I danced for over 20 years and if coerced enough I may still do an olde 1,2,3 so naturally I brought both my kids to try out Irish dancing I feel it’s a fun active sport that you can gain life long friendships from and use anywhere you go. Only one of my children has taken to Irish Dancing and that’s fine and as long as they work hard when their in class and have fun I’ll keep paying for the classes, I’ll bring her to the Féis and yes I’ll buy her a dress.
Because as long as my child is happy and knows that what she does in dancing is first a foremost about the dancing but that she must also present herself in a clean, well put together package, then I will continue to fund her dancing.
Now before I continue I need to point out Mini Miss is 5.5 years old and only in dancing a year, she has done two Féis loved them and wants to go back ASAP. But to get to the expensive dresses the tan the wigs and so on Mini Miss has a lot of work to do a lot of dances to win grades to pass a lot of hours to put in.
It seems that those who speak about Irish Dancing don’t realise that it takes years to get to the standard where u kit yourself out head to toe, it takes hours of practice, many many Féis and a love for the sport. If your child becomes an open dancer then it means they’ve worked hard you’ll not lose out spending the money on the dress or waistcoat as they are striving to be at the top.
Ok so u may be screaming at the screen currently thinking I’m Abbey Lee Miller’s spawn, but nope I just think Irish Dancing is given an awful bad rep. Over the past year I’ve had many a conversation with parents about why wigs are brilliant, that the tan isn’t an issue and I’ll always say one thing you don’t have to put your child into Irish dancing if it concerns you this much and secondly it’s not the only sport that requires a full package. I’ve done ballet where a tub off hair gel was used to sleek down every last rib of hair and was told I’d loose marks in my grades if my hair wasn’t correct, my seem of my tights had to be perfectly straight and run parallel down the back of legs. But for some reason when people speak of their child doing ballet lessons all you here “ah isn’t that lovely”. It is don’t get me wrong but people are naive to think that a refined certain look isn’t expected in many sports.
‘But it should be about the dancing not tan and wigs’, my answer; it is about the dancing the look of the child is minimal marks on the grand scheme of things. The wigs came into dancing when I was in my teens and they where the best thing as before that I’d have rollers in my hair for days before a big Féis. The tan I can take or leave and do feel that plastering on young girls is a little much and if or when mini miss wears it she’ll wear one shade darker not ten shades where if you look at her she looks like two halves of a different person. The makeup is again personal choice and can be as much or as little as you and your child feel is needed, Mini Miss currently wears clear lip gloss on stage that’s it. I’ve being at many a Féis where the number 1 potion spot is adorned with a dancer in a black skirt and top and straight hair, because that dancer was the best because of her football Orkney to her outfit.
I’m not naive to the message I may be sending my child but my feelings towards body confidence is very strong and I feel I can instill a positive feeling towards Irish dancing and all that comes with it.
So is Irish dancing all about the wigs, tan and the fancy dresses NO, but when your child gets to a certain level is the total package taken into account while your child dances YES! Does it mean Irish dancing is evil and should be banned NO. Do you have a choice if to put your child on stage in full on dance fashion YES. Will your child loose if they aren’t in a wig, tan sparkly dress NO, Because Irish dancing is a sport a skill a talent that your child has to work on and be dedicated to, to achieve in.
I’ll leave you with this; at a poem reading competition or a singing competition do you not pick out the smartest outfit for your child so as to present them in a well but together fashion to represent themselves and their talent . . .