Katie in her Feis dress.

Katie in her Feis dress.

When Katie Dudley was five years old, her mother encouraged her to take Irish dance lessons, just as she and Katie’s grandmother had done. Initially, Katie was against the idea, until she began classes and fell in love.

When asked what finally drew her in, Katie mentioned, “There is so much I love about Irish step.  First of all, the counting can really help you with music and math.  It also improves your posture, stamina, and flexibility.  When you do Irish step dancing, your teacher can also introduce you to other styles of dance like tap, jazz, and ballet which also improve your technique.  You are also introduced to many new people and can make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Katie’s passion for Irish Step also led her to Pilates. During a summer dance camp, which she’s attended for the past five years, Katie did Pilates for an hour each day. Recently, she began taking private lessons with Personal Euphoria in Wethersfield to continue to enhance her Irish Step.

Pilates focuses on lengthening the muscle while it is engaged and under load (eccentric contractions), which helps Katie become stronger and longer. She likes how relaxed Pilates makes her feel (thanks in part to its focus on the breath) and enjoys getting the feeling of a stretch while at the same time building the power she needs for Irish Step Dancing.

The power of Pilates, combined with Katie’s hard work and determination, is reflected by Katie placing 2nd out of 45 competitors at the New England Oireachtas, which is the regional Irish step dancing competition. Katie believes Pilates helps with Irish Step by lengthening and strengthening all of her muscles and appreciates how it has helped her work through injuries.

When asked what her favorite move is, Katie says “a plank because it is a basic move you can do just about anywhere and you can really feel it working your core!”  So, has Katie motivated you to get down and do a plank or your favorite Pilates exercise?  Do you have a goal that you would like Pilates to help you reach?

To learn more about Pilates for Irish Step Dancers, watch our YouTube Video.

Written By Jess Tucker (Personal Euphoria Instructor)