Sunday 8 June 2014


So many of my readers are crazy about Irish dancing, I've decided to do another feature on it... read on and see just what it is about this style of dance that inspires such passion!

Nicole says:
I've been Irish dancing for just over a year now. I have competed in two feisanna and am now intermediate in a couple of dances. I go to Fakenham Irish Dance School, which is a new one but quite big, and over the year we've been going we have become like a kind of family. I fell in love with Irish dancing when I saw Riverdance on You Tube; I loved the music, the clothes and obviously the dancing! When I heard about the new class starting, I couldn't believe my luck. Since then we've done many demonstrations and we had a St patrick's Day ceilidh and showcase, which was fantastic. In the future I hope to get better and better at dancing; I'd like to see Riverdance and Lord of the Dance live - and if I practise enough perhaps one day I can be part of it, too!
I've written a poem which expresses what dance means to me:

My feelings are like Irish dance.
Some days, I'm like a slip jig; calm, gentle and elegant like a kite in the wind.
Some days I'm like a single jig; bouncy, energetic, full of life, bringing energy wherever I go.
Some days I'm like a treble jig; flamboyant, determined, trying to make sure I am heard.
Some days I'm like a hornpipe; melodic and in rhythm with the world, like the second hand ticking on a clock.
Some days I'm a reel; loud or quiet, but always fast and on the ball.
So now you see - my feelings are like Irish dance.

Emma says:
I started Irish dancing when I was about four but never took it seriously until I saw the movie Jig. Mum saw an Irish dance class advertised so we went along and I was blown away by the awesome steps, cool, heavy shoes and beautiful dresses. At my first dance school there weren't many Feis's but when there were, there was SO much excitement as you could win a huge trophy. A Feis (competition) can be a really big deal - you have to dress a certain way, wear fake tan (I have no idea why!) and make-up, including dark eye make-up and lipstick so that you stand out.

I love dancing because you  learn new steps and improve all the time; and I love the new friends I have made because of it. I call them my Feis friends! I even have a dance friend in South Africa, which would never have happened otherwise. Irish dancing has taught me that nothing is impossible - if you work hard enough, you can achieve what you want. It has also taught me never to give up, and has made me a stronger and more determined person!

A Feis can be very stressful; we often have to leave very early in the morning to get there and get out hair and make-up ready. Many dancers wear wigs for a Feis but I've started having my own hair, worn in a side bun with bows and flowers in it. I used to wear a bun wig and have worn a large wig too... they are the hardest to put on, but they look amazing. The majority of my Feis friends wear bun wigs, but I'd always choose a large wig if I had to. I get my mum to do my make-up - the mums are called Feis-mums! I travel quite a lot for my dancing, and if I qualify for the World's Feis next year it would mean going to Montreal in Canada... wow! I love Irish dancing SO much and would never want to give it up!

Nicole and Emma really prove how easy it is to fall in love with Irish dancing... I love their passion and enthusiasm! COMMENT BELOW if you have been inspired to follow your dancing dreams!


  1. hi your biggest fan every single book of yours are EXTREMELY inspiring....your really amazing...your next mag should be about coping with life at school with girls that really make you feel sad and lonely as I need there is this girl who is really mean...I need help fast...lots of love cathyfan

  2. Hi, Anonymous, Blue here (just poking my nose in where I'm not wanted). Some of the earlier posts on Dreamcatcher had readers talking about their experiences with bullying and offering advice to others. If you have a quick scroll through Dreamcatcher, I'm sure you'll find those posts. You might want to work on your self confidence as it seems this girl is really chipping away at it. Join a club (online or offline), make new friends and generally, be aware of what an awesome person you are. With enough confidence in yourself, anything this girl says won't affect you. Why should it matter what she thinks? You don't need her permission to be yourself. If you really don't think you can cope, talk to someone. Maybe a teacher or a parent who could resolve the issue or you could call up Childline if you want some emotional support.You can find the number online and it's on payphones as well. I can't remember the number at the moment though, sorry. I would recommend talking to a teacher though. No one has a right to be making you feel uncomfortable or upset at school, it should be a safe place so the sooner this girl stops bullying you, the better. If you think telling would just make things worse, refer back to my earlier points about boosting self confidence. Don't let the girl know she's upset you (I find acknowledging negative comments with only a raised eyebrow and contemptuous laugh, maybe a slight head shake and a sigh as if to say "You ACTUALLY think your words have any effect on me?!" got rid of bullies pretty quickly) and she may move on because bullies like the sense of power they have over the people they bully and your reaction gives them that power. You don't react, they usually get bored and leave you alone. As you know, Cathy has written several books that deal with the topic of bullying (Driftwood and Gingersnaps spring to mind) so you're not alone in dealing with this. However you decide to go about stopping the bullying, good luck.
    Blue. :-)



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...