Irish dance instructor uses studio to help children battle anxiety

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

A Westchester dance instructor is using her studio to help children battle anxiety. 

She left her homeland of Ireland when she was 18 years old and now owns her namesake Deirdre O'Mara School of Irish Dance in Yonkers.

She says that like many young dancers, she grew up stressed. The difference now, she says, is she had nowhere to turn. 

O'Mara says her parents would belittle her and fail to address her panic attacks.

When she was 21, she says she found out there was a diagnosis for what she had been feeling for her whole life — anxiety. 

Now she says she wants to spare children from feeling the way she did.

O'Mara says she is noticing a growing number of children with different forms of anxiety, especially before competitions.  

To combat that, she is launching support group in September. It will meet monthly at her studio to allow people to discuss themselves or just listen.

She says she will also invite professionals to offer advice on how to deal with different forms of anxiety.

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