Dancer steps up to Irish tradition

Courtesy Mac Schauman

Krunal Patel, Staff Writer

Walking through a park in Ireland,  one might expect to see people performing Irish step dancing, but here in Brevard County?

“I first started Irish Step Dancing when I was 5 years old,” senior Mac Schauman said. “My mom was the first one to teach me and still continues to teach me today.”

He inherited his love for step dancing from mother’s side of the family.

“My grandma, who was originally from Ireland, taught my mom,” he said. “After I was old enough, my mom decided to teach me how to dance.”

Mac regularly competes in events including the Southern Region Oireachtas.

“This year, I placed second in the competition, but I was mad that I didn’t get first,” he said.

Because Mac placed in the Top 10, he qualified for the world competition which is set to take place in Ireland in April.

“I am really not expecting to win anything,” he said. “I just want to have fun while I compete with other dancers from all around the world.”

Two to three months before the competition, Mac says he will start practicing four to five days a week at the studio in his house.

“Practicing for the competition is very tiresome,” he said. “Lately, I haven’t practiced at all because I injured my achilles tendon.”

Mac’s mom, Dawn, says he’s has a learned a lot from the dancing.

“Mac has become very dedicated and hardworking after learning Irish step dancing,” she said.

When Mac is not practicing for his competitions, he is teaching others or making new steps for his dances.

“It’s always fun to make twists to the traditional dance,” he said. “Changing the dances makes it a lot more enjoyable.”

Mac’s older sister Casey once participated in the same events Mac competes in today.

“I was dancing because my friends danced with me, which made it a lot more fun,” she said.

Because he is a senior,  Mac soon will be moving on to college. As he transitions, he is unsure about whether he will continue dancing.

 

“I haven’t really decided if I will continue dancing,” Schauman said. “I want to experience college and see how it works out before I decide if I will go on with it.”