August Dancer of the Month - Cayleigh O’Hare

Our Dancer of the Month, Cayleigh O’Hare describes herself as a joyful person, a dedicated dancer, a serious 7th-grade student, but also a sincere friend. In her free time, she likes reading and the excitement of learning new things. For example, she taught herself how to play piano, is challenging herself to take high school Honors Latin for the second year. Additionally, she has been working on Mandarin Chinese since she was 6 years old with a friend of the family. Cayleigh’s primary passion and #1 sport is Irish Dancer and she likes rising to new heights with new choreography.

Cayleigh started out in a gymnastics class. Her Mom just happened to talk to another Mom there who was an Irish dance teacher. Neither Cayleigh nor her Mom had heard of kindergarteners doing Irish dance and her Mom thought it sounded “cute.” Consequently, she signed Cayleigh up for a little kid’s beginner class. Neither one of them had any idea what they were getting into. They did not even know there was competition involved. That was- 8.5 years ago and she has been dancing since then.

She says that her happiest moment related to dance has to be the very first time she qualified for the World Championships. That moment was as thrilling a night as at the awards. It was the first time she could qualify based on her age and her hope was really that she would one day hear her name called, but she didn’t expect it would happen that soon. The other cool part was her mom had said she did not need to get her ears pierced at age 9 years of age. Her Mom thought the only reason she would need to pierce was for a big deal dance event and that was not expected to happen for some time in the future. However, since Cayleigh was suddenly going to Worlds, her Mom allowed her to get her ears pierced earlier than she had hoped would happen. That was a great bonus!

Cayleigh has always wanted to ski in Colorado. Although she has never skied at all, she would like to learn and she thinks that Colorado just looks like an amazing place to learn to ski.

Cayleigh and her Mom’s first experience with Bdancewear occurred when they were searching for a pair of silver or grey bloomers to wear with my brand-new dress. The process of ordering was easy, and when her Mom emailed Bdancewear to let them know what their deadline was in order to get them in time for the Nationals in July, the customer service person emailed back to Cayleigh and her Mom know that even though even though the bloomers were custom made and they were running into a lot of other dancer deadlines, there would be no problem getting them to Cayleigh and her Mom in time for the Nationals. That was amazing particularly since it was their first purchase from B Dancewear and she and her Mom were taking a chance on getting the bloomers in time and that they would be well made. They were happy to find that not only were they on time but they were well made. Plus, the color is so fun with sparkly silver!

Her goal for this year is to remain injury-free and to “recall” overseas. She has been to the All-Irelands twice, All-Scotlands, and two World Championships. Being consistently ranked in the top half of the World/internationally is great, but being recalled for that final set dance feels like a reward for hard work paying off! She has trained harder than she has ever trained before and hopes to have her best year of dance ever in 2017-2018. New choreography helps to keep her motivated and helps to keep pushing to master tricky parts. There is a lot of pain involved in your feet and hips and legs in Irish dance, but Cayleigh is really feeling quite well rounded and physically healthy this year.

According to Cayleigh, dance has literally taken her all over the United States, Canada, and The United Kingdom - including Ireland and Scotland. But she thinks it has already taken her to the best destination—to the most wonderful group of instructors and dancers anywhere she can imagine, at the Lavin-Cassidy School of Irish dance in Oak Lawn, Illinois. When she transferred there a little over a year ago, she did not know anyone, and now she cannot imagine her life without these amazing people. She focuses on each major dance competition one at a time and is looking forward to seeing London and Brighton in a few weeks. The travel part of Irish dance is really an incredible opportunity, and she likes to make sure they have time to explore new cities, try new foods, and get used to jet-lag before she goes on stage.