A moment with…. Laura Kirkman

During lockdown we have lost our special moments with each other after class so we thought we would recreate that as best we could with our new interview series called ‘A Moment with…’

Meet Laura… a beautiful dancer with a conscientious approach to most things in her life. She always shows up for dance but for herself too and is such a positive spirit to have in the IDVillage. I love her and I know you will too. So let’s get started!

Watch the interview by clicking here…
Listen to the podcast by clicking here…
Or read on below…

So Laura, tell us about yourself
I’m 23 years old and live in Edinburgh. I work as a trainee solicitor. I started my job remotely which was not what I had envisioned and whilst I look forward to going to the office and meeting my colleagues in person, working from home does have its benefits – my commute is now the length of my hallway and I can turn up to work in my slippers! The HIIT classes are also helping to counter the dangers that come with the close proximity of the fridge! I never really planned to become a lawyer and sometimes question if an office job is for me, but I enjoy working with others and find each day challenging and rewarding.

How did you discover Irish dance?
I think Irish dance can be so mesmerizing when everyone is in sync. I love the team spirit and feel such a buzz in class. For a moment, in the comfort of my own living room, I can pretend I am in Riverdance! The music is also fab and I am enjoying learning some trad dances. I started Irish dance when I was at university. It’s not something I’d ever tried before but a friend recommended it. I’m so glad I went. I have had some really fun experiences and made great friends. I’m trained in ballet so I do have a dancing background but I enjoy the challenge each Irish dance class brings.

What is it about Irish Dance Village that you think people need to know before joining?
I love the welcoming and uplifting atmosphere created at the IDVillage. Whether a novice Irish dancer like myself or an experienced performer, everyone is made to feel welcome and part of the community. I enjoy the mix of performance choreography and the Trad dances, as well as the focus on fitness and strength at the beginning of each class. I hope we can share a studio soon and have fun putting together all the choreography we have been learning at home! I’m also loving the collaborations the IDV has made. Yoga with Laura Watt on a Saturday morning starts the weekend off right! It’s not something I’ve tried before but it has definitely become part of my routine.

When not working or dancing what do you get up to? I’m an avid reader and so have spent many hours in lockdown making my way through my bookshelf! Like many people, a daily walk has now become part of my routine. I have discovered some beautiful new routes on my doorstep which I probably wouldn’t have found if we hadn’t had so much time. My attempts at running have been more mixed! I think this winter has taught me I’m a summer runner and so I am hoping with lighter mornings and evenings and less snow and ice, I will discover some motivation again! I also love spending time with my friends and family. A dream of mine is to go travelling, learn about new cultures and make some amazing memories!

What has lockdown taught you? I’ve had two very different lockdown experiences. The first time round, I was finishing my university course. There were lots of cancelled celebrations and trips and like everyone my plans were thrown out the window. The second time round, I had started my job and felt very grateful to be working. Throughout this past year, I have learnt routine is important for me, as is adaptability and learning to simply go with the (yoga) flow! As much as I am grateful we have the technology to connect with others from our homes, nothing beats seeing friends and family in person. Lockdown has taught me never to say no to a coffee with a friend or a night out ever again! 

Heart-filled is the founding philosophy of the Irish Dance Village … finding small things every day to help us feel strong, content, inspired and the list goes on. It is a little different for everyone. So how do you find ‘heart-filled’? I love the heart-filled philosophy of the IDV. Finding little moments of joy each day helps me to feel heart-filled. When I nail a new step in class, when a quick call with a friend turns into a life catch-up, when a stranger smiles and says ‘hi’ out on my walk, my heart feels full .💚

You can watch our conversation on our Facebook page

Heart Filled

Like a lot of us in Lockdown, I have used this time to reflect. I examined what my life ‘before’ looked like but more importantly what it felt like. I knew there was something missing. I realised my heart wasn’t completely full and I wanted to change that.

The morning that changed everything was the morning I went in the sea at 6.55am and watched the sunrise. I don’t know if it was the pumping adrenalin as the cold water chilled me to my core, the sheer beauty of the calmest sea, the momentous power of witnessing a sunrise or that the last few weeks I had spent time listening to my quietest voice, the deep down one. Now she was shouting and being heard as my face filled with sunshine and met a new day.

So what led to this moment? Well, every morning for a few weeks I had been walking in silence in the gorgeous fields surrounding my house and eventually the surface chatter full of anxiety, to-do lists and noise fell away and sitting there was this idea of what does a full heart look and feel like? What does that mean to me? I started to curate the vision of the life that I wanted to live; the life I deserved to live; and then I wanted to live it! For me it means bringing and experiencing joy, being inspired and inspiring others, being present and focussed on gratitude, seeking out solitude; filling my heart so that I could fill others’. If I am depleted then how can I be the best version of myself and in turn be the best Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Friend or Teacher. Simply, I cannot.

Enter a new way of thinking; let’s make every day a 10 out of 10 day, let’s share this new energy and encourage others to feel this too. Let’s seek out the things that fill my heart and do more of that!

Enter connectivity, inspiration and joy.

Enter the Irish Dance Village and a heart filled.

Credits: Orlaith Brogan, Fearne Cotton and Laura Piper who all inspired this journey.

Irish Dance Village

The three pillars that are the foundation of the Village are:
TRADITION | PERFORMANCE | FITNESS
and now it has all fallen into place…. a beautiful, supportive, encouraging space known as the Irish Dance Village. With a strong ethos on having a heart filled our new community offers opportunities to do this and be the best versions of ourselves every single day.

Siamsoir and The Irish Dance Academy still very much exist – they are the Village. They are joined by RoxyFit Irish Dance, the branch of the Village that offers the fitness and wellbeing training.
As and when lockdown eases there will be so much more added to our offerings in terms of physical classes, new experiences and workshops but for now, lets build this unique online space and get back in touch with our glorious Irish dance selves.

With love,
Jenni
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