For most of us, our dance friends are our favourite friends. There’s just something extra special about spending all that time in class and travelling the world together for competitions.
However, for many Irish dancers, competing with your friends can make things complicated. It’s certainly not easy to compete against your friends. Whether you often win at competitions or you struggle to lose to your friends, both sides can feel the effects of not knowing how to handle it all.
So, here, we’re sharing our top tips for navigating friendship in the competitive world of Irish dance.
1. Separate Friendship and Competition
First, you’ll need to separate friendship with the competition. There’s a time and a place for both of these relationships and it’s important to keep the two apart. After all, they’re two very different things.
In friendship mode, you’re there to support one another,...
Whilst we would never suggest that figuring out your purpose is as easy as reading a blog post, it’s a great place to start. Especially when we’re young because it’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or what’s trendy to become right now.
Today we’re sharing our guide to finding your purpose. Some steps may be harder than others and finding your purpose will always be a work in progress. That said, we hope this will help you remain true to who you are really meant to become.
Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Purpose
1. Be Curious
Finding your purpose begins with curiosity. What are you naturally interested in? and where does your mind wander when you’re not paying attention?
Maybe you’re more inclined towards maths and numbers. Maybe you love improvising in dance versus sticking to the choreography. Maybe you have a deep passion for animals or children.
Training in Irish dance while navigating the roller coaster of “growing up” can be tough. There’s a lot of pressure to deal with and you might be struggling to cope.
If this is the case do not worry - I was in this exact position during my dance career and so today, we’re going to cover some strategies to help you overcome all of these pressures you will face.
Do you get stage fright before a big competition? Are you struggling with performance anxiety? Even if you’re fine class, nerves can play tricks on us when it’s time to hit the stage. Here are some tips to help you manage any nervousness or anxiety before a performance.
Trust Your Training
Most of the time when we worry about something, we’re thinking only of all the things that could go wrong. What if I fall? What if my injury comes back? What if I don’t nail my set?
Instead, it’s important to trust your...
As dancers it is important to stay fit, lean and healthy.
When doing research to figure out the best way to achieve that you may have heard that working out on an empty stomach can help you get there more quickly. Perhaps you’ve even tried it before.
Let’s just start out by saying, it’s certainly not for everyone. And just like with anything, there are pros and cons to consider.
Here, we're exploring the benefits and downsides of dancing on an empty stomach to help find what works best for you.
What is “fasted cardio”?
Fasted cardio refers to doing cardio workouts while your body is in a fasted state. Your body is considered ‘fasting’ when it’s no longer digesting food, usually between 3 to 6 hours after a meal.
When your body is in this state, insulin levels are low. Insulin breaks down glucose in your body, and glucose comes from food. This process is responsible for producing energy. Without...
Many women struggle throughout their menstrual cycle. Our hormones fluctuate all month and when it comes time for our period then things can feel totally out of whack.
From bloating, cramps, and indigestion to moodiness, headaches, and fatigue, we can all agree periods aren’t much fun.
But as dancers, our schedules don’t slow down just because we’re on our cycle. Practice, competitions, and staying in shape doesn't give us a break, regardless of what time of the month it may be.
The good news is there are some foods you can eat (and others you can avoid) to make your period far less intense, helping you perform at your best - year round.
Foods to Eat on Your Cycle
When it comes to the foods you should be eating while on your period, there are a few things to consider. You’ll want food that balances your hormones, provides enough iron and magnesium, and that will offset any cravings you may have.
As a dancer and athlete, it’s natural to feel like giving up from time to time. But that doesn't mean you should. Just by fighting it and making some key mindset shifts will allow you to see your training in a whole different way.
In this article, we'll look at six common reasons dancers want to give up. Plus, we'll cover how you can overcome these obstacles so that you can continue to progress towards your future goals.
1. "I Don't Have Enough Time"
I get it. You are busy. You have school, friends, family, hobbies, you name it. That may make it hard to find enough time to exercise. But the truth is, every dancer has twenty-four hours in a day. And so if others have enough time to practice, get strong, and get flexible, then that means you to do.
To overcome this hurdle it’s important to prioritize your dance training and plan it well in advance. Put your training sessions on the calendar so that nothing will interfere with your session.
Once you do this you will...
Rest days have always been a crucial component for me for as long as I can remember.
From being a young girl trying to become a champion all I wanted to do was dance, and as a beginner sometimes that is absolutely the best way to progress. But just like anything, the better you get at it the higher intensity you are performing it at, and so I knew that to perform at my best on certain days I would need to take rest days on other days, and that’s exactly what I forced myself to do.
Do you feel like you’re falling behind by taking a rest day? Don’t worry, I am with you. My mindset would not allow me to sit still and do nothing as I would tell myself I was going to lose. And so I had to always add in something that was enough to feel like I was making progress without actually fatiguing my body and mind.
Today I want to share these tips with you but first, let’s look at why you shouldn't train on every day of the year.
Have you ever stood backstage with a mind that won't stop racing? If so, you're not alone.
It's normal to be nervous before your performance, whether you’re about to step on stage for the first time or you have dozens of shows under your belt.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can manage your nerves and one of those ways is through breathing!
Breathing techniques bring you into a calmer state by deactivating the ’fight or flight’ system in your body and is something that has been used by Lauren across many of her big competition days.
Instead of standing backstage and watching the competition warm-up, Lauren practiced controlled breathing, which in turn kept her heart rate down, made her body more relaxed and most importantly saved more energy!
In today’s blog, I am going to teach you the exact same techniques so that you too can calm your nerves at a competition, and make your performance reach new heights!
So let’s get started.
Have you ever noticed that your menstrual cycle influences your dance performance? If so, you’re not alone! While the menstrual cycle doesn’t impact the performance of all Irish dancers, for some, it certainly does.
In this blog, you’ll learn how the menstrual cycle can influence dancing abilities. Plus, you’ll discover what you can do to manage the effects of your cycle.
Various hormonal levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. Some of these hormones impact how you feel, your coordination, and how fast you recover from your dance sessions.
Therefore, you may feel better at certain times of your menstrual cycle than at others (although other factors can also influence how you feel and perform, such as your sleep and nutrition).
Now, we are oversimplifying a bit here, but there's one menstrual-cycle- related hormone in particular that can influence dance performance. It's the hormone...
It’s not always easy to get the amount you need through diet alone. Especially for those of you who are younger, busy or generally just don’t like to eat as much as you need. Thankfully this is where protein supplementing comes in.
This is because they are cheap to buy, even easier to drink, and with a little creativity, you can even blend one into a smoothie with milk, meaning you can make it even more enjoyable than eating food itself!
If you are not hitting your daily protein requirement through food, then I recommend getting the rest through protein powder, and drinking it directly after your workout!
Each serving contains around 20 to 25 grams of protein. So by mixing just one serving with water or milk, it would ensure you’ll achieve your daily requirement of protein.
Now before we look at the types of protein powders you can get I want to make one thing clear:
Protein Powder is NOT Bad for You and...