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Irish Dancing- Fun for Everyone!

Teresa Henley

Do you have what it takes to be an Irish Dancer?  I decided to see what it's all about when I went to the Colorado Winterfeis on January 28, 2012 in Castle Rock, Colorado.  A feis is an Irish Dance Competition. 
 
With St. Patrick's Day coming up, you will probably see some of these fast-footed, colorful performers!  You can distinguish them by their colorful dresses and curly hair.  They dance with not much movement in their arms or upper bodies, but their feet kick and quickly step around the stage. The Irish Dancers dance for medals and trophies at the competitions. 
 
Kelsey Sonius, 10 years old,  has been Irish dancing for 4 years.  I asked her what it takes to get started.  She says you pick a dance school and start taking lessons.  Once you learn 2 dances, you can do a competition.  Jaden Powell is a teacher at the Reed School of Irish Dance, and she says if you want to be an Irish Dancer you should know that it is very competitive and takes practice and years to get good.   Molly Bennett of the Bennett School of Irish Dance says people can start dancing as early as 5 years old, and her oldest student is 65 years old.  The steps get harder as you go, so there's always something more to learn. 
 
If you are a girl and you want to start Irish dancing you need dresses, soft shoes (also called ghillies), hard shoes, and poodle socks.  Some of the girls also wear wigs to have long curly hair.  Boys, you can also dance.  It's not all for girls!  The most important thing is to have fun!  Leeta Geltser, age 11, has been dancing for 5 years.  She says her favorite thing about Irish dancing is that it's good exercise, and when you do it, you can have fun with your friends.  She also likes the competitions, because you get to show off what you know. 
 
This St. Patrick's Day, if you want to see some awesome dancers, both the Reed School and the Bennett School of Irish Dance will be in the Denver St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country!   The Bennett School of Irish Dance will also be performing at the Children's Museum of Denver on Saturday, March 17 at 1:30 and 2:00.  I recommend you go see the Irish Dancers this St. Patrick's Day because they're cool and fun to watch!

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