March 24, 2015
In this month of March when we celebrate my favorite holiday, St Patrick’s Day, I will dedicate this blog post to my beautiful mother who loved all things Irish and instilled in all of her nine children a strong depth, breadth and love of our Irish heritage. I also want to dedicate this first blog to her because she was my first and most influential teacher. Though I fall short way too often, I try my best to live my life and run my school like my mother ran our home – with love, compassion, patience, humor, grace, stewardship of the earth, optimism, approach-ability, positive attitude towards all, generosity and frugality (yes, they can go hand in hand but that is for another blog post!)
My mom was influential in getting adult Irish dance classes going back in the 50’s and 60’s in Queens NY where I grew up. Mom put my 4 older sisters and myself in Irish step dancing as kids, but she wanted to learn too. So she convinced Mrs. Lynch, our Irish step dance teacher, to start an adult class. I think Mom did all the recruiting and got enough of her friends and likely a few of my aunts to sign up. Mrs. Lynch taught all of my family for many years. They are very fond memories.
Last week, in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, nearly 30 of ADI’s Irish dancers performed for the residents of the Norse Senior Home on Phinney Ridge. We’ve been performing there around St Patrick’s Day for at least 15 years and it has always been one of my favorite performances because it brings such joy to the residents. Because all levels of our Irish dancers perform (the wee ones on up to our advanced dancers), you can clearly see the progression of skills and the remarkable job these students have done in honing in their art. I know mommy was smiling down from heaven as she watched them. I know she was proud. She was jigging along with them I’m sure.
What these students pulled off is a testament to their hard work and also a testament to Janelle, Addie and Sarah’s hard work in training them. These teachers have the teaching gift. Thank you to my wonderful staff and wonderful students for a job well done. To all my Irish and non-Irish readers, I hope your St Paddy’s Day was grand. Enjoy the rest of March – it’s Irish month – get your mileage out of it!