There are many reasons why someone becomes a Star, well a 'Star or Celebrity' as we know it in the world today. The rising of a 'Star' may involve raw talent, ambition, hard work, being well connected, a youtube video that goes viral or simply being in the right place at the right time. Often, it is the people behind the scenes who are the driving force in turning someone into a Star and I refer to these people as the real Stars. They are the creative visionaries such as the producers, writers, directors, art directors, composers, musicians, designers, make up artists, hair stylists, costume designers, set designers, stage designers, photographers, life coaches, voice coaches, teachers, mums, dads, agents and choreographers......
I always wanted to be one of those people among that long list and so I became a choreographer because I loved how dancing made me feel.
I did enjoy school but I was always misbehaving and never did my homework. I was sporty (which kind of saved me) and I loved my school mates but jump forward many years later, and ironically, all I want to do nowadays is to be a sswotty student all day long.
There was no such option as attending a School for the Performing Arts after I left school. The closest to it was watching Leroy starring in 'Fame' on TV! I always remember crying my eyes after seeing the musical Annie in the Gaiety Theatre and begging my Dad to take me to the Billy Barry Stage school, It never did happen as there was more a focus on sports in my family, so my growing up years were in sports such as gymnastics, athletics, tennis & hockey.
Since there was no choice to do drama or dance, I did not know what to do with myself so my mum encouraged me to go to a college in Grenoble, France. My mum thought that by learning French and living abroad, it would give me a good education. My mum was so right, I caught the travel & food bug (the best education for life ever) and to this day I have not stopped adventures in foreign countries.
Although I discovered dance very late in life, I do think my mum set me off in the right direction, she instilled a love of meeting new people, food and travel in me. I therefore have no regrets on the roundabout longer journey I took to finding my dancing feet. Oh yes, I suffer bouts of imposter syndrome and enormous self doubt for never having any formal training, but because of this insecurity, I never want to stop going to class to learn, train and grow...
It was a couple of years after my time in France when I was on a trip in NYC when I saw kids dancing on the street. It was Hip Hop/Street dance on that very day, my love affair with Hip Hop began....I loved everything about its free flowing expression, bad ass fierce attitude and fun! This passion I had led me to a life long career in dance. The best part, without a shadow of a doubt, was sharing the Hip Hop love with other people at dance class!
Last year, when I was booked as Choreographer reporter on 'Dancing with the Stars' in Ireland, I wanted to know everything about Latin & Ballroom. I had some experience with these dance styles which were incorporated into gigs over the years but I needed to up my game. I watched every episode of the UK version of 'Strictly', learned all the rules of each style but the best thing I did in preparation for my role was call upon Wojitek Potaszkin, a highly skilled professional dancer from Poland. Wojitek is brilliant, he is not only one of the best dancers in Latino & Ballroom in Ireland, he is also very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.....
I was making such progress in dance styles such as the 'Cha Cha' & 'Rumba' that we decided to enter a Latin & Ballroom competition. It was the combination of my great teacher Wojitek, the practice and dedication we put in to rehearsals that earned us a first place gold cup win!
What I realise is that when you find a creative splurge of interest in learning any new skill or the desire to accomplish something new, you need to act on it. There is an added bonus when a deadline or goal is in place, in this case for me, it was a TV gig and a dance competition. I believe that we can become good at anything at anytime in life. It is the people who support and encourage us along the way who I would consider to be the real Stars!
When you find that fire in your belly for something, it will never feel like a chore. It is even better when you find the right teacher to help you reach your goal. I am always banging on about finding your tribe & the right kind of teachers but I do believe it makes all the difference in turning you into the Star of your own show in life.....
Since he opened his new school, it is no wonder the 'Wojitek Potaszkin School of Dance' is up for the prize for best dance school in Ireland. When there is quality instruction, authenticity and passion involved, a school has a chance for success. Of course it also helps that Latino & Ballroom for men and women have become hugely popular since 'Dancing with the Stars' hit our screens.
Dance is also sociable, skilful, elegant, challenging AND fat burning but you can dance these particular styles at any age. So if you wanna learn how to Cha Cha & Rumba like a pro, I would highly recommend the 'Wojitek School of Dance' you never know, you too could win that first place gold cup too!!!
"I have such respect and love for anyone who has ever encouraged and taught me. Teachers are such important people, they will make or break the shining star in you.
My mum, boyfriend, teacher Wojitek, sister to name a few are the real stars in my life "
Follow Wojitek Potaszkin School of Dance on facebook & vote for his school to win best dance school! We need to keep this Latino Flava alive & kicking in Ireland. You will also find all of the Wojitek School of Dance information and updates on Latin & Ballroom for Kids and Adults.