It's been another busy week, and I'm finally getting around to putting together the pictures from Meredith's dance recital on Sunday. This year she did Irish Dance because a) it was two blocks from our house and b) it was two blocks from our house. Well it doesn't hurt that we're part Irish to add to all that, but the convenience of the studio was a HUGE attraction! Last year was her first year of dancing and she did a combination tap and ballet class. She liked it well enough while it was going on, but was happy enough to try something new this year. The dance studio also offers adult lessons, so I danced for several months this year too. It gave me a new appreciation for how difficult and incredibly athletic Irish Dance is. My season ended when the foot I broke 12 years ago started complaining heartily about being jumped on! Fortunately, Meredith is much more elastic than I!
A big part of Irish dance is tradition and the kids learned the foundational steps of Jump 2 3's and Sevens. Most dances are based around these steps. Also very traditional is the school costume, a design particular to that school of dance. In Meredith's case, she is a part of the McConnell School of Dance, so her costume was their design. Another key element is hair. Every dancer from the small to the tall, had to have hair in curly ringlets. I'm guessing it's got something to do with accentuating the appearance of the dance, as the dancers mostly dance with their arms straight at their side, and their feet doing all the work. The older dances all wear hairpieces, but the little ones had the option of a hairpiece or having their own hair curled. After curling her hair for an hour and a half, I began to appreciate the appeal of the hairpiece. :)
Her shoes are so cute, they're so small. It still amazes me that my kids have tiny feet, given the size of my own feet! They're called ghillies, or soft shoes. If she dances again next year she'll also begin to learn hard shoe technique.
It was such a strange flood of emotion when I saw her dance onto the stage with her group. I began sobbing! I think I was so overwhelmed with how adorable they all were, how proud I was of what she had accomplished, and a real sense of amazement that my little girl was old enough to be performing on this stage!
Sadly for us, the studio is moving next year. On the positive side, they're moving to get a better physical space and to allow for some expansion. On the negative side, it's not likely to be two blocks from our house! We'll see if September finds Meredith back in her ghillies again!