by ERIN CONCANNON, Feis America Magazine contributor

Walking into a room, feeling as if you have no idea where you are. This used to be the place you called home, but now it’s just a room with Irish music blasting through the walls, and you sitting alone tying your shoes. That’s where I was not too long ago.

You look around, feeling almost empty, but then something incredible happens. Your Irish dance teacher opens the door into the studio, and you feel as if you are 8 years old again learning the basic steps to St. Patrick’s Day.

The power that us, as dancers, have gained over the years won’t ever compare to any other sport. Irish dancers have to not only learn discipline, but master it in a very short amount of time. Dealing with the after pains of doing 10 minutes of an intense drill is what the foundation for Irish dancing depends on.

A lot of people question why we put our bodies through this intense workout, but we don’t know a world without it. For me, I had to quit Irish dancing over two years ago due to knee and back injuries. I felt as if I was lost in this big world and didn’t feel like myself. That is until I got back in the studio. If you are contemplating coming back into the Irish dancing world after taking a break, here are some reasons you should.

1. You love it, don’t you?
Dancing is like acting, but better. If you’re having a crummy day, Irish dancing allows you to act as if all is right in the world for the next two hours of class, helping you forget about your worries.

2. Believe it or not, you are surely missed by your classmates.
The second I walked back into my dance studio, everyone kept asking me how I was, saying how excited they were for me to come back. If you come back into dance with the right frame of mind, success and happiness is what the outcome will be for you.

Irish Dance Shoes: Out With The Old But How To Break In The New?

Planning for success in Irish dance

Motivation to practice Irish dance during the school year


3. It’s the best kind of workout money can buy. When you dance for two and a half hours, even if it’s just for two nights a week, you are putting your body through a serious workout. Irish dance is what gives us that “it” body many wished they had. And on top of that, you are learning rhythm--something you can’t really learn at school.

4. Starting from square one isn’t really an option. If you are worried you will feel very out of place once you come back to Irish dance class and concerned you won’t remember anything, you don’t have enough confidence in your dancing. If you truly love Irish dancing, then all of the steps taught in class, will come back to you quickly. No need to sweat the small stuff, your teacher will be more than happy to help you, as well as your encouraging dance buds.

Loving Irish dance, is something us dancers tend to forget. We become so stuck in a pattern of just going to dance, then going to feiseanna, that we forget about what dance gives us every time we step into the studio. Irish dancing is something that defines you. And trust me, once you kiss the dancing world goodbye, you will be itching to come back a month later, simply because you miss it!

Are you contemplating a return to Irish dance? Share your experience in the comments below.

For North America's favorite Irish dancing magazine delivered directly to your mailbox, subscribe now!