BY: CHRISTY DORRITY, Feis America Magazine contributor

I’ll never forget the feeling I got the first time I competed onstage as an adult Irish dancer. The rush I felt at accomplishing a goal and using talents I previously had shelved when I started a family made me realize that yes, I really could pursue dance as an adult.

If you are like me, you put aside many of your goals and talents after college, thinking that it was time to put away childish things. That’s where we were wrong. Who says Irish dancing is only for kids? In my first Irish class, I danced every week with a woman who was in her sixties. I plan to follow in her footsteps and dance until my body tells me it is time to stop.

It is never too old to start down a road that leads you to a better place. So here are five reasons to embrace Irish dancing today:

1. A goal to stretch for. Yes, we adults desperately need something to look forward to that is OUR thing—not our spouse's, or our children’s or our mother’s.

2. Camaraderie. You will find a tremendous support group in the adults you dance with. I am a friendly person and involved with church and community groups, but my adult dancer friends are some of my most loyal.

3. Exercise. What? I can dance and burn calories at the same time? Bonus. The more you dance, the better you will feel, the better you feel, the more you will dance. Let the cycle begin.

4. Self-confidence. When you master that tricky hornpipe, you will have a boost of confidence in yourself that will bleed into other areas of your life. Windows will open up and you will have the gumption to try all sorts of great new things (and finish some old things).

5. Quality of life. Just knowing that you have something that is your own, something that builds you up and pushes you to be a better person, will help you see life in a whole new light.

Do you Irish dance as an adult? Do you want to? Introduce yourself and let’s get started.

Photo Credit: Christy Dorrity

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