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 Taking the Stage

We started down this path without knowing where it would lead us.  One year we were at the St. Patrick’s Day parade with our three year old girl who was completely taken by the Irish dancers. The Irish dancing schools didn’t start lessons until children were five. She was still interested when she turned five and she started taking classes.  That first year, we went to watch our first Irish dance competition after learning that Irish dance was competitive. (Who knew?)  We walked into a world we didn’t know existed.  We are now part of that world. 

The St. Patrick’s Day parade is no longer something we watch but something we do. 

And here is our girl, competitor #831, dancing the treble jig last weekend at a local Irish dance competition. 

   Treble Jig

I asked her this morning what she liked about dancing. She said, “The steps, my friends, the competitions… everything.”


Maybe not everything.  She’s not a fan of wearing a big curly wig.  It has to be pinned on tight.  It’s part of the costume and she puts up with it until the first possible moment she can take it off.  

I still don’t know where this path is going. It’s been a surprising one so far, and not one I would have imagined myself on a few years ago.  But, she loves it.  (Her grandparents do too and fund the project.  There are shirts sold at competitions that say, “I don’t dance – I finance.”)  So, we’re following her and enjoying what love looks like.


I find dance a visually compelling and challenging subject. It’s hard to capture the motion of the dancing, the lighting conditions are usually difficult and often using a flash isn’t possible. But, I keep trying. For stage photos, I use manual exposure since the dark stage invariable fools the meter that everything is dark and the main subject is overexposed. And, many of the photos are destined for deletion. But, again, the beauty of digital is that there is no harm in trying and trying and trying.

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