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,


  1. Aside from Every Man Chance, my first ever ceili danced on my first ever dance lesson and therefore deeply loved :-), I like Bonfire Dance, because I danced that in the biggest group of people (all of them being my wonderful classmates) and that was a wonderful experience.

    I don´t get much to ceili dancing though, we´re performance dancers and usually work on some choreography of ours.

    Lots of dance to everyone!:-)

    1. Glad you're having fun dancing & performing! Thanks for reading :)

  2. Best of luck teaching this fall - can't wait to hear all about it!

    1. Thanks!! & Thanks again for the fun challenges. I adore the Dance Buzz :)


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