**I don’t know if anyone has seen the AnaheimBallet channel on YouTube, but they’re basically a ballet weekly podcast. I’m thinking of setting up an I-D version. If I had one of their ‘dancer profiles’, perhaps this is what I would say.**
Hi, I’m Miriam, and I dance with the Courtney McMahon School of Irish Dance. I don’t compete much but I take classes three times a week, and practice regularly. I guess you could say it’s become a habit, but I can’t honestly help it. I love it too much. My parents would rather I focused on school work, and music practice, and things like that. Well, I never did listen to them.
People often see me at the bus stop after dancing, standing there in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, my bag on my back and a jumper hanging loosely from my hand, and they’re like, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? This is Autumn! You can’t go around in a t-shirt!”
But it’s like when I’m dancing there’s a fire that’s lit inside me. It takes over my muscles, my veins, every part of me, like I’m on fire from the inside. The fire is a longing to impress, to do my very best; it’s a longing to make my teachers proud; above all, it’s a longing to get what I’ve been looking for – a distraction from everything I can’t get away from. After I’ve stopped moving, it takes a while to come down again.
People say Irish dance is weird. I guess it is, to them. I mean, my parents think we’re crazy – especially with the wigs and the dresses, and they’re pretty adamant that I am never getting a wig, though my mother’s relenting on the dresses. She even said she might make me one. My friends, too, think that Irish dance is crazy, and so I’m something of a minority at school.
That’s why, when I come to dancing and none of them are there any more, when I’m in the studio with its mirrors and its sprung floor, I’m in a different world. I can be alone to fly in the way that I want to, and not in the way that the rest of the world thinks I should. I’m in a world where anything is possible, and where I can be alone in my own head.
It’s odd to think that dancing has been a part of my life for such a short time – just over a year, now. And yet I can’t imagine a life without it. I started dancing last September, and it was the only time in my life that I’ve ever felt tall. Now I’m still dancing and I have never regretted it.
Perhaps we are crazy. But in that case, I’m crazy too.