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Dancing From A Distance: Tips For Staying Motivated As A Remote Irish Dancer

Erin is a 20-something Irish dancer competing in the Southern Region with Nashville Irish Step Dancers. She splits her time between dance and her career in social media marketing. Her favorite part of dancing is meeting new & inspiring people. Connect with her on Twitter @erinforevr.

Whether you’re a dancer away at university, or someone like me who travels hours each week to lessons, being far away from your dance school presents some major challenges.

Obstacles range from finding decent practice space (Ever tried to slip jig in a dorm room?!) to lost hours in the car. And then there’s the drawback of not having dance school friends around to keep you excited and accountable when you lose steam. These obstacles test our commitment and passion for dance, but overcoming them can also make us stronger dancers!

Below are 5 tips that have helped me find joy and even advantages in the difficulties of dancing from a distance. Whether dancing near or far I hope that these tips may help keep your feet light too!

1 – Make a training calendar

This should include both cross-training workouts and practice schedules – (E.g. Hardshoe practice 2 hours every Tuesday).
Put a copy up in your room and give copies to trusted friends – they don’t even have to be dancers— or your TC so they can help you make sure it happens!

2 – Use inspirational Post-Its

Find your favorite motivational dance or fitness quotes (Tumblr & Pinterest are great resources). Write them on colorful Post-Its and put them up on your mirror and around your computer or desk. These will give you that extra boost when you’re feeling defeated.

A personal favorite of mine is:


3 – Find online dance Friends

There is a wonderful Irish dance community on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and right here at Diddlyi! Use these sites to connect with feis friends, friends from your dance school, and even to make new ones!

This way you’ll always have people to share the ups and downs with, seek dance advice from, and keep accountable!

4 – Teach a friend

Bet at least one of your non-dance friends has shown a curious interest in Irish dance. Offer to teach them! Set up weekly lessons and start with the basics – remember your first jig? Make it FUN! Helping them will help you with your own fundamentals & technique.

5 – Journal

Keep a dance journal. Write in it after each practice, class, or feis. Recap how you did and how you felt about it. Anytime you feel a particularly strong emotion toward dance, take it to your journal. You’ll be amazed what you learn about yourself as a dancer and the progress you see looking back!


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

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