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Love of Neighbor Begins At Home… or at Irish Dance Competitions! - by Courtney Kaderbeck

Love of Neighbor Begins At Home… or at Irish Dance Competitions!


I have dreams of winning the Irish Dance Regionals one day and competing at the World Championships.

A piece of advice I have long remembered is to begin practicing love of neighbor by loving those within my home. So far, I am ashamed to admit that the youngest member of my household has surpassed me in this regard, and instead of practicing love of neighbor, I have found myself surrounded by a pure and selfless love far beyond what I have reciprocated.

I am a competitive Irish dancer. I have dreams of winning Regionals one day and of competing at the World Championships. I am not surprised that I have these dreams. What surprises me is that someone else shares these dreams with me.

Love of Neighbor Begins At Home… or at Irish Dance Competitions! - by Courtney Kaderbeck

My sister used to take Irish dance classes, but when our family moved to Savannah, she stopped dancing. It wasn’t her passion. She never competed. When she quit Irish dance, she could have easily distanced herself from the crazy, stressful Irish dance scene altogether. Instead, she chose to invest her time, energy, and emotions into my Irish dancing dreams.

Aside from my mother, my little sister has the biggest feis (Irish dance competition) attendance record than anyone else in my family. She attends every feis I go to, whenever she can. She knows that she will be sitting around, from 9am to 6pm, on a Saturday that could have been spent doing fun activities at home – and that doesn’t even include the drive home.

Midnight is the current record for the “latest late-night arrival back at home.” Sometimes she even does her schoolwork in the hotel room on Saturday mornings, because her Friday was interrupted by the long drive to the feis (during which she might still be doing schoolwork).

But she goes anyway.

This is my little sister.

This is the sister who patiently stands with the stopwatch while I jump rope for endurance. This is the sister who always comes to critique and provide feedback on my dancing when I ask. This is the sister who just can’t seem to resist buying me Irish dance gear at competitions, because she knows how much I love it all.

This is the sister who cries with pride when I dance particularly well onstage. This is the sister who tells me how beautiful my dancing was when I get offstage. This is the sister who battled her way to the front row at the Regionals awards ceremony, simply to beam and snap a photo of me standing onstage.

This is the sister who swore after she missed seeing me win my first 1st in Preliminary Championships that she would never miss another competition lest she fail to witness my second, and last, victory in Prelims. This is the sister who cried harder than I did when I finally won my second 1st place in Preliminary Championships and leveled up into Open Championships.

This is the sister who has more faith in me as a dancer than I do, and never fails to provide me with a good pep talk when I need it. This is my little sister, who has repeatedly demonstrated a more selfless love of neighbor than I can boast of.

Love of Neighbor Begins At Home… or at Irish Dance Competitions! - by Courtney Kaderbeck | The Sisters!

It is unfair that I receive far more applause and attention for my dancing accomplishments than she does for her sacrificial love. But God has seen all of her sacrifices, and I am convinced that He is extremely proud of her.

And although I am the one getting awarded the trophies and sashes right now, I know that one day He will reward her for what she has done for her sister and neighbor in Christ.

About Courtney Kaderbek

Courtney Kaderbek
Courtney Kaderbek is a graduate of Seton Home Study School. She holds a degree in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama and works as a freelance writer and videographer. When she is not training for an upcoming Irish dance competition, she happily succumbs to her God-given passion: writing stories that reflect the epic beauty of God’s creation.

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