Irish dancer stories and what we can learn from them
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Inspirational Irish dancer stories and what we can learn from them

The Irish dance has become more than a cultural tradition as Britannica says. It started as a social dancing activity, then it also became a competitive dance and finally, thanks to the world-wide popularity of Riverdance, it also became a popular performance dance. Whether the Irish dance is performed for social, competitive, or performance purposes, it is a dance that requires a lot of skill, dedication, and perseverance. The people who perform this type of dance are people who are driven and passionate about creating beautiful and inspiring things. These are the people that we can learn from. Some of their stories not only move us but also teach us valuable life lessons that go beyond dancing.

Defying prejudice

American dancer Morgan Bullock is an inspiring figure in the Irish dance community because she managed to follow her passion for dance, defy expectations and defy even those bad-mouthing her. Morgan is ethnically black and she began Irish dancing 10 years ago. Ever since, she fell in love with Irish dance and Irish culture and she’s been involved in competitive Irish dancing. When she posted a video of herself dancing in Irish dance hard shoes as those from Corr’s Irish Shoes https://corrsirishshoes.com/  to a hip-hop song, she was accused by some people of “cultural appropriation”. However, her video became viral and she was even invited by Taoiseach to perform at St Patrick’s Day 2021 and Riverdance. Her story is inspiring because it shows that you can follow your passion and be recognized for what you do, even if it’s uncharacteristic for your national or ethnic background.

Transforming your passion into a lifelong activity

Peggy McTeggart was an Irish dancing teacher for more than 70 years. She began dancing when she was just 9 years old and was also the first woman to perform a hard jig in competition,  a genre that was confined to male dancers. At only 15 years old, she became a fully qualified Irish dancer. She taught generations of dancers, and some of her pupils came to be famous. Her talent, passion, and dedication left a profound impact on the course of Irish dancing. Her story teaches us that if you find something that fuels your passion and you dedicate yourself to it for the rest of your life, you’ll be able to change people’s lives. Her dedication to keeping a beautiful cultural tradition alive and training other talented dancers to do the same is not less inspiring.

Payton Sawyer, a World Irish Dancing Championships competitor for two years in a row, is another inspiring figure. She’s an applied mathematics major junior who’s been dancing since she was 4 years old. Although she is planning to become a maths teacher after she graduates college, she hasn’t given up on her passion for Irish dancing. In fact, she kept training at least four times a week and became the co-president of Slainte, the Irish Dance organization on her college campus. Her dedication and perseverance brought her the results she deserved. She is an example of how you can have a passion and be recognized on a world platform for it if you put enough work into it. She is also an example of how you can be extremely good and successful at something even if you don’t entirely dedicate yourself to it.

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