Forum: Irish / Irish

Need an advice on what to turn to
By dancingcanary13
On Sat Jan 03, 2015 09:08 AM

So after four years of dancing, a feis and performances, i came to a conclusion that i really have no talent at all. Everybody around me agrees and now i cant figure out what to do. I dont know if i should quit even though it doesnt seem like something to do. Performances are ok but not really my thing and i am clearly not going to do competitions as that would be pure torture for me and my teacher even though i think i would probably enjoz that more but i'll never be good enough. So, what would you do if you were me? Were you in a similar situation perhaps with something else other than dance? I am an adult dancer btw.

8 Replies to Need an advice on what to turn to

re: Need an advice on what to turn to (karma: 2)
By IrishLizzymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:33 AM
First off, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. You definitely sound like you're down in the dumps.
I think you're being too hard on yourself, that's something we do as dancers, we're perfectionists and if something isn't perfect we tell ourselves we're failures.

Who is "everybody"? And why are they telling you you "don't have talent"? Is this coming from a teacher and/or students? I think it's time to find another school then. Because even if you're not an up and coming world champion, people will always do better when they're encouraged and not discouraged. Maybe if someone actually told you they believed in you, you'd find that spark and enjoy dancing again.
This bugs me, people defeating others and dashing their dreams. Don't listen to them, you need to do what makes you happy.

Do you enjoy dancing? Performing, competing, corrections, etc. aside, does dancing make you happy? If they answer is yes, if doing a slip jig makes you feel graceful, if doing your reel makes you happy, if doing a hornpipe brings you any sort of joy, then quitting shouldn't be the answer.

If you don't like performing, that is OK. You can skip that part. But if you feel like you might enjoy competing, give it a try, you'll never know until you try. You might surprise yourself.

I just want to say, I believe in you, I believe dancing can bring you joy again. I'll support you if you want to keep going.
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By dancetcher1
On Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:46 PM
I totally agree with everything IrishLizzy ^^^ said in the post above!

Also, there are many different types of dance. Try ballet, tap, clogging, lyrical, social dance like waltz, tango, etc. I have a friend in Oregon who is in a Tango club, several I think. A sister in law in Texas does clogging, mother in law who square dances and line dances.
If you're open to any of these try ballet first, it is beautiful, works on good alignment and strengthens as well as lengthens your muscles.

Have fun!
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By hummingbird
On Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:29 PM
I also agree with IrishLizzy, who do these people think they are to stand judgement?

I don't know about anyone else but I dance for my enjoyment first, if anyone else happens to enjoy it too, good for them but that's not the reason I dance.

You need to step back and look at the reasons why you started to dance in the first place. Was it to win or to have a good time?

Having said that there are times when we burn out as dancers and then a short break could work.
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By dancingcanary13
On Sun Jan 04, 2015 06:17 PM
Thanks for your replies guys. Dancing does make me happy for most part which is why i didnt and probably wont give up. I did try competition. I went to a feis. You can guess the results.
I do agree that everyone does better when encouraged. I dont believe i cant get better, but it will never be even near decent. And to be honest, in a way it feels better when people are being honest with you about what you can go and how far you can get. Ive been encouraged before by people who knew what they were saying wasnt true and it led to me believing i can do something a cant. Get the turn out. Look good. Place on a feis. Did it hurt like hell to hear it or watch people just not say anything when i explain how i feel? Like hell. But it was also a relief. Its true and i dont have to keep working hard just to get other people looking at me like "what the hell is she doing here". I appriciate believing in me but to be honest it simply doesnt mean a lot from someone who never saw me dance. All dancers say those stuff even though we just know, sone of us werent made to do this.
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By Tansey
On Mon Jan 05, 2015 08:53 AM
Edited by Tansey (209516) on 2015-01-05 08:58:44
I agree with everything Irish Lizzy said. Think about whether changing schools could make a difference. It sounds like yours might not be very supportive. Irish dance is as much a head game as a physical one. If people around you are disparaging your dancing, you're in the wrong school.

Am I reading this correctly? Are you making this decision based on your experience at just one feis? Many dancers have to feis several times before they start getting the results they want. The experience can help make you a better dancer. If you prefer not to compete that's fine, but please don't quit something you love based on your experience at just one competition. If you love it, give it more time, and maybe at a more supportive school.

Sean Connolly's "Little Book of Inspiration for Irish Dancers" has helped a few dancers I know get past some of the mental hurdles to success in Irish dance. You might want to check it out. www.goodreads.com . . .

