When I think of Irish Dance, I think of work. There is more to the dance then putting on a wig, make up and dancing on a stage. Irish dance is competitive and it is teamwork.
I began to take Irish dance lessons when I was 4 years old. It was fun then because I was only a pre-beginner. Now, dance means dedication. I practice every day, sometimes for hours, because the steps are very difficult and I have to be on time to the music.
There are different levels in dance. Pre-beginner and beginner levels are the first levels and are the easiest for most people. Advanced Beginner is the next level. You learn more steps in this level.
Novice Level is next. This level is truly when the adventure begins if you are competing.
After Novice, it is Prizewinner, Preliminary Champion and Open Champion. Many never reach the Open Champion level because the steps are so difficult and the competition level of dancers is very high.
To go from level to level, I have to compete at a Feis (pronounced “fesh”). A feis is a dance competition and I dance in front of judges. These judges look to see how good I am at each dance. The judges would look to see if I have cross feet, arms by my side, head straight, tip toes, dance on time to the music and not miss any steps.
We aren’t allowed to video tape during the real performances, so instead here is a video of me performing a heavy jig in my classroom:
In part 2 of this post I will share some of my most memorable experiences at competitions, and explain more about the different types of competitions.