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Spotlight on adult Irish dancer Sara Gutis from Connecticut

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Sara Gutis and her dad, Mark Gutis
Photo: courtesy Sara Gutis
Feis America: Welcome Sara, we are so glad to hear about your Irish dancing story. Where are you from?

Sara:  I live in Brookfield, Connecticut. My current TCRG (teacher) is Sue Brotherton of the Millennium School of Irish Dance.

Feis America:  How did you get started in Irish Dancing?

Sarah:  The short version of how I started Irish Dancing is that I was a huge fan of Lord of the Dance.  I was sitting in Ireland, watching Michael Flatley and his troupe dance, and knew it was just something I HAD to do. I came home, and started calling around until I found a school that took adult dancers, and started the next week. 

Sara Gutis (in pink mask) poses for a recital photo.
Photo: courtesy Sara Gutis

Feis America: What motivates you to keep dancing as an adult?

Sara:  Irish Dancing is such a huge part of my life. It's part of my identity. I used to be motivated by the next competition and the trophies I would win. Slowly, I moved away from competition though. Now, I'm motivated by my new teacher.  She believes in my abilities, and is teaching me skills that a previous teacher told me not to bother with because I am an adult.

Sara and father, Mark, in action.
Photo: courtesy Sara Gutis
Feis America: I noticed that you and your dad are pictured dancing together.  Does he dance?  Did he begin dancing because of you?

Sara: Dad started dancing because of me. I taught him as an assistant for years! He danced for ten years before I left my last studio. Between that and arthritis in his foot, he has mostly stopped. But, he will occasionally do a choreography with me or some ceili. 

Feis America:  If you could change one thing about Irish dance, what would it be?

Sara:  One thing I would change about Irish Dancing is the odd way that adults are treated in their goals and pursuits.  In the east and especially the northeast, adults are not really cultivated by the teachers.  I know that adults might not be the next world qualifier, but we have a lot to offer.
Feis America:  What does your competition or solo dress look like?

Sara:  My solo dress is black silk with rainbow colored knot work, edged in silver and gold thread. It is the more old fashioned style. I am in the market for a newer styled dress. I really need to learn to sew! When I perform in a choreography, I typically wear an Irish themed dress that is more a la Riverdance in style.


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Readers: Are you an adult Irish dancer, competitive or not, with a story to share? Would you like to inspire others to feel your passion for Irish dancing and culture? Do you have a question about Irish dancing? Please visit www.christydorrity.com

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