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.
Photo from Flickr by Patrick

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

4 comments:

Amber said...

I wish we could burn through ballet, I totally HATED ballet as a parent. It was not fun. Sadly my kid loved it and keeps asking to start again, so I just keep putting it off. Fingers crossed I can succeed for at least a little longer!

Patti Murphy said...

I like the look of the "Axel Rose", meself.

I wish one of my girls would try Irish dancing. Sounds like a hoot.

Tankards of ale, would be a nice addition.

Shelby said...

my daughter never did dance.. but she did do gymnastics.. now she's in basketball and track and cross country.. I love that she does it.. but man am I one busy woman. and tired.

real tired.

cheers.

Julie said...

my neice does irish dance. she's 15 and really into the competition feis(es) What is the plural of feis? Anyhow, she has the whole wig and crazy dress thing. she's pretty good too. she comes into ottawa to compete at the big feis here every year. at least it isn't hockey or baseball like my nephew. my sister and her brother drive around for that every single night of the week and all over god's creation on the weekends. i hope the jellybean doesn't want to play hockey!