We’ve been an Irish dance family for 12 years. Before that, I competed on an adult Irish dance team. And I also did a few classes and competitions years back when I was 7 or 8 years old. It’s woven deep into the fabric of our story.
On the Irish dance journey, we have met amazing friends, travelled around the world to leave it all on the dance floor for international judges, and learned about grit, perseverance, teamwork and winning and losing with grace.
And then, the pandemic happened. The 50th anniversary of the World Irish Dance Championships in Dublin was cancelled. The North American Championships was cancelled. Everything shut down. But our school, and others, quickly pivoted to Zoom classes and our dancers were still able to learn new steps, perfect the ones they had, and burn off some of the uncertainty through a good workout.
Then this past weekend we did something that would have been unthinkable before. We had a virtual Irish dance feis (competition) with our sister school in Britain! Judges from England and Ireland, comments and results within the hour. Breakout rooms, kids running their own music, and wonderful dancing. All highlighting that plywood is the new hardwood since 2020 and it’s not about the space you have, it’s about what you do with it.
It was music to all our ears. This resilient group offered us a new rhythm to go with the beats unveiled by COVID-19 and gave us that feeling back. The feeling of community and dreams and the idea that anything is possible.
Because it is.
We don’t know what will come next. We will follow the rules and do everything we can to work together until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel. But while we’re waiting, we will dance.