Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Challenge: Happy Halloween, Irish Dancers!

One of my favorite dance blogs, The Dance Buzz, issued yet another fun challenge this month: share an idea for a fall dance class!

Now, I love fall just as much as the next girl, but here in Florida, fall isn't all that special [Correction: fall isn't that special besides Florida Football! GO GATORS!]. The leaves don't change color or fall off the trees. The weather is just now beginning to get a bit chilly, by Florida standards of course.  Nothing really makes fall stand out from summer here in the sunshine state...except for Halloween!

My roomie carved this adorable University of Florida jack-o-lantern! #freehand
I'll be the first to admit, I'm slightly super obsessed with Halloween. First of all, the Irish practically invented Halloween, not to brag [read this article to see what I'm talking about]. Secondly, what's not to love about a holiday that includes costumes, candy, parties, candy, trick-or-treating, and did I mention, candy?! [Hi, my name is Moira, and I'm addicted to candy...] Anyway, combining one of my favorite holidays and Irish dance is even more exciting than a mountain of candy!

Lucky for me, Halloween falls on a Wendsday this year, and on Wednesdays, I teach a super fun class called Ceili Club :) For Halloween, the dancers are encouraged wear a dance costume of their choice to class, instead of their usual dress code [plain white top, black shorts or skirt, and poodle socks]... how fun is that?! I've seen some cute pictures of other Irish dance costume classes for Halloween [like Scoil Rince Saoirse] & I'm thrilled for ours :) Oh, and I'll be channeling my inner Lord of the Dance star for class...teaching in a costume inspired by the show! [photo in costume to follow]

This LOTD costume to be exact...on the ladies. I will NOT be wearing a gold satin shirt  :)
On top of costumes at Ceili Club, I'm planning to teach a Halloween-esque ceili. I'm thinking we'll dance the Bonfire Dance. Although the Bonfire Dance was traditionally danced on St. John's Eve, I think it's perfectly suited for a ceili class that falls on Halloween. Centuries ago, the ancient Celts celebrated Samhain, or the end of summer, at the time when we now celebrate Halloween. Since they believed on this day the spirits of the dead could return to the mortal world, those crafty ancient Celts lit bonfires and wore disguises [read: costumes!] to ward off malevolent spirits. I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate Halloween than to dance the bonfire dance in costume... just in case there are any evil spirits trying to get into the dance studio?! SpoOooOOoooky :) 

Want to learn more about the history of Samhain in Ireland, and how that has influenced our modern celebration of Halloween? Read this great article from Irish Central: Top Ten Irish Traditions for Halloween

Happy Halloween, Irish dancers! What are you doing to celebrate? Does your dance school do anything fun & spooky for the holiday?

Keep Dancing,

PS: Here's my treat for all of you... My all-time favorite seasonal video, "Halloween" by Jerry Seinfeld! Enjoy & get candy :)

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