Solo Dress where the heck are you?

Irish dancer

There are firsts for everything when it comes to Miss P and her Irish dance. Her first class. Her first pair of gillies. Her first school dress. Her first feis. Her first pair of hard shoes. Her first medal. Her first trophy. You get it… there are a lot of them. Well, now we were entering the realm of her first solo dress.

OMG. I cannot explain in words adequately without you hearing my voice how incredibly difficult it was to find the dress without it being custom-made. Searching for hours on-line, for days, weeks. Loving one and being beat out by someone who emailed right before you. This happened 4 times. There wasn’t time to have one made for her, since that takes months. We had under two months before she was competing in the Oireachtas, and we had to work with what was already out there in internet world.

I honestly needed a class in the do’s and don’t of them. Certain styles were in. Certain styles were dated. Certain colors were a no go. Certain colors were it. Buying sight unseen and not tried on and having them cost what would be the equivalent to one semester at UCONN when I went ages ago. It was like buying a car without seeing it.  But now it was like a mission for me. And I would not fail. My kid would have her first solo dress if it killed me or made me grey. Whichever came first at that point.

I always thought I had a clue about style. Guess again. The dresses I thought were cute were so five years ago. This coming from Miss P mind you. I can only imagine what Miss Moira thought when I sent the 20th text message of the day of a picture of a maybe dress. But like I said, they go quick and I had no time for text etiquette. I was laughing at myself all along this journey. Better my laugh louder than everyone else. And I think Miss Moira had unlimited text, or at least I hope she did.

Well Miss Moira swooped in and found Miss P’s dress in one internet search. ONE. The girl has a talent I tell ya’. The dress was in Ireland and was made exactly to Miss P’s measurements. I think it coming from Ireland was all the more special for Miss P. All I know is, I didn’t have to search anymore and that was good enough in my book. And Miss Moira didn’t have to deal with all my texts on dresses that were gawd awful.

Bottom line, I wanted for Miss P to feel special and beautiful. She is dedicated to dance. She spends hours every single night dancing, being extremely tough on herself. I want for her to shine and believe in herself. And if a dress will do that for her, then I will go as far as I have to to deliver it to her.

And the icing on the cake, Miss P has been pen-paling to the little girl in Ireland. Bonus! I owe Miss Moira a huge thank you and probably a really decent gift card to Zara.

What exactly is Irish Dance Anyway?

Contributor Moira from Sheeaun Academy
I asked Moira to explain what exactly Irish Dance is. So she stopped by thehouseoftrue to explain it to us.
Instructor Frank at the 2011 Providence Oriechtas and the Sheeaun Academy Dancers
What sets Irish Dance apart from other dance styles?

There are several things that set Irish Dance apart.  For one thing, it’s very fast!  Over the years, the thing I’ve heard most often from people is that they are fascinated by how fast we are able to move our feet and legs, and they’re even more fascinated that we can stay in sync while moving so quickly.

Sheeaun Academy Award Winning Dancers at a Feis

Another thing that sets Irish dance apart is the distinctive technique:  the very crossed feet and the arms tight to the sides…you don’t see that in any other form of dance and I think the rigid posture really helps to create the look and style of an Irish dancer.

Then there are the costumes…the beautiful, intricate Celtic designs, the wigs, etc.  It’s a look you don’t see anywhere else.

When you think of Irish Dance what three words come to your mind and why?

Beauty – I think the rhythm, footwork, and style make Irish dance one of the most beautiful art forms to watch.

Discipline – my years of competing and performing have most definitely taught me about discipline and dedication.  It is one of the most difficult forms of dance and no matter how naturally talented you are, it cannot be done well without a lot of hard work and practice.

Friendship – I am so grateful for the relationships I have because of Irish dance.  I have made so many wonderful friends throughout my life – with fellow dancers, teachers, and parents of the children I teach.  Every year brings new people…wonderful people!

How has Irish Dance changed you?

My 1st thought after reading this question was, “how hasn’t it changed me?!” It was the 1st thing I truly loved.  It gave me life-long friendships, brought me all over the world, taught me about hard work, practice, teamwork, showed me what it felt like to succeed, what it felt like to fall down, how it felt to come in 1st place, how it felt to come in last place, taught me how to take criticism, taught me how to give criticism, and taught me to be a good teacher.

On a side note, when I read Moira’s responses to these questions, what really resonated with me was the last answer. I cannot stress how much Miss Moira and her interactions with my daughter have made an impact on  Miss P. I think because Miss Moira’s love and passion for the dance is so apparent, it makes it all the more important to Miss P. It has become such an integral component to Miss P’s personality. She is proud of herself because of the way she has been instructed. That is priceless to me. Teachers can never underestimate the power they have to show their students that anything is possible with hard work, determination and a dream.

Next in the Series Moira talks about following her instinct and intuition. absolutely fabulous read! Look for that post on Wednesday

For more information: Sheeaun Academy Of Irish Dance || We Believe In A Supportive, Positive Atmosphere So Our Students Feel Motivated And Confident!.

Also in the series: Sheeaun Academy Part 1 | thehouseoftrue.