Parents Guide to Helping Your Dancer at OireachtasNov 22, 2023
Oireachtas season is upon us and we are always here to use our MWM expertise to help as many dancers as possible. But we understand that many parents often feel confused and overwhelmed by the whole process too - so we’ve come up with five helpful tips that will help you, as parents, and your dancer feel ready and confident at Oireachtas.
- Keep home life as normal as possible
During the time of the year dancers often feel like there are lots of changes happening. Dance teachers may add in additional classes, the atmosphere in class may change, you may attend more feises and this impacts them mentally. This is why it is really important to try and keep home life as normal as possible. Home should be the space where dancers feel like there is consistency, regardless of whether it is near Oireachtas time or whether it is the start of the dancing calendar.
- Be there to support your dancer emotionally
Your key role as a parent on feis day is to support your dancer emotionally. I spoke about this recently on social media, but don’t discourage your child from crying if they are upset or disappointed - this is just a normal response and release of emotion to an event which they may find distressing. Give them a hug and tell them how proud you are of them - regardless of whether they reach their goal or not.
- Leave lots of time spare
The last thing any dancer needs on an important feis day is to be stressed or worried about being late. We all know that last minute things can pop up and get in the way of our carefully laid out plans, so leave extra time to spare for Oireachtas. This will help your dancer to feel more relaxed throughout the ‘getting ready’ process and able to 100% focus on themselves.
- Make sure you are well rested, as well as your dancer
We always talk about making sure that the dancers are well rested but as a parent, make sure you are too. Oireachtas is always a busy weekend with lots of emotional highs and lows so ensure you are taking some time to rest away from the Irish dance world. Maybe take your dancer to the cinema to switch off for a few hours or get some early Christmas shopping under your belt or simply have the weekend away from dancing and spend it with your family.
- Remember that your dancer is trying their best
Finally, remember that your dancer is trying their best. Some dancers rise the occasion and some struggle a little more with their mindset or nerves. Tears or not performing on stage doesn’t mean they aren’t trying and haven’t worked hard enough throughout the lead up to Oireachtas. Practise kindness - both towards your dancer and yourself.
If you are a parent or a teacher (or both!) looking for more help and guidance in this crazy world of Irish dancing, then join our free Facebook group - MWM Reel talk. This is the perfect space to ask for help, meet other feis parents and learn from all of the MWM Team so your dancer is fully supported throughout every stage of their dance journey.
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