You can do this. My now-retired daughter's wonderful TCRG always says, give me a hard worker over a 'natural talent' any day. Hard workers without natural talent manage to surpass natural talent that doesn't work hard. It happens all the time.
I wish you all the best, whatever you decide.
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By fouleafmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 09, 2015 06:54 AM
Edited by fouleaf (86206) on 2015-01-09 08:40:28
I know that I, also, have never seen you dance, but I know that 4 years is not actually that long in Irish dance. We aspire to things that bodies were not made to do. My boyfriend just started dancing and he has, as he puts it, bowed legs. This means that he has natural turnout. You have no idea how jealous I am or how confused he is that this is a bonus. Hard work can go a long way and sometimes, years in, we have a moment of inspiration where we suddenly "get it" and, from then on, we have a particular aspect down pat. Talent is overrated.

As to placing in a feis, there are judges who like and dislike everyone's style. There are judges who never place me and there are judges who always place me top three. Placing is not always an indicator. It is one of the wonderful and terrible aspects of Irish dance that we can never ever be sure of a placement. Just read the judges' comments and try and work on the things that they identify. I was once sent to the bottom because my poodle sock slipped. Apparently it was really important to her.

I danced when I was younger, from middle school to high school, and stopped when I left for college. I realized I couldn't handle not dancing anymore when I cried every time I saw Irish dancers or heard Irish traditional music. I'm still not the most talented. Heck, I'm pretty sure that one of the TAs thinks I'm an embarrassment. But I love it. There are ways to get around the feeling like you have no talent. You can get a new teacher (My teachers have varied wildly but I know from experience that I need a supportive one. When I have one, it moves mountains.), you can choose to perform rather than compete (there are usually shows and such that you can perform in and that style of dance is radically different than competition. Maybe, inside, you are a performance dancer rather than a competition dancer?) or maybe your school's style doesn't match your own (There are vastly different step styles in this world. I do best with very "showy" steps, things with technicaly simple but pretty sections that I can feel the music in. If I can't feel the music, I won't do well. Very traditional steps make me feel bored. I have had teachers who do both types and I now know what I dance better with.). Or perhaps you're a figures / ceili dancer? Ceili is radically different than solos. You may be a ceili dancer at heart.

So, if you still love Irish dance, there are ways to stay in it. Do not despair. There are many, many things that could be the problem. Hard work is infinitely more important than talent. There is only one thing you *have* to be able to do, and that is hear the rhythm.
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By IrishLisa
On Fri Jan 09, 2015 09:35 AM
First of all it kills me to hear that you like dancing but don't think that you are good enough. In my experience I'm harder on myself than my own teachers are and I place unrealistic expectations on myself thinking that is exactly what the teachers want to see from me. I highly recommend that you take some time to sit and reflect and then write down your own goals for yourself and irish dance. Then once you've finished those set up a time to meet with your teacher(s) and go over them and work towards those goals or even come up with realistic goals together. That way you are both working towards the same thing and your teacher(s) can reel you in if need be if they see you placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. The other thing I would recommend is if you are having issues with certain steps I would check with the teacher(s) to see if maybe they could modify them to help you out. My teacher has been awesome about doing that for me. There are some parts of steps that I physically can't do or it would take forever to master a tiny part when I really need to focus on the overall dance.

If you love dance than keep at it. Rome wasn't built in a day and everyone struggles even the most fantastic dancers struggle and aren't "good" at everything! Don't get too down on yourself! If you don't like going performances don't do them. Focus on what you do like doing. Lastly, as far as competitions go it's so subjective. I have a couple of dances that are my favorite that I dance very well and always place in the top but I've gone to competitions where I didn't place or didn't place well and my teacher thought I rocked it so just take it with a grain of salt. Every judge looks for something different. Go out there and dance your socks off for you not for them! Good luck and keep us posted!
re: Need an advice on what to turn to
By dancingcanary13
On Sat Jan 24, 2015 03:19 PM
Hi everyone :) Someone said to keep you posted so i wanted to let you all know that after a carefull consideration i decided to quit dancing. It does not make me feel good, contrary it makes me feel really miserable and i dont like doing classes anymore :) Do not feel like you didnt do a good job trying to keep me dancing, you were all great but perhaps this was never for me. I do not however regret dancing at all, it was a great experance but it is simply over. Ill always keep my hard shoes :) Thanks for all the support :)

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