Coco's Blog

Friday, 10 September 2010 06:02

Let's Dance

Written by Coco
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Irish and ballet dancers

How should I feel about my daughter wanting to participate in Irish dance at school? I happen to think that Irish dancing is beautiful, so it’s not the actual activity that I’m having a problem with but maybe it’s more the personal cultural aspects around my girls participating in Irish dance.

My parents were both born in Mexico and I grew up watching Mexican folkloric dance. I had always hoped that my children would want to participate in this type of dance as an activity. My daughter has seen both type of dances performed at school functions and church festivals, so I’m a bit torn that she has expressed interest in only Irish dance.

There is that part of me that wants to let her explore her interests and let her do Irish dance, but on the other hand I want to point her in the direction of the beautiful folkloric dances that I grew up watching. I remember being mesmerized when I would see Mexican folkloric dancers perform.  The dresses were so colorful, the dances were so lively and the music was simply beautiful. My husband understands my point of view, but he didn’t grow up with this type of dancing, so it’s not personal to him.

Maybe I’m thinking about this too much?  I also think about what my family and friends will say - will they think I’m not educating my kids about their Latino culture?  One of my friends had a small concern - "Would your daughter fit in?" Did she mean this because my daughter a.  is 1/2 Mexican and 1/2 White or b. doesn't look "Irish" or European?  She meant both.  I've thought about this and the truth is that her school's Irish dance group is surprisingly diverse.

A while back I remember hearing about an Irish dance team called The Keltic Dreams.  The dancers are African American and Latino girls and boys from the Bronx, NY!  It seems that this outlet has been such a positive experience for these young students - they’ve been to Ireland and met the President of the USA!  In the end, that's want I want for my daughters - to be involved in positive activities that build her self esteem, encourage them to work hard and are fun.

Oh, and by the way, my 4-year-old daughter has only expressed interest in ballet, so chances are that this year we’ll be at ballet and Irish dance practices.  I'm willing to give it a try.




Last modified on Friday, 10 September 2010 06:53


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