Posted in Dance, Dance Fam Stories: Through the eyes of a Student

‘Dance Fam Stories: Through the Eyes of a Student – Christmas Special with Dee Donohoe’

I’m absolutely delighted to share Dee’s dance journey with you all.

Dee is a very special student and friend of mine. She has been my student from day one, dancing with me since my very first Zumba® class in Shoreline Greystones back in June 2011. She was always there, every single class – front and centre with a big smile on her face. Even when I moved my classes to different locations a few years later, she followed me and kept dancing. We soon became great friends and I was delighted to have Dee also joining Strictly Come Dancing Fundraiser in aid of The Gavin Glynn Foundation in 2016 which I was choreographing. Soon after when I started ‘Dance Greystones’ Dee was the first one to sign up. Her dedication, friendship and support is something I really treasure and I can’t wait for you to read all about her dance journey where she shares what dancing and everything that comes with it means to her.

When did your dance journey first start?

I started dancing when I was about five years old – Irish Dancing in school.

Then when I was about 10 years old I took up ballet, loved it but had to stop in my teens due to a bad knee injury, not to mention the pressure of school exams.

That was pretty much the last dancing I did, apart from the usual clubbing, until one day a friend of mine asked me had I tried Zumba®. I hadn’t, so she brought me along.

Do you remember your very first Zumba® class? What was it like?

I do. I remember I thought this is the exercise for me. At last I’ve found ‘my thing’. I was attending a morning class then added in an evening class (I couldn’t get enough of it) which turned out to be Vicky’s first Zumba® class in the local sports centre. OMG it was packed out! The lights were turned down, the music was loud and I was having a ball. It felt like a party, not just a great workout.

And so it continued. I was 100% hooked on dance. I was doing something I love, getting really fit, toning, having a full body workout while having the best of fun. Amazing!

As time went on, Vicky branched out on her own, running her Zumba® classes and also running and choreographing Strictly Come Dancing charity events. I thought I could so do that! I signed up for an event. It felt so scary! But so exhilarating! Raising all that money for a worthy cause, meeting amazing people, and having the time of my life, all simultaneously – what’s not to love?

You became part of Dance Greystones since the very start. What does Dance Greystones mean to you and what made you stick with it? 

Eventually, organically, Dance Greystones grew out of an adult dance class which is more than a Zumba® class. And where was I? Front and centre of course! Lapping up every new step, loving every minute of it, meeting like minded people from all walks of life, who have become some of my best friends. In fact, we are a bunch of people who have become like a family to each other. We call ourselves the ‘Dance Fam’.

What do you think is the best part of the term for you?

We learn a new choreography to a different song every four weeks or so and at the end of the term we shoot a video. At first I was so nervous about dancing and acting in front of the camera, appearing on YouTube for posterity, but once we had done a few videos, the shoots became such an important part of what we do. We love showcasing our progress and it is so good to have something to look back on and remember all the fun times.

It makes me very proud, when I look back at our videos, to see how far we have come and how much we have improved. We all, each one of us, stepped out of our comfort zones, and are having the time of our lives.

“Every dance you make belongs to you. It is part of your collection. When you think of it like that, you’ll want to make your next routine the best you’ve ever made!” – Torron-Lee Dewar

What is your favourite dance/ video up to date?

One of my favourite dances and shoots is ‘The Mask’. The choreography was amazing, the videography was very cool, we all had such fun, but mostly I had the opportunity to dance alongside my daughter who starred as ‘The Mask’, disguised in green face paint. It was actually quite an emotional experience. I would have to say that this is a very special memory for me, and it would never have happened without the medium of dance.

Another favourite one is ‘Great Gatsby’ as it played to my love of all things 1920s, from the music to the costumes to learning proper Charleston steps.

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How does dancing in general make you feel?

I feel that dance is a hobby that I found, which has enhanced my life, opened up new opportunities, introduced me to some amazing friends. I am very lucky to have the health and fitness to be able to do it, and I hope to never stop. In fact, I have recently taken up Ballroom and Latin dance classes, and am absolutely loving it.

When you find ‘your thing’, be sure to pursue it, you never know where it might take you. I am so glad that my friend said to me that day, a few years ago: “have you ever tried Zumba®?”…I did and I have never looked back.

It is never too late, Dance is for everyone, irrespective of age or fitness. It’s never too late.

Love,

Dee x

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