Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strictly Irish Dance: Live Blog!

I cannot express how excited I am to watch Ireland's TV3's documentary of the 2011 World Championships: Strictly Irish Dancing! I'm so so so psyched! Why? Not just because my former and much loved teacher, Karl Drake, is featured. Not just because I'm hoping to see some of my Drake dancing friends on the small screen. Not just because the documentary showcases the awesomeness that is my friend, Camp Rince Ceol counselor, dress maker [Fairy Reel Dancewear], and new TCRG: the extraordinary Caitlin Kelly. I'm excited for all of those wonderful things, but I'm extra excited because TLC decided to show the world what Irish dancing is really all about... in a one-hour format :) 

Stay tuned for LIVE blogging during the show! [10:00pm EST on TLC]

10:00pm: YES! Here we go. Within seconds, Karl Drake is screaming on TV. Thanks TLC, I miss that voice :)

10:01: Claire is far beyond amazing amazing! Sheesh, she can do so much up on her toes. Unbelievable!

10:05: Oh, hi again Karl! So happy to see him [yelling at his dancers] on TV. "ARMS KELSEY" ...Oh my dear, sweet Kelsey Micko, that was meant for you, I'm sure. I've know her since she was tiny, adorable, and amazingly talented. Now she's tall, gorgeous, and amazingly talented :)

--- 1st commercial break ---

10:12: Hi, Catie Foley! There's another blonde Drake dancer I can remember from when she was tiny. And yes, Mr. Karl, the jet lag is a serious problem! I remember that, all too well! Side note: I want need rhinestone buckles.

10:15: I'm so distracted by this narrator. What else does he narrate?! His voice is so familiar. Clearly, I watch too much TLC! [Update: I think he narrates "Say Yes to the Dress" and/or "What Not to Wear"]

10:16: Jack is a his stripes and plaid combo outfit during his interview. More than that, I love watching him dance. He's got the relaxed-arms thing down perfectly. And he smiles! Such a rarity in competition.

10:17: Love Catie's giant fluffy flower! Super cute bun-wig look.

---2nd commercial break---

10:22: Sock glue! Thanks for explaining that to the rest of the World, Ronan...such a necessity! I'm not loving how TLC edited this to be all abut this U19 rivalry, but Jessica looks lovely! I love white solo costumes. A LOT. She's a beautiful dancer! I'm so happy with how much of her set TLC aired!! Note to self:  Work on axles in hard shoes and trebles up on your toes. 

10:26: Why do they keep showing Catie's back!? I want to see the front! Love that Karl matched his shirt to her costume... Oh, Mr. Karl. Catie is a lovely dancer, and I love her dress! She and Karl are super cute together as well :) Wish I could've seen more of her set!

10:28: Interesting interpretation of curls! Agree about looking realistic and natural! 

--- 3rd commercial break ---

10:31:  I like Jack's competition look. Very clean, and not too blingy... the rhinestones can get to be a little much on the boys for my liking. 

10:33:  Way to pop your collar, Claire! She's so fabulous. Look at those legs, and feet!! Her calves are insane. "How did you ever win the Worlds?" ...Oh, Claire. No one will EVER ask that question about you! She's so sweet with her lucky Winnie the Pooh :) World Champ's trick: Coke on your soft shoes to not slip! I'm more of a rosin girl myself, but that works! 

10:36: Her dress is beautiful! Perfect combination of modern [so sparkly!] and traditional [with the pleats and knot work]. And then there's the controversial globe on her cape. My thoughts? She earned it, let her wear a globe! What are your thoughts on World champs wearing globes on their costumes?

10:38: It's called a RECALL, not a call back!

10:39: Yes to natural looking style of dance and expressiveness. There's nothing like a dancer who makes it look effortless. 

--- 4th commercial break---


10:45: WHY did they cut away from Claire's dancing so much?! And keep showing her from the knees up?!  Her feet are amazing and deserve all the screen time. I don't care about the audience...

10:46: I do appreciate that TLC is attempting to explain the ever-confusing Irish points scoring system.  YAY Jack! I love watching people succeed!

10:48: "It's so brilliant!" - Jack Quinn, 2011 World Champion

---5th commercial break---

10:52: Jessica or Catie? Spoiler alert: neither... but 3rd and 8th are amazing!! I love Karl and Catie's reaction to Catie placing 8th! "I love you! I love you! I love you!" - Mr. Karl Drake :) Well done, girls!

10:58: Why am I so nervous watching Claire listen for her scores?! I know already know she won! Winning the Worlds 5 times in a row is unbelievable! Claire's family is adorable...that "Galway Bay" sing-a-long was the perfect way to end the movie.

Reaction: I'm so glad they showed this movie on TLC! Although the editing wasn't quite right, I'm still happy to have Irish dancing on a national network. I wish TLC didn't put such an emphasis on the U19 Jessica Hindley vs. Catie Foley rivalry. I also wish they showed Claire dancing more, and had an actually Irish dancer consult on the editing of the documentary. They might not have done this movie justice in the editing room, but they did portray Karl Drake perfectly! I loved watching my teacher on TV! Oh, and they cut out the TCRG-hopeful storyline with my friend Caitlin Kelly. Lame...she's awesome, and I've been spending a lot of time with Ar Rince Foirne lately. Overall, TLC's version of Strictly Irish Dancing was still fun to watch, but the original was MUCH better and more true to Irish dance.

What did you think of this version? Comment with your thoughts :)

Be sure to watch the Strictly Irish Dancing in it's original format at RincePop! & for a more extensive look at the pros and cons of TLC's version this documentary, check out Rince Go Bragh.

Keep Dancing,

PS: Thank you everyone for reading my blog! Make sure to enter for a chance to WIN a pair of your very own hard shoes from Iconic Dancer!


  1. Is there anywhere online that I can watch it?

  2. Yes! It's available on RincePop!:

    and the Drake School's website:

    Enjoy the movie!

  3. Loved the full version on youtube! (Better than JIG)My husband has been really turned off by the competition side of Irish dancing because of the make-up and wigs and tanning etc. Hearing about the evolution of competitions helped him make sense of it all. Sounds like they cut that part out in the edit?!

  4. Thanks for this beautiful Post. I want to get irish dance supplies information.

  5. You make it entertaining and you even now manage to help keep it wise.Thank you for this article. That's all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you've covered so many bases.Thanks!


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