by ERIN CONCANNON, Feis America Magazine contributor

“Ouch” isn’t just a word us Irish dancers feel a lot of the time, it’s an emotion. An emotion that only very few can say they have truly experienced. It’s not the “ouch” part of Irish dancing we love, it’s the “wow” part we all crave. Do you relate to any of these situations below?

365 days, all for one feis. If you’re an Irish dancer, working out has a new meaning. Doing 100 crunches and lunges after class is a basic routine when you are just warming up in the dancing world. But beyond that, the workout we put into dancing is incredible on so many levels. We work out while telling a story on stage with our feet and music. All of these crazy practices and painful workouts are all part of a dancer’s dream to win.

Blocking everyone out.
To be number one, you have to get into the dance you’re doing. You have to feel as if there is no one else in the room but you and the judge. Many can’t say they have experienced this. But us dancers feel it every time we go out on stage.

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My feet! Foot pain kinda just comes with the territory. Sure, the idea of willingly losing your toenails just to break in a pair of hard shoes seems crazy to some, but us dancers consider it a minor side effect to perfection. “If you have to drag your feet out of the dance studio, then you know you had a good dance class,” is what many Irish dancers seem to believe, simply because it’s true! Foot pain is nothing compared to winning and being number one on the dance floor.

Living life as a die hard Irish dancer is a lot of work sometimes. I mean, icing your feet when you get home from dance is only half the battle for becoming a champ. But past the pain, there’s that pleasure of standing on stage with that trophy in your hand, knowing it was all worth it. It’s a good feeling, right?

What’s your biggest pain that comes along with Irish dance? Share in the comments below!

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