How Irish dancers dealt with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID has brought many challenges. It has taken lives, it has disrupted our social life and our normal routine. The uncertainty that it has brought with it has put us all on the edge. It’s no mean feat to deal with this situation. However, people all over the world and across domains have found mobilized and found ways to deal with this uncertainty effectively. The Irish dance community is no exception.
The Irish dance is mainly performed for social, competitive, and performance purposes, and this is why the pandemic had been hard hit by the pandemic. Competitions and festivals were canceled, dance academies and studios were closed, so people in the Irish dance community were left with no choice but to find other ways to continue their activity.
How Irish dance activities are organized during the pandemic
Some people in the dance community found clever ways to organize dance activities. Some teachers organize class feiseanna at their houses or other outdoor locations in order to keep the dancers motivated and keep the competition going. Other teachers use online options, such as Digital Feis and Video Feis. The competition is as strong as ever, so as a dancer and competitor, all you need is to pick a pair of Irish dance shoes, a lot of practice, and dedication!
There were also local and national competitions held during the competition. The Celtic Steps Championships is a notable example. People complied with the COVID-19 restrictions, and the competition was a success in the end, which set a great example for competitions to come.
How dancers cope with the pandemic
Dancers look forward to competitions and, as the participants in the Celtic Steps Championships proved, most of them would go to great lengths to participate in a competition. But the Irish dancers who did not have the possibility to compete did not let that discourage them. In fact, many reported that Irish dancing is what kept them motivated and gave them hope during these challenging times.
By keeping themselves occupied with practicing and other dance-related activities, a lot of them managed to ease their anxiety and feeling of hopelessness. Focusing on their training gave them something to look forward to and also something that kept them connected to their coaches and teammates, even if just virtually. In other words, people in the Irish dance community have been working just as hard as ever, and maybe even harder, to keep uncertainty at bay.
In the last months, a lot of Irish dance studios have reopened on the condition that basic precautions such as cleaning & disinfecting, keeping distance are followed. Apart from that, Irish dancing is currently enjoying a wave of popularity on video-sharing apps such as TikTok, which means that the public for Irish dance didn’t go anywhere, it actually increased!
The fact that the community is dealing with these difficult circumstances so well is the merit of hard-working, dedicated, and enthusiastic people who put a lot of effort into keeping Irish dancing alive during these uncertain times