Minneapolis dance school helps student with shyness

Minneapolis dance school helps student with shyness

Angie's List member Karen Wills of Bloomington, Minn. says dancing runs in her family. Her only child, Emma, is carrying on the tradition. She's been attending Scoil na dTri (pronounced skull-na-dree) for more than nine years, and the 15-year-old high school junior doesn't have plans to quit anytime soon.

"We have some Irish heritage, so Emma wrote a report on the country," Karen says. "That's when she got into Irish dance. She's moved up through the levels, from a beginner to the preliminary championship level."

While Emma has achieved great success with her dancing skills, Karen credits the school with teaching Emma more than she expected.

"Dancing has been good for her development in many ways," Karen says. "Emma has accelerated academically, but I think she's been able to gain an appreciation for the physical gifts some of her friends have."

Karen says the school has helped her previously shy child become more socially engaged, teaching her lessons about collaboration, sharing, tolerance, companionship and compassion. "I didn't want her to be a self-involved only child," Karen says. "Scoil na dTri has been huge in terms of building character, her moral base and sense of self."

Karen believes a lot of that comes from how Buckley runs the school. She says it's very inclusive compared to other Irish dance schools in the area, and that parallels her personal beliefs.

"Brenda's ethos is that everyone in the school should have the opportunity to perform and participate," Karen says. "I agree with that as a parent. Dancing is a part of Emma's life, but not her entire life."

Emma, who is interested in a career in broadcast journalism, has class three times a week, for a total of seven hours. Karen says the tuition averages about $10 an hour, and if she misses a class, they have an agreement that Emma has to pay up - to her mom.

"The Friday class is now conflicting with her favorite TV show," Karen laughs. "So if she decides to miss the class, she knows she owes me."

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