The Joy of the Dance

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2000 Dance recital

When I was 6 years old my parents enrolled me in ballet lessons.  Like most little girls I had dreams of being a ballerina, and I am grateful to my parents for giving me the chance to live my dream.

When I was younger I was a tiny little peanut, which means that I looked like I was 6-going-on-3.  Everyone else in my ballet classes was bigger than I was – which is saying a lot, considering the fact that we were all so young!

Back then I was never really dedicated to practicing what I learned in class; I was mainly doing it for the fun of it, and for the end-of-the-year recital.  What can I say?  I’m a born performer!  With the sparkly costumes and the hair ‘n’ makeup, I was in my element!

 

During my growing-up years my dad always played Irish music on his fiddle (in addition to other music genres and instruments).  When I was 12 years old I decided to try Irish dance lessons.  I had seen Riverdance many times, and it just sounded like a good idea.

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2009 Oregon State Championships

The difference was remarkable!  In ballet class I was always the shortest, which forced me to almost run to keep up with the rest of the class.  In Irish dance class it didn’t matter how tall I was.  I didn’t have to keep up with anyone.  I could do solo dances, and the group dances I learned were so much cooler than ballet routines!  My body was (and still is) more short and muscular rather than tall, lithe, and skinny.  My compact form was in fact an advantage in the Irish dance world (more muscle power, you see).

I competed for several years, achieving the level of Prizewinner and winning many shiny medals and trophies (and two ribbons – I have no idea why those were handed out!)

 

I continued with Irish dance lessons for 6 years, finally having to step down when it came time to focus on college classes.  The day of my last show broke my heart.

Someday I hope to take lessons again.  Now that I have a good-paying job, the problem is finding the time.  But where there’s a will, there’s a way…

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