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Fashionable Feiser: Hannah Jarvis

If you’d like to be featured as a Fashionable Feiser, send me an email at feisonista@gmail.com. No worries if you’re not a World qualified dancer or the most “trendy” person on earth – I’m looking to showcase every dancer’s style from a beginner’s blouse to the World champion’s tiara. Just own your style, whatever it is!

The next Fashionable Feiser that I’m featuring is Hannah Jarvis! Hannah is a preliminary champion Irish dancer and a preschool teacher. And of course, a fashionable feiser!

Give us some general background on yourself!

My name is Hannah, and I am 23 years old and dance in preliminary championships in the Eastern Canadian region. I am a recent education graduate and I’ve just been
hired for a job at a local preschool. That age group is so much fun, and really
have a lot to offer the world, so I’m excited to start! 🙂

Hannah at work rocking some business casual!

What’s your personal style like?

Being a teacher, I tend to have a rather preppy, classy style. I love to wear dressy tops, blazers and whatnot- somewhat feminine too. When I’m not teaching, I still like to
dress-up, but I like to blur the lines of preppy and casual. So I’ll usually throw on some capris with a less-dressy top.

In Irish dance, I LOVE the dresses that pair a traditional style with a modern flair. My own solo dress has lots of knotwork (including my favorite: the trinity knot!) with a four-panel skirt. I received it in February 2007, and still feel it’s fairly modern…I love it too much to part with it!

Hannah (left) showing off a feminine, flowy top with her sister in a beautiful setting. Making me miss home!

What influences your personal style?

Some would say that popular culture influences their style, but I wouldn’t really say that about myself. My style seems to vary depending on my mood. Sometimes I feel like
getting more dressed up, and other times I feel like wearing more flowy or
casual clothing for example.

Do you have any favorite “real life” style trends right now?

I really love the whole boho look that’s in right now; I love flowy tops and dresses that are belted just above the waist. I think it’s a really easy, feminine style. Along those lines, I love some of the summer dresses that are coming out now…so cute!

Hannah (right) showing off her preppy, elegant style with her friend!

What’s your background in Irish dance? How you got involved, how you’re
currently involved, etc.

I found Irish dancing like many other dancers when I watched Riverdance for the first time! I was hooked, and knowing that my Dad’s side of the family is Irish made me want to join. I had always wanted to take dance classes, but I never dreamed I’d be taking Irish dance lessons!

I joined what I thought was an Irish dancing school, but instead joined an Acadian step dancing school. I did a show with this school, and the Stanford School of Irish Dance was performing. When I watched them I knew THAT is what I wanted to do. So I joined when I was 16 years old (in grade 11).

It’s been a great journey, and in January of this year (2011) I was able to accomplish one of my goals of reaching preliminary championships. Recently (July 31st, 2011)  at the Halifax feis (my fourth prelim feis), I placed 6th/12 people and 2nd/8 in my set!! I was thrilled! I hope to continue dancing this year, and go to my first Oireachtas this November. As I continue into the working world, I’ll see where my Irish dance journey will take me!!

What’s your Irish dance style like?

I love to get dressed up in my dress with traditional knotwork! The underskirt has a fabric from West Africa in memory of my Dad who passed away when I was 18. He took our family on a trip to West Africa one summer, and he had such a huge heart for the country we went to. I just love my dress as it has so many memories and special touches (I designed the whole thing myself); my Mom thinks I should try the soft skirt
trend, which I’d love to, but I just love my dress too much!!

Like many other dancers I also love to get done up in the makeup and wigs. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup (as my friends are always telling me), and since I’m new to prelim I haven’t done the whole tanner thing yet. However, I am really big into the bun wig trend; I think it’s SO much lighter and easier to dance in. You don’t feel quite as hot either! I love it!! So lovely and elegant!

Hannah’s gorgeous and very special solo dress!

Do you have any favorite Irish dance styles right now? What about designers? Any accessories that you love?

I really love Michelle Lewis, as I feel she incorporates the Celtic designs with modern elements really well. She is always coming out with new and creative designs! Other designers I’ve seen that I really like are KDSF Designs and Kirations; any dressmakers that have beautiful knotwork with modern elements like soft skirts and such, I’m in love with!!

On that note, I love the new soft skirts that are big right now, and the asymetrical dresses too. I’m not really a fan of neon colors with things like feathers and such, but I do love the dresses in classy colors (ie: rich jewel tones paired with gold). I like the skirts that are swooped up to a point on the side with a jewelled brooch…very elegant I think! You know me and elegant!

As for accessories, I do love rhinestones (what Irish dancer doesn’t?!?). For younger dancers I think the flowers and bows on the sides of bun wigs look really cute; I’ve even seen some capes with bows on younger girls that are adorable!

Does your real life style influence your Irish dance style? How about vice

I’m a girl who loves to be comfortable and feel confident in what I’m wearing. Whether I’m hanging out with friends, at the front of a classroom, or rocking it on the dance stage….I still love to be comfortable and confident. To me you can’t really be one without the other. It’s also funny to see the clothes that I’m drawn to in “regular” clothing, and how those are incorporated into my dress. I’m always saying, “Wow!! Those colors would look great together on a solo dress!!”

 Hannah on the podium! Congrats!

Do you have any last words of advice for a feisonista?

Thanks so much for interviewing me! I hope I can inspire some people to be confident in themselves, no matter what they’re wearing (dance-wise or other-wise). I competed in my school dress, even when I was in prizewinner, and I still did well. In my regular, every-day clothes, I may not be the most trendy person, but when people get to know me, I don’t think that really matters. That being said, people really look up to those who are confident in who they are and what they’re wearing. So get up on that stage and shine!

Love Hannah’s style? Love the same styles she does? Get any inspiration for your own style in real life or Irish dance?

Stay Fashionable, Feisers!


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