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8 Pre-Oireachtas Dos & Don’ts For Irish Dancers


Ally Giannini is an Open Champion dancer for the Lenihan School of Irish Dance as well as a student at Fairfield University. She loves keeping updated on all things Irish Dance. For more from Ally, follow her on twitter @ally_geeniee019.


1. DO – Drill every part of your steps

2. DON’T – Obsess over tiny imperfections when you’re trying your best

The only way to perfect every move in your steps is to practice every move in your steps. Break down each piece in front of a mirror or in front of a friend. Be honest with what needs to be improved but not too hard on yourself. For example, it’s ok to say that there are some parts where your turn out needs to be better, but don’t beat yourself up for hopping a centimeter more to the right then you are supposed to.

3. DO – Work on Your Stamina

4. DON’T – Reinforce bad habits by doing lots of steps in a row poorly

There is nothing worse than feeling strong in your first step and then barely moving by the third. Stamina training is a must. Try interval or cross training. It’s not helpful to do twelve steps in a row if they are all sloppily executed.

5. DO – Eat Right

6. DON’T – Worry about your weight

Try to stay away from lots of salty food because it will make you feel gross. It is ok to have a cookie when you’re having a bad day. Your body is beautiful the way it is, you do not need to lose that extra five pounds.

7. DO – Visualize your best performance

8. DON’T – Talk yourself out of the competition

If you visualize yourself up on stage doing everything perfectly, there is a much larger chance that you will get up there and do just that. If you are convinced that you are the worst dancer in the competition, you will dance like the worst dancer in the competition. Be your biggest cheerleader!

Photo credit: Image is courtesy of and belongs to author.

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  1. i love the “love your body the way it is” … i think you forgot don’t put your life on hold for Oireachtas. While competing is fun it’s not more important then school, work, friends, or family. Dance should enhance your life not BE your life.

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