Oakmont High School senior Shannon Sylve has been taking Irish dance lessons since the age of 8 at O’Sullivan’s Academy of Irish Dance in Roseville. When did you first get involved with Irish dancing? My mom asked me one day when I was 8 if I wanted to try Irish dance and I said yes. So I went to my first class and came out crying because I couldn’t do 123s (the basic step of Irish dance) and everyone else could. But after a month of it I was hooked and there was no turning back. Do you compete and if so what awards have you received? I do compete. If you want to move through and progress through Irish dance you have to compete. You win awards when you place and move up levels but I have not won any titles yet. When I perform I wear my school dress or my solo dress. The solo dress is unique in the way that there will never be two of the same dress made. What is the most challenging aspect of Irish dancing? First is getting your confidence level boosted because it is really easy to fall into the dumps when you have not been consistently placing in competition. The second is trying to think about your whole entire body position and your steps all at the same time. The third challenging aspect for me is my stamina. What’s with the wig? The curly wigs are a tradition in Irish dance. There is no where that it says you have to wear it but is kind of an unspoken rule. When starting out most people curl their hair. Do you have a favorite dance? The dances that I love to perform would be my soft shoe dances. That is where I feel the most natural and free. These dances have always been my strongest because of my high leaps and kicks. Also I can do a lot more tricks with my soft shoe dances.