We just got back from the Eastern Canadian Irish Dance Championships where my three kids competed in solos and teams.  A whirlwind weekend of costumes, warm-ups, performances and awards.

Some people have asked me how I can spend so much time and money on dance and I explain that I’m not paying for dance.  I’m paying for the life skills that come with it. Dedication, perseverance, getting up when you fall, winning and losing with grace.

There were so many beautiful stories that came out of this weekend, including a few girls that we know well who qualified for Worlds for the first time after many years of trying. Talk about a flashbulb memory.

How many times in life have we felt the load was too heavy and the finish line was too far? How many times have we thought we weren’t good enough?  How many times have we heard others tell us we were crazy because we weren’t doing what they felt was the right thing to do?

In dance and in life, you have to move to your own beat and realize that your only competition is yourself.

As Mikhail Baryshnikov once said, “I do not try to dance better than anyone else.  I only try to dance better than myself.”

And that is the only way to win the championship.