Dear New Families,
My name is Sarah Russell and I am the Performance Booking Manager for the Trinity Irish Dancers. I am also the niece of Trinity’s founder Mark Howard. My main role here at Trinity is to schedule and coordinate all performances, specifically the busy St. Patrick’s Day schedule!
At this time of the year, most of you are just starting to get into the Trinity groove. Some of you have been dancing for about 2 months, and a handful of you may only be a week or two into dance class. No matter what point you are at on the journey so far, all of you have probably been hearing a lot of “T-P-T” talk and have thought to yourself... “Now What!?”
Unique to Trinity, especially for our first year students, is our comprehensive Trinity Performance Troupe (TPT) program. This TPT program will bring your dancers on a bold journey of teamwork, pride, heritage, and onto stages performing in front of crowds this St. Patrick’s Day. Trinity is proud to be the only Irish dance performance program that teaches dancers to approach Irish dance from a performance art lens. Your dancer will learn proper stage etiquette, mentorship, confidence, humility, and exactly what it takes to connect with an audience in any community, but specifically their own!
We’ve gathered some helpful answers and thoughts from parents who are now in their second year at Trinity. We hope you read these little tidbits and see that not only is TPT something that every new dancer just “has” to do….but that it’s not as scary and overwhelming as it might sound.
There are always going to be parents, show captains, instructors, or staff ready to help you with any of your questions. And always remember there is no such thing as a silly question!
Our next Parent Mentor Meetings/Parent Observation begin next week on Tuesday, November 6th (please refer to your class calendar for your locations date!). Your Parent Mentors will be ready to walk you through more details and information on how to sign up/what to expect for TPT. Please come prepared with any questions that have yet to be answered!
INTERVIEWS WITH SECOND YEAR TRINITY FAMILIES!
Q1: What was your favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day/TPT?
A 1: Without a doubt, the bonding. The kids on each team bond with each other throughout the shows, the little and big kids bond with each other, and the parents get to spend time together, help each other out, have adult conversations (and drinks?)!
A 2: The camaraderie of parents/dancers.
A 3:Seeing my daughter love performing was a favorite part, as was the part when she took the microphone at her school (she was a preschooler) and confidently introduced herself to the audience and said her favorite part about Irish dance was dancing on stage!
Q2: What tip can you offer a new parent debating signing up for TPT?
A 1: Sign up for as much as you can do, but if you have a conflict, that’s ok. We all have other things going on in our lives.
A 2:There are lots of people willing to help....help tie laces, help show your kids or the parents where to go and stand, help driving kids between shows, help with extra activities and snacks, and there’s almost always one or more parents who have really great cameras and who take amazing pictures to share!
A 3: The secondary class originally overwhelmed me. Having to drive out a second night of the week at first sounded impossible. It was relatively easy to work out carpools since so many families were joining TPT so we eventually did not have much to worry about. I think having the second class actually made our daughter love Irish dance even more, once she started performing we were in it for good! I guess my suggestion would just be that while it may seem like a LOT signing up for St. Patrick's Day was the best part of our first year at Trinity.
Q 3: What were you most worried/confused/nervous about and at what point did that worry go away?
A 1: I was worried my kids would be scared on stage. But the progression of having a big kid to help, to then being on stage with their friends doing a dance they’ve practiced over and over, plus the way the big kids build up the whole team’s confidence....it’s truly inspiring to watch.
A 2:Making sure our dancer was able to get to every performance on time. Once we realized that the events were spaced out enough, it put us at ease.
A 3: I was not sure how we would get through the longer day of performances. We said "ok, so we have 7 performances...maybe we just try to go to 5?" And our daughter surprised us by going strong the whole day and wanting to do them all and not having any meltdowns. She was sad when the last one was over!
Q 4: What was your dancers favorite part?
A 1: My kids love being on stage now! They love seeing the smiling faces looking back at them while they have fun with their friends.
A 2: The crowds applauding the dancers.
A 3: My dancer loved seeing her friends before and after the shows, performing, and watching the older dancers from the sidelines.
Q 5: Any other thoughts or funny memories of your first year?
A 1:Just the joy of watching the dancers perform and improving with each performance.
Other nice memories - I was incredibly impressed with the maturity of the older dancers, show captains and drillers that work with the younger kids and take them through the season. They are very encouraging and great role models for the kids!
A 2: Don’t let the schedule, or the enthusiasm around TPT overwhelm you. It is a big commitment for sure, but you and your kids will have one of the most amazing experiences you can imagine. There’s tons of support for the dancers and families. We truly are a team.