Saturday, January 16, 2010
Isn't this Too Early for a Slip Jig?
I'm two of the seven dwarves currently -- Sleepy and Dopey. I woke up wheezing in the night, and Eve had a special Irish dancing class early this morning (you know, for Just a Bit of Crack, I mean Craic). From the Youtube clip of the one two years ago, it promises to be a little more civilized than the feis, which was actually a competition -- that was kind of nutty. First of all, they have chairs set up in little orderly rows, but the minute the dancing starts people crowd up into the space between the chairs and the dancing area, leaving us rookies wondering why the hell we showed up an hour early for a front row seat if we were going to have to jockey to see over heads, some of which were clad in some truly mesmerizing curly wigs, making it hard to look away. My husband ventured a guess that this is meant to approximate an Irish county fair, where the dancing takes place in the mud next to the pig auctioning and the ring toss. I say fine, but then they should give us tankards of ale and haunches of venison with the bone attached to prod the shovers-in with. Then there's the actual dancing. The beginners' numbers are pretty straightforward -- three of them go at once, but they're doing basically the same dance, so other than hoping they all do their sideways steps at the same rate and don't end up in a pile-up, it's all good. With the older girls, it gets much closer to a dancing smack-down; three of them spin out onto the floor like wind-up dolls, they're all doing a completely different dance (most of which involve high kicks and require extensive space), and jockeying for the best place in front of the judges. Add to this the moments when they remember they're supposed to be smiling, which results in momentary teeth-baring grimaces, and it all gets a little surreal. I guess I'm going to have to think carefully about how far I want Eve to go in Irish dancing. Then again, we've already burned through ballet and tap, so by next year we'll probably be on to something completely different