|Molly Bennett and adult dancers from the Bennett School of Irish Dance|
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.