Every time I return to a picture, or replay a memory over in my mind of the Oireachtas my spirit fills with the same joy that I shared with nine families Thanksgiving weekend while in Philadelphia. The feelings are so strong because of the incredible level of intensity these girls poured into their dancing. The intensity so high, the passion so strong because fearlessly they put every ounce of energy into their performance. Taking witness to the product of such devotion goes well beyond the awe of artistic performance or astonishment of athletic capacity; it is soulful. It is this passion-fueled drive that touches in a spiritual way to all who observe it, where goosebumps and tears are the tangible signs you have been engulfed in the experience in communion with them. The passion in my heart is right alongside them, and yes, I still cry every time I watch the award ceremony video. These girls were training in class four, sometimes five nights a week, pushing together beyond every barrier of their mind and realizing they are limitless.. As we draft our goals I buzz with excitement for the future, I see a world of limitless possibilities and 120 students to explore it with.
Greatly looking forward to celebrating our new novice dancers and congratulating our winning Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas four-hand team. Open invitation to the community to join in on the fun!
With the coming of a new year, it is time for us dancers to reassess our goals and create New Years Resolutions. While at the Oireachtas one of our Dunleavy students proclaimed she had achieved her lifetime dancing goal; to win the championship cup and stand on the podium. An incredible moment to hear "I achieved my life goal" out of the mouth of a ten-year old! Getting our dancers on the top box was a goal of mine as well, however when the idea first came into my mind it seemed like a fantasy. So, what do we do when we achieve our wildest dreams?? Create dreams even wilder!
In the month of December we will be focusing on creating goals and writing 5-year plans: this is how we will create our 20/20 Vision. I am challenging our students to envision their projection based on the rate they are currently progressing, and then double it. This is how we will create our goals, by pushing ourselves beyond the limits of our own mind and creating a new reality. As Director at Dunleavy, it is my 20/20 Vision to support our dancers in achieving their wildest dreams.
I am looking forward to success in many years to come!!
10) Yoga Mat- A yoga mat can mean all the difference in making Core Class tolerable. You can pick one up at Target for under $10, but my favorite is made by Lulu Lemon.
9) Lauren Early's Book- Reaching New Heights by Irish dancer and personal trainer, Lauren Early provides a step-by-step strength and conditioning guide for specifically improving performance for competitive Irish dance. Some other good books include; The Little Book of Inspiration for Irish Dancers by Sean Connolly, Parade of Champions by Elise Wright, and the Liffey Rivers series by Brenna Briggs.
8) Headband- A headband is the colorful and stylish way to keep those annoying hairs out of your face during dance practice. Some popular bands are made by Lulu Lemon and Under Armour.
7) Practice Sneakers- With practice sneakers, your dancer can jig everywhere! Rutherford Shoes offers a variety of brands and styles.
6) Dance Music- Expanding your music library is a great way to pump up your dancer's practice. Some of my favorite albums include; Going for Gold by Dean Crouch, Feis Music 1 & 2 by Sean O'Brien, and the Feis Album 1, 2, 3, & 4 by Anton and Sully.
5) Foam Roller- Keep your muscles long for improved flexibility for dancing by using a foam roller. My favorite company is The Trigger Point.
4) Subscription to IDM- Your dancer will look forward to each month with a subscription to Irish Dancing Magazine.
3) Resistance Bands- Keeping foot and ankle ligaments injury-free is essential for every dancer, and resistance bands are the key.
2) Jig the Movie- Follow the story of dancers gearing up for, and competing at the World Championships in Jig. Other great movies to keep your Irish dancer entertained include; Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Dancing on Dangerous Ground, and Heartbeat of Home. Tickets to the latest production by Michael Flately would be a hit too, I'm sure!
1) Camps at Dunleavy- What better gift for your Irish dancer than more Irish dance!? Purchase a camp online at the Dunleavy store, and we will send you a certificate you can wrap and put under the tree. Stop by our Christmas Party on Saturday, December 12th from 12:00-3:00 for some other great gift opportunities.