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Optimizing Irish Dance Class Time No Matter Your Personality

Mai
Amanda has danced competitively in solos and ceili for 15 years and has performed in and choreographed professionally. She is finishing a communications major at the University of Akron.

Dance class is only as productive as you make it. Depending on your personality, there can be different obstacles to overcome in the dance studio. Whether you are an outgoing person that loves to be around people or a reserved person who is shy and likes to keep to themselves, there are different hurdles to surmount. Let’s look at a barrier that reserved and outgoing dancers face at practice.

Outgoing:

Distraction

Going to class feels exciting because it’s the time you get to see some of your closest friends! You can’t wait to talk to everyone, see what’s going on in their lives, and hear the end of that story they were telling you over text. It’s great to have fun in dance class and make connections with the other dancers, but to get the most out of practice, you need to monitor your time. Coming from someone who is very outgoing, I know it can be hard to close your mouth and focus on drills. And it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. Don’t think you need to walk in and out of class silent. Just be conscious of how much time you are spending talking to others in class and how much you are concentrating on your steps. Talk to friends while you change your shoes and grab a drink, not while your teacher is giving corrections.

Reserved:

Holding Back

Being at dance class is your favorite way to clear your mind and just focus on challenging your body. Sometimes, however, it can feel overwhelming to be in class with so many other talented dancers. It can be scary to hop up to the front of the drill line or dance by yourself when your teacher asks you to show them a section of your Reel. You think about the other people in class watching you and that can be intimidating. Try challenging yourself with a small task each time you go to class. Give yourself the task of going first one time when your class does full routines. When your teacher asks you to demonstrate the new spin you’re rocking at, take a deep breath, smile, and dance confidently knowing everyone in the room, including your coach, is rooting for you. Dance each step confidently knowing that you’re practicing in a “safe zone” where mistakes are welcome and dancing all out is key.

Regardless of your personality, you can make each dance class your best one if you go into it with the mindset that it will be!

Photo credit: Mai Hohwry


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