By Kathy Nelson TCRG Nelson Academy Of Irish Dance
Many adults are interested in beginning Irish dance but they think they are too old or not coordinated enough. I began Irish Dance in my 40’s and my son began in his early 20’s. We have found this type of dance to be extremely athletic in nature: it truly is a great form of exercise! As time went on we realized that we could be competitive and I became a Champion dancer while Dan went on to become a National Champion, qualifying seven times for the world championships. He competed at two World Championships in Ireland, one in Dublin and the other in Belfast. We also opened our own Irish Dance school.
So no matter how old you are, if you are interested in starting Irish dance, my advice is to take heart and start dancing. You would be surprised at what you can do if you give yourself time, have the desire, and make the effort. I tell my older dancers that Irish dance is like putting together a puzzle. It is great memory work and helps to prevent and to reverse mental decline as we get older.
Many of the adult dancers I have taught have become performers and competitors. They love the exercise value and how much more flexible they have become. Irish dancing helps build bone density, improves balance, and strengthens the core and legs. In addition to dance instruction, each of our classes includes stretching and exercises to help with strengthening muscles, and we incorporate elements from Yoga for balance and free movement.
Two other benefits of Irish dance are performances and competitions. Folks love to see Irish dance! Once our adults reach a particular level of ability they are invited to join us for local performances. This helps build confidence by giving them the opportunity to dance in front of appreciative audiences. As the adults get more confident and skillful, some of them choose to try competitive Irish dance. We are members of the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA), an organization that is open and friendly to adult dancers wanting to compete.
So once you get past the holidays and decide you want to do something fun while losing a few pounds, get in touch with us.
For a list of adult classes, teen and children’s classes visit nelson-academy.com
For more information on WIDA and adult dancers, check out this recent article from the Antonio Pacelli dance site: https://www.antoniopacelli.com/community/article/world-irish-dance-association-sets-the-bar-for-competitive-adult-irish-danc
About the Author:
In 2002, Kathy Nelson began Irish Dance classes in Yorktown, Virginia eventually qualifying for the Champion level and participating in many local performances until 2005. Since 2005, Kathy has been actively teaching competitive Irish Dance in Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia. She choreographs dancers steps and routines for performances in the Virginia area. Her pageant choreographies have all won 1st place. Kathy also teaches Total Body Fitness and Strength Training for Irish Dancers. She is a former Homeschool Mom who taught both sons from K5-12th grade. She loves homeschool and Adult students and has classes especially for them! She is a certified Irish Dance instructor TCRG with the World Irish Dance Association and has adjudicated at competitions!
Our class curriculum is a lot of fun for everyone! We incorporate a combination of traditional teaching, fun dancing, competitive teaching, performance/show practices in each of our classes for each age and level.