Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blog Challenge: What are You Reading?

August's Blog Challenge from The Dance Buzz asks the question, "What are you reading?" Well, with fall dance just a week away, I've been prepping for my upcoming classes! I'm so so so excited to teach Ceili Club this year, so obviously there's only one book I've been reading lately... Ar Rince Foirne! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ar Rince Foirne, this book compiles 30 popular ceili dances and is the basis for the ceili portions of the TCRG examination. If you're interested, Ar Rince Foirne is available online, here!

This summer, our Ceili Club danced a handful of ceili dances over 6 weeks...and had a blast! My favorite ceili dances from this summer's class were the Bonfire Dance & the Gates of Derry. I love those dances because I have wonderful memories associated with both of them.

The Bonfire Dance is one of the first ceilis I remember learning. In the bingo hall of St. Martha's Church, I skipped along [not really knowing what was going on], listening as Sheila Butler called the dance from her well-worn copy of Ar Rince Fiorne. My little 12-year-old self loved "The Rose." I'm not sure why, but standing with my hand on my left hip with my right toe pointed, waiting for my "gent" to come back to swing around with me seemed like the most fun ceili move ever! If you'd like to see what the Bonfire Dance is all about, check out this video from a St. Patrick's Day celebration in Vienna, Austria!  This summer, my dancers made a fake bonfire [consisting of a pile of sparkly red tutus that live at the dance studio] and performed the Bonfire Dance around it...yet another cherished Bonfire Dance memory to add to the file.

Many of the wonderful Butler dancers that helped me through the Bonfire Dance, and Sheila!
I'm 4th from the left, rocking a sweet ponytail :) Gotta love outdoor performances in Florida. 
The Gates of Derry was my favorite eight-hand, danced several times at the Southern Region Oirechtas. My team was super fun, and super serious about winning [a great combination for an oireachtas team, right?]. Somehow, dancing an entire ceili doing overs wasn't so bad when danced with friends!  I'm not sure which was more fun, dancing with some of my favorite Drake dancers, or standing on the podium with them for 3 years running?!

Our 2002 [winning!] Gates of Derry team & the adorable "baby eight-hand" team :)
I'm 4th from the left in this picture too... weird?
If you haven't had the pleasure of dancing the Gates of Derry... well, you're missing out! Here's a lovely video from Olive Hurley's Ceili Dancing Step by Step, Volume 2.

I'm looking forward to more wonderful ceili memories this fall, with the help of Ar Rince Foirne! What are your favorite ceili dances? Do you have any meaningful ceili memories?

Keep Dancing,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School = Back to Dance [& Back to Blog!]

Hope everyone is having a great back to school [if you're a student] & back to dance season. Summer is sadly coming to a close, but fall brings wonderful changes! Adorable fall clothes, new school supplies, and the beginning of the Oireachtas countdown season!

This fall also marks a momentous milestone on my journey to becoming a TCRG: I'm officially a dance teacher at the Williston School of Dance! I'm teaching our intermediate [novice level] Irish dancers & a super fun class ceili class [or, as we like to call it, Ceili Club]. With the 2013 TCRG exams well on their way, I'm ready to hunker down with Ar Rince Foirne and teach some ceilis!

 I'm eternally sorry for my month long hiatus from updating this lovely blog :) Real life got in the way [read: STUDYING got in the way]. Here's what I was up to when my nose wasn't in a textbook...

Tried to rest & allow my stress-fractured/tendinitis afflicted foot heal...
...which is really hard to do with an awesome new pair of Iconic hard shoes to dance in!
[more on the new shoes to come!] 
Ran into some much-loved fellow Drake dancers at an Irish pub back home...
... and danced a treble reel [while barefoot & wearing a maxi-dress] with Kelsey! 
Danced a 4-Hand with the WSD dancers and the fabulous Irish band, An Triur!
[I said I tried to rest my foot...] 

Mostly, I cheered on Team USA during the Olympics! 
Including A LOT of Gators...
Like this handsome gent: 
Ryan Lochte brought home 5 medals... and looks pretty good in a speedo #Jeah
I celebrated Ryan's triumphant return from the London games at his surprise homecoming party [thrown by good friend of mine.. and his] 

and of course... I was completely mesmerized by the USA women's gymnastics team:
and would love to see those be-sparkled leos translated into solo dresses! 
So, those are the highlights of the last month or so! Sorry for the lack of updates, but I'm back and ready for some fall fun!

Keep Dancing,
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