Sophomore dances her way to a confident lifestyle

Maggie Klaers grows as a person in the studio


Carissa Prestholdt

Sophomore Maggie Klaers poses with her teammate Melanie Smith after a long day of shows starting at 4 p.m. Aug. 13 on Harriet Island in St. Paul. This show at the Irish fair is one of many Maggie performs in around St. Patrick’s Day.

Isabel Kjaer

Sophomore Maggie Klaers has participated in Irish dance for 11 years while gradually growing her character, according to her coach of three years, Ashley Cheek.

Cheek said she believes Klaers has grown in confidence by dancing in a smaller group of peers.

Her self confidence has really improved as a dancer. She used to seem really timid,” Cheeksaid.
According to Cheek, Klaers has been putting herself in more leadership positions in the studio.

I’ve seen her taking more of a leadership role in her classes, whereas before she would kind of step to the back (of the class),” Cheek said.
According to Cheek, Klaers recognizes Irish dance is about more than just the wigs and dresses.

(Klaers) sees the other aspects of the importance of dance, how it teaches us discipline and an overall healthy lifestyle and serving as mentors to other people. I really think she’s somebody who takes it all in and utilizes it for things outside of dance,” Cheek said.

Klaers said dancing improves her persistence and makes her feel more relaxed in presenting situations.

“(Dancing has) made me a lot more determined and more comfortable on stage and speaking in front of people because I’m used to performing in front of large groups of people now,” Klaers said.

Cheek said Klaers recognizes the health perks of Irish dance and incorporates them in Klaers’s daily routine.

“(Klaers is) always looking for other ways to cross-train and live a more fit lifestyle,” Cheek said.

Meanwhile, Klaers said she enjoys mastering new moves.

I like trying the new steps and learning the new pieces because it’s always fun to learn new tricks,” Klaers said.