DANCE IT OUT IRELAND
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As the new school year begins, I can’t help but look back and reflect on all the wonderful memories we’ve made at Dance It Out. There has been so many “pinch me’ moments this year - from our dancers incredible accomplishments at their first All-Ireland competitions, to winning best children’s group at Birr Vintage week, presenting at WellFest, Ireland’s largest health and fitness festival, and moreover, seeing the parents beaming with pride while watching their children perform with confidenceat our Christmas Show and Parent’s Appreciation day.

 

In June, we hosted our largest event and first ever “Dance Fest”, where students and their families from all areas came together to celebrate the love of dance, to learn from amazing dance instructors and make new friends. 

Watching our students bond and create connections with each other, with possibly the only thing in common was the Dance It Out t-shirt and the love of dance, was incredible.The atmosphere created by our students was unbelievably welcoming, supportive and there is no one else to credit but the students and the dancers themselves. This event proved that we are more than just a dance school – we are a community.

 

Whether you are growing up or you are in the grand finale of your lives, nothing will give you more purpose than a sense of belonging. Being part of a community, whether its dance, drama or GAA, will allow you to build valuable relationships, help you grow as an individual and give you the reassurance that you are supported. In today’s digital world, we must make a greater effort for ourselves and our children to become a part of the something outside of the iPad and X-Box, as it is all too easy to become wrapped up in these devices.

 

Watching children wear their Dance It Out gear outside of our classes with pride, is something I will never take for granted.  You might think, it’s just a t-shirt – but so is a jersey a supporter wears for their team – it’s a symbol of unity and belonging but in this case, we are giving that to children who may not be involved in sport or other activities alike. When you enrol your child to one of our classes, you are not only giving them the gift of doing something they love, you are also allowing them to be part of a community where they are seen and can fully be themselves – this in turn builds their self esteem, confidence and social skills, benefiting them throughout their lives, should they stay dancing or more on.

 

From the bottom on my heart, I want to thank each and every student, parent, teacher and anyone who has ever been involved with Dance It Out who has supported us to do something much bigger than teaching a few steps to pay the bills – you have allowed us to create more than just an evening class for our students, you have helped us create a community for them.

 

Thank you,

Angela x

 
 
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As the countdown to 2019 draws close, I wanted to share some of my reflections on working with your children this past year and some of life’s golden nuggets which I have learned from being with them. Working with them, I am continually encouraged and influenced to remain playful, creative and light hearted.

 Children are naturally joyfully, curious and trusting – qualities we can easily loose over the years after setbacks and disappointments – however, I hope by sharing these lessons with you, it will ignite your inner child for 2019. Here are the life lessons I’ve learned from children in 2018:

 

·      Do More Cartwheels – Children have a natural ability to go with the flow and engage in activities that make them feel good. I can’t count how many times, I catch the kids at dance just randomly throwing themselves into a cartwheel, no questions asked, no attention seeking, just doing what feels good. If us adults took this “doing cartwheel” and unapologetically replaced it with an activity we know we feel better after doing, whether that’s blasting the music and dancing around the house or singing at the top of your lungs at in the car, I can guarantee we would be more light hearted and happy individuals.

 

·      Be Excited For Others & Cheer Them On – In the various settings we work in, there will always be a child chosen or offering to freestyle or perform for the group, and as wonderful it is to see the individuals confidence grown to be able to stand up in front of their peers, the real magic is watching how their peers react. Cheering, clapping and whole heartedly congratulating them on their performance. The children are genuinely excited for one another and feel encouraged and inspired to do the same.

Many times in life, it is easy to fall into a comparison or jealous minded trap when we see someone doing something we would love to be able to do, but just as the kids do, we should allow it to inspire us to do the same.

 

·      Be Interested & Curious – Myself and Lisa laugh at some of the brutal questions from the children “Do you have eczema?” (pointing to my acne scars)” “Why are you wearing (insert item of clothing you thought was fashionable)?” as well as “What’s your favourite colour?” “How many brothers or sisters do you have?” “Are you married”(?! :D ) – the thing I love is that the children I GENUINELY interested in how many siblings I have, and will probably remember weeks from asking. How many times, as adults, do we talk to people without really being present? Or maybe ask questions just so we can tell them our answer? Lesson learned here is to engage with others and be genuinely interested in what they are sharing with you.

 

·      Forgive Easily – On occasion, I will presented with an upset child saying “Angela, she’s pushed me” pointing to another child with a big frown on their face. I ask the other child if it’s true “Yes, but I didn’t mean to”, and after a quick mediation, both kids are back to being friends with a big smile on their face.

Sometimes, when we are upset by the actions of others it is easy for us to hold a grudge, to distance ourselves and write off that person – and sometimes that is necessary. However I truly believe that in the majority of cases, the people around us do not intend to hurt us – whether it was an accidental “push” or words that hurt – step away from feeling that it was their intention and realise accidents happen in many forms. We are all human.

 

·      Be Honest – One of my favourite things I love about children is their honesty; they tell it like it is and exactly how they see it – of course this can be pretty brutal at times “Angela, this song is stupid” – however it’s refreshing to know there are no lies or two faced behaviours from them. On the flip side, this also means that when they tell you the love something, they truly LOVE it.   

 

 

 

Angela

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