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That Magic Moment In Irish Dance


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.

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 2.03.50 PMothing is going right. I forgot my poodle socks at home and my poof will not stay put. I went to warm up on the practice stage but was slipping all over the place. My legs hurt and there are bobby pins sticking into my scalp. I put my sweatpants back on and stick some headphones in my ears to tune out the loud sounds of the Feis.

I close my eyes and start to stretch as I ask myself why I even bothered coming to the Feis. I reflect on all the positive experiences I’ve had while feising. I fill my head with memories of podium finishes and spending time with my best friends. The pain in my legs seems to melt away. I remind myself that the judges aren’t going to be looking at my poof but are going to be paying attention to my feet. I get up and start jumping around.

The stagehand announces that it’s time to line up. My mom helps me get into my dress and I check my shoes one last time. I walk over and stand in my designated rotation. The first two dancers walk on stage and I close my eyes to visualize my steps. Now it’s time for the dancers right before me to dance and as I come closer to the stage I start to panic a little. I should have practiced more and I definitely need more lip gloss. Their music starts and I take a few deep breaths to calm myself down.

Now its my turn to walk on stage. I pull my shoulders back and put on a confident smile. I cross my feet and wait for the music to start. The musician starts to play and I feel the music rush through my body. I’ve heard this tune many times before. I know what I’m doing. I point my toe out confidently, ready to soar. I raise up on my toes and in this magic moment I forget everything else except the music and this dance. There is no pain, only positive energy. My legs seem to gather strength that I didn’t know they had. Then, in less than a minute, it’s over. The music ends and it’s time to bow. No matter what happens, I’ll always remember the way I feel when I’m on stage.

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

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