Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ceili of the Week: Bonfire Dance

The Bonfire Dance is ...
         --  A round dance
         --  For any number of couples [preferably not less than six]
         -- A dance traditionally danced on St. John's Eve, around a bonfire [hence the name!]

Movements of the Dance
         (a) Advance & Retire
         (b) Rings
         (c) Advance & Retire
         (d) Rings
         (e) Side-step In & Out
         (f) Link Arms
         (g) Side-step In & Out
         (h) Link Arms
         (i) The Rose
         (j) Swing and Exchange Partners

The Bonfire Dance performed by Cumann Ceili Vin, an Irish dancing group in Vienna, Austria
[Anyone else get warm fuzzies knowing how many people love Irish dance worldwide? LOVE.]

Why do I like this Ceili?
          Learning the Bonfire Dance is one of my first ceili memories as a beginning Irish dancer. I remember thinking "The Rose" was SO fun. This ceili requires dancers to stand with one hand on hip & one toe pointed during The Rose... so for some reason, that was a blast for my beginning Irish dancer, 6th grade self!
           From a teaching standpoint, this dance can be a lot of fun as well! My ceili class learned this dance on Halloween. I used it as an opportunity to talk about how the ancient Celts used to celebrate the festival of Samhain [from which our modern Halloween evolved]. My dancers also loved making a fake "bonfire" out of tutus we had at the studio, and dancing this ceili around the "flames."

Like I said in my last post, Halloween's Ceili Club was a costume class... and yes, that included the teachers! Here are Mrs. Sarah & I dressed in our costumes, a ballerina and a Lord of the Dance star! 

How was your Halloween? Did you school do anything special for the holiday? Have you danced the Bonfire Dance?

Keep Dancing,

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