gives me.

If you haven't heard/seen Jig, it's a documentary about the competitive world of Irish dance. It follows various groups and individuals from around the world preparing for Worlds -- a competitive Irish dancer's ultimate destination.

I don't know about you but when I heard that someone had made a documentary about Irish dance, my first thought was:


The Irish dance world is small but intense. Irish dance consumes those involved. We eat, sleep and breathe anything Irish. Finally, the creators of Jig have allowed people to glimpse into the world of Irish dance that we call home.

It's always a good idea to watch Jig before it gets too late in the day because I can almost promise you that you will want to go dance for at least 1 good hour after you watch it.

It's that motivational!

Ooooo... just watching the trailer gives me goosebumps.

What motivates you?