Back on September 20th, one of my computer science classes was unexpectedly cancelled when the professor didn’t show up. Little did I know that this would end up leading to me attending one of the most enjoyable dance clubs I’d ever gone to.
When the computer science class was cancelled 10 minutes after it was supposed to start, I suddenly had nothing to do from 5:00-6:00pm! I was scheduled to go to Swing Dance club at 6pm, but I was honestly expecting to be super bored until then, so I just walked to Sadler’s Chesapeake A studio and started waiting for the other Swing Dancers to arrive. After a few minutes I decided to walk around the third floor of Sadler, since nobody was going to show up for another 30 minutes or so. To my delight, I saw a sign over the door for Chesapeake B/C that said Irish Dance Club was there from 5:30-6:30pm! That was a club I hadn’t been to before, and it was just about to start at this point, so I just walked right in.
Immediately, I was struck by how few people there were. When I got there at the start time, there were only 4 people in the room, including me, and the number of people didn’t end up increasing. This turned out to actually be a good thing though, because as I soon found out, Irish dancing is tough. Luckily, because the meeting was so small, the leader was able to help me through the basics on the side. The leader had been doing Irish dance since she was 5 years old, and had been competing in it for quite a while, so she was extremely good at it. She was extremely effective at teaching the difficult moves though, so I still remember some of the steps, which I only had an hour to learn, after a month without practicing.
Throughout the hour-long practice, I had to take 3-4 water breaks, which is actually a lot more than I’d take in sports usually thought of as very intense, such as the ~5 water breaks I take throughout a 3.5-hour long Ultimate Frisbee practice. Based on that, Irish dance is obviously very active, and I also noticed later on that it takes a lot more lower-body coordination and balance than other classic dance styles, such as Salsa and Swing. Overall, as someone who has only been to 6 dancing clubs so far, I’d say that Irish dance is fairly different from the other styles I tried, and it’s definitely worth a shot for anyone who has some experience dancing but wants to shake things up a bit (that’s not a pun).
Even though I’d never danced before I went to Irish Dance Club, I still enjoyed it, and I highly recommend that people experienced with other forms of dance try it out. It is quite an active experience though when done at full speed, so bring some water!
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