Old recovering irish dancer...
So I’ve been very stubborn with myself and I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter what age I am, if I want to dance, I will dance!
Just a quick bit of background on this. I danced from the age of about 5 until close to 18, I took part in various competitions throughout this period, as well as displays. I was a pretty good dancer in my time, good spring in my feet and capable of learning steps within the first week or at least by the second week.
I started irish dancing again when I was 28 at the end of Jan 2010. Well I’d officially started a few months before this with another class but that was a massive waste of time! Anyway in Jan 2010, the class I had been originally attending fell apart, the teacher disappeared and didn’t update any of us and we’d nowhere fixed to go and dance! So I decided there should be a class specifically for adults to learn irish dancing. So I decided to start one.
So as well as teaching, I was attending another dancing class just outside Brighton. I went to this class specifically to improve my dancing again and to go a class where I’m taught, rather than having to teach everything. This class was brilliant, it helped my technique and I’ve learnt some of the more modern steps etc. Unfortunately it’s all fallen apart slightly….actually I’ve fallen apart slightly.
I’ve been having problems since about November 2010 with shin splints, well shin splint on my left leg. Not your normal jogging splints but lovely dancer splints. The proper term is Posteromedial shin splints. These run from my ankle up the inside of my leg right into inside my knee, the pain can and often does take me off my feet.
Anyway, I’ve been dealing with it by icing etc and rested it all over christmas, but to no avail. My leg was getting worse instead of better. I kept dancing. My outer ankle started to get very painful, to the point that after about 10mins of dancing my leg/ankle would stop me in my tracks (but I managed to get moving again shortly after). I was even having pain throughout the day just walking about. Time to get sorted me thinks, it is coming up to St Patrick’s day, really need to be functioning! So I went to a physio and the first thing was I should stop dancing….not gonna happen. I teach now for heavens sake!!
So instead he’s checked me over and it all relates to my left hip and lack of muscle control. I still needed to rein in my dancing as I was now dancing up to 4 times a week. So I did the sensible thing and quit my Tuesday class, was utterly gutted. I did a display with them, got my left foot tangled in the sound cables and left myself in lots of pain. Time to stop.
So now I’m only dancing twice a week and I’ve managed to join a yoga class on Tuesdays to help strengthen myself up. I’m also doing physio exercises to retrain my left leg.
So now that I’ve had a good cleansing whinge, I wanted to point out the positive.
I’m still dancing. If you want something enough you will keep at it somehow. I’m getting stronger as I have to do the exercise otherwise I can’t dance! I’ll have a bikini body in no time! I’ve demonstrated that even us older dancers can still beat injury and dance.
I’ve set myself a few goals this year. I will compete in a feis. I will compete in the British Open at the end of the year. I will put together at least 4 new dances for my girls and a few more for me. I may even make my solo dress!
Now back to the prep for St Patrick’s day!! We’ve 3 displays and a céilí to organise!