When in doubt, dance it out


McDowell and her dance team after her recent Irish dance competition.

Alisa Takahashi , Art Team

Sometime during an Irish dancer’s career, whether it be after their first recital, while putting on his or her wig, or upon the start of his or her 21st year of competing, he or she looks back and asks– “How did I get here?”

Junior Molly McDowell certainly knows she will be looking back on her dance career and ask herself the very same question.

Coming up with the answer to this question usually takes a bit of thought, but memories of those first dance classes, with socks a little too tall and shoes a little too tight will always be fond ones for her.

 McDowell is also a ballet dancer, which is a style of dance completely different from Irish dancing because of the usage of the whole body.

 “[Irish dancing] focuses entirely on the lower body, which makes it unique from other styles. Also there are two areas of irish dance. Light shoe is much more jumps and spins and traveling, whereas hard shoe has much more rhythm and footwork elements,” said McDowell.

 McDowell started Irish dancing when she was six years old, simply because it “looked awesome.”

 Her enjoyment of dance has escalated into a passion.

 “I dance six days a week, and it’s great,” McDowell said.

 Little did McDowell know, on that fateful first day of dance class, these unfamiliar faces would become her second family.

 “Dancing has allowed me to make some amazing lifelong friendships that wouldn’t have been possible to make at school,” said McDowell.

There is also the competitive side of Irish dancing; the training never stops. Just like any other sport, there is always room for growth and for improvement.

 “I love how in Irish dance there is always something to look forward to. There is always some performance or competition to be training for,” said McDowell.

 The sound of the hard shoes on the wood floor, the sound of the beautiful music saturating the room, and what must be the closest feeling to being able to fly are firmly rooted in McDowell’s heart.

 “The sky is the limit for Molly’s dancing. I know she will continue her passion for as long as she can,” said junior Clara Romani.