I Hope You Dance

I thought today would be a good day to finally reveal something I started doing this past fall that 3 years ago I would have never even considered possible!

It will also be a chance for me to encourage everyone reading to try something new – and not keep finding reasons why you shouldn’t:)

I have always wanted to take Irish dancing – and had thought about doing it when I was about 23 but I thought I was too old then.  I have never been overly co-ordinated or “graceful” so dancing just wasn’t something I had really imagined I could ever do.

Irish Dancing - Brandon MB
My first performance – 42 years old:)

(I’m the one in the middle with short hair – chewing on my lip as always!!)

My Daughter Wanted To Take Dance….

Last summer, my oldest daughter had mentioned that she wanted to try some kind of dancing – (she was always dancing around the house!) – so I showed her some videos of Irish dancing to see if she had the same kind of love for it I did.  Well, I guess her Irish blood took over and she loved it right away!

There is a class she could have taken here in our community that does some Irish dance, but it is a school that focuses on many different types of dance – not so much focused on just the Irish style.  Plus, the school here does push for the dancers to compete or dance in recitals, and I knew my daughter just would not be comfortable with that yet.  (She is very shy – and said if she had to perform, she wasn’t going to do it!)

I looked online and found that there was a school that taught Irish dancing in the city that is about a half hour drive from here.  It looked perfect because it focused on dancing for fun – performance optional.

I had emailed the school and they told me just to bring her to the first class and she could meet the instructors and have a chance to see what it was all about.  To me, that was such a wonderful option for a kid like her to be able to go in and just get a feel for it all.

Well, as you can imagine – once I got in there, I just so desperately was wishing I could have done it too!  When I mentioned it to the instructor, without missing a beat, she told me they had an adult class that started just after the younger kids were done.

And, when I told her I had never danced, and that I was 42 years old – she said that didn’t matter at all!  The other adult dancers were just as encouraging – they were all adamant that I should take lessons with them.  One of the ladies informed me that she was in her 50’s and had only started 2 years before that.

After Cancer – Priorities & Worries Change

After my 2 years of dealing with breast cancer, including 14 months of chemo and treatments, double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, hysterectomy….I was ready to stop worrying about what other people thought and just do something for myself.  Going through something like that, and realizing how precious life is and how quickly it can all be taken away from you – I just thought it was time to do something I had always wanted to do – even if I was never going to be great at it!

The instructors, the other dancers, all made me feel comfortable enough to give it a try. And, if nothing else, I could be getting exercise doing something fun.

I wanted my girls to see that if there was something they wanted to try, that they should just do it.

So, long story short…..both my daughter and I ended up taking Irish dance lessons!  She loves it just as much as I do – and she has picked it up so fast.  She tries to help me learn some steps without losing her patience too much…..but we just have a lot of fun practicing and dancing around home.

She still didn’t feel comfortable performing at a show we did in January, and I didn’t want to push her even though I wanted her to perform so badly….(my group of adult women had talked me into performing at it even though I was just going to do the dancing for a bit of exercise and fun!), so she just came and hung out at the venue for the weekend while we performed.

After seeing how fun it looked, she said she wanted to dance at the next one – which will be on St. Patrick’s Day.  I knew if she had a chance to see it, she would get the confidence she needed.

And, after spending the weekend watching the dancing, my youngest daughter wanted to dance too!  She had never really wanted to before, but she was learning steps and dancing around home with us a bit.  But after seeing the shows, she wanted to start.

Find The Right School!

The school is amazing – the people behind the school are so supportive.  The instructors are wonderful and really go above and beyond to make even the most hopeless dancers…(me:), feel like a part of an amazing group of dancers.

The atmosphere at the classes is one of just a great big family – the dance parents, the dancers themselves – everyone is very supportive of one another and helpful.

I really can’t say enough about the school – they have given me a great gift.  I never would have felt comfortable enough even considering something like this anywhere else.  And it has been what I really needed to move past everything that happened over the previous years…..it has given me something to look forward to and enjoy with both of my daughters.

I Wish My Grandma Could See Us!

My grandma was a proud Irish lady – and when I had told her in the fall that my daughter was going to take Irish dance lessons, she almost cried with happiness.  Then, after going to that first class, when I went to visit her that evening and told her I was taking them too, she was overjoyed.  She chuckled along with me when I joked with her about how pathetic I would likely be, but I knew how happy she was.

I know she desperately wanted to watch us perform – and I did manage to take some videos in with my daughter dancing in class for her to watch.

She passed away in November before getting the chance to see us dancing.  That is my one regret – that she never got to see us actually perform, and I will admit to having  a few tears in my hotel room that weekend I was performing because she wasn’t here to see me.

I Hope You DanceSo that is why my advice from all of this is that if you have something you have always wanted to try – please just do it.  Don’t wait or make excuses saying you are too old, too clumsy, too anything!  Just do it because at the end of the day – we have one chance here to do the things we want.

Time is too short to live with regrets.  If you wait too long, it will be too late.

Who cares what other people think!  I am sure I have many people around me who think I am nuts for doing this at my age.  And think I am crazy for getting so excited about things like my dance shoes finally coming in, or getting my performance wig to wear – but I don’t really care anymore about those kind of things.

Everyone should be trying at least one thing that they have always wanted, and that may just be a bit out of their comfort zone.  You just never know what you could be missing out on!

I have always loved the song by Leann Womack – “I Hope You Dance”.  These are all words that everyone should live by – and they are definitely words I want my girls to remember as they go through life.

Especially the lines that are spoken quietly in the song…..”Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.  Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?”

Don’t ever put something off if you want to try it.  Don’t wait until something happens to make you realize that time won’t wait for you.

McConnell School of Dance – Winnipeg & Brandon MB

And, if you have found this post by searching for a place to take Irish dance classes around Winnipeg or Brandon, MB – well then I hope I have encouraged you to give the McConnell School of Dance a call.

I have never seen a more encouraging, supportive and close-knit group of people anywhere in my life.  None of the parents of the dancers batted an eye at me starting dance classes – and in fact, I almost have a few of them convinced to start next year too!

I really hope that maybe I have convinced you to try something new yourself – something you have always wanted to try but have been afraid to.  Do it now and just have some fun!

Is there something you have always wanted to try?  Leave me a comment below and tell me what you would do!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s