Student Spotlight: Sage Sigler

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Student Spotlight: Sage Sigler

Sofia Gilmore-Montero, News Editor/Distribution Manager

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Sage Sigler is a freshman majoring in mathematics who joined the UNO community after graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School. Beyond the Lakeview area, she dances for the Muggivan School of Irish Dance in Metairie, where she’s a nationally ranked Irish dancer. Sigler discussed her passion for dance in an interview for Driftwood.    


SGM – Sofia Gilmore-Montero, News Editor

SS – Sage Sigler, dancer


SGM: What got you into Irish dancing, and when did you start?

SS: I actually had a French teacher that did it, and she would occasionally bring in videos.  I would say, ‘Oh, that looks really cool, I want to try it.’  I started right after the summer of third grade… so fourth grade.  


SGM: What do you like about Irish dancing?

SS: It’s really different from other kinds of dance. What’s cool about it is that you can do performances that are kind of casual, but there’s a competitive side as well. So people who maybe aren’t looking to compete can still do performances. I like to compete, too, so I prefer that aspect of it. And, apart from it being fun to do, it’s really good exercise. A lot of people think of dance as being just fun, but it’s also really intense and there is a lot of training involved.  


SGM: Can you give me a run-down of the different competitions, and what kind of competitions you have participated in?

SS: The smallest competition is called a feis. We [Muggivan School dancers] travel to a bunch of different states that do them. There are some here in New Orleans, like the one that just happened, but we go to Texas a lot, Florida, Georgia… they’re all over the place. The next level after that is the regional competition, Oireachtas. That’s every year in December for the Southern region, and that is where you can qualify to go to nationals, which is the next level up, and then worlds… which is the top of the top.  I haven’t qualified for worlds, but I have qualified for nationals for two years now. There are also different levels. I am an open champion, which is the highest you can get, and once you are an open champion, you automatically qualify to go to nationals every year.


SGM: How do you qualify for worlds?

SS: You can qualify at Oireachtas or nationals; usually it’s the top in the competition, or top 15 depending on how many people are in the competition.


SGM: What is one thing that most people don’t realize about Irish dancing?

SS: A lot of people get confused between Irish dancing and river dancing, and a lot of people ask me if it’s like clogging.  A river dance is the show as a whole, which incorporates Irish dancing, but also other types of dancing.  


SGM: How long do you think you are going to continue dancing?

SS: I don’t plan on stopping any time soon! There are a lot of older dancers that just have never stopped.  

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