Irish dance teacher Sharon Whelan

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Sharon Whelan, dance teacher, liaison, and organizer of The Golden State Feis, loves being an Irish Dance teacher

Whelan, who has danced most of her life - even shortly after having a baby - says she loves teaching dancers from 4 to 40!

"It's a joy to see the children so excited,"  she says, and "It's fun to watch kids do something that I helped perfect in class."

"The dawn of Michael Flatley made older dancing popular, because people wished they did it when they were younger."

Whelan has seen some serious stages herself as she has toured with The Chieftains and competed at the Worlds.

In fact, she said she was still recovering from the World Championships, where her students won the eight-hand under 12s. Everything else is a little "anti-climatic, a reality check!" she says.

And the growing diversity in Irish Dance means that Whelan has an entire class in her school where none of the children speak English.

"I just let my feet do the talking," she laughs, rushing off to watch another student perform.