A Gathering Place for Adults Who Love Irish Dance

Friday, March 18, 2011

Michael Flatley still Lord of the Dance

Last night my hubby and I went to see Lord of the Dance in 3D at our local movie theater.  There were only four other people in the theater, probably because all of the Irish dance loyals were out performing St. Patrick's Day shows (our school did one earlier in the day). 

It was fun to have a "front row" seat for only the price of a movie ticket, and I enjoyed being able to see the dancer's feet up close.

Micheal Flatley, who recently recovered from a three-year illness, starred in Lord of the Dance at the O2 arena in Dublin, where the show originally began fourteen years ago.

Because I am such a fan of Irish dance, I loved watching the footwork and the rhythms.  I have to say that I have a bit of a hard time with the claim that the show is based in Celtic mythology.  Which myth?  And I have to brush aside Flatley's brazen style and spotlight on the lead male role (himself) as center of the show. 

Here are a few reviews of the show:

Daily News

Herald Net

Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why You Should Teach Me to Dance

Molly Bennett and adult dancers from the Bennett School of Irish Dance
This article was first published in the March/April 2011 issue of Feis America Magazine.

Teachers of Irish dance across the country are asking themselves: Should I teach adults? An increasing amount of teachers are adding adult classes to their curriculum as adults trickle into the growing tide of Irish dancers. Molly Bennett, of the Bennett School of Irish Dance in Denver, Colorado, teaches a large group of adults. "Adults love what they are doing and reinvigorate the Irish image," she says, "We should be doing more teaching aimed at anyone who wants to dance."

Molly Bennett and the Bennett School's adult team

Molly encourages other TCRG’s to take the time to teach adults and realize the benefits adult dancers will bring to their schools. Adult dancers are consistent and enduring, they contribute much-needed funds to their studios, and provide valuable volunteer work that benefits the entire Irish dance community.

When adults pick up a love for Irish dancing, they stick with it. Long after the junior champs have left their school to pursue other interests, adult dancers are found stomping the studio floor. Molly understands the stability that adults bring to a dance school, "Adults will decide if they like an activity, and if they do like it they will continue to come consistently; even through snowstorms!"

Bennett School adults

When adults get involved in dancing, they bring along friends, family and their children; resulting in monetary support not only for their schools, but the Irish dance community as a whole. While there are plenty of younger dancers, the adults (dancing and non) are the ones funding the lessons, costumes, and feis fees. In a declining economy, the adult members of a school can give security. Molly says, “If there is anxiety over the declining numbers of students in our schools and at our feiseanna, we should be opening our doors to any and all who are interested.”

Dance schools require hours of behind-the-scenes work, and adult dancers are found chipping in whenever help is needed. Because of their dedication, senior dancers often act as go-to helpers for their teachers. They can be found making posters, heading up fundraisers, scheduling shows, making costumes, providing food, donating funds, and cheering dance-mates of all ages. Adult dancers encourage an atmosphere of family and belonging at their schools.

As more adults ride the wave that is Irish dance, their contributions of time, money and stability are getting noticed. An increasing number of schools are offering adult classes in their curriculum. Your school can join in the benefits that adult dancers offer. Encourage your TCRG to offer adult classes. And if you are a teacher, open your doors to what adult dancers have to offer, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.