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.