Saturday, December 29, 2012

A few of my Favorite {Irish Christmas} Things

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season & a very merry Christmas! This year, I decorated a mini-Christmas tree with my collection of Irish dance ornaments. Normally, they just hang in my room with all my medals, so it was lovely to see my little ornaments adorning a tiny, fiber-optic tree! I love all my little dancers, but I do have a special place in my heart for a few of them.

A few of my Favorite {Irish Christmas} Things

The little tree sat on top of my sister's wooden, baby grand piano, surrounded by this year's crop of holiday cards. My favorite part? The Irish Nutcracker guarding the mini tree and tiny Irish dancers, of course!

Some of the dancing girls & porcelain ornaments
My little Madame Alexander {for Hallmark} Irish dancer,
& Royal Tara Irish dancer {toward the top of the tree}
Another unique Irish dancer ornament,
not the greatest turnout, but she's still golden! 
Did you decorate with any Irish or Irish dance related items this holiday season? How was your holiday?

Keep Dancing,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas with the Celts

Recently, the advanced Irish dancers from my dance school were asked to perform with The Celts on their Christmas with the Celts tour. Christmas with the Celts isn't just your average group of premier Irish, Scottish, and American musicians playing Celtic music & Christmas carols. The band consists of singers, pipes, fiddle, a full percussion set, and even a string quartet and children's choir from each city ...and then some. The show has amazing production, lighting, and effects. From an audience standpoint, Christmas with the Celts is non-stop world-class Celtic entertainment with a Christmas twist.

Oh, and the band tours with champion Irish dancer & captivating performer: Alice Ann Robinson... Needless to say, we were all thrilled to have the opportunity to perform with The Celts! 

We just LOVE Alice Ann's black patent leather soft shoes! 
{She's wearing the silver sequined dress}

 Pretty points, velvet, & gold... perfect for a winter performance! 

 Best part of the show {aside from the phenomenal music & dancing} for me? 
Alice Ann and I were campers together at the very first summer of Camp Rince Ceol
Getting to perform on stage with my old camp friend really touched my heart. 

After the show: Camp Rince Ceol reunion 
We couldn't believe it had been 12 years since we were campers together!

The Celts are ending their Christmas with the Celts tour tonight in Arberdeen, Washington. I hope you got a chance to see The Celts if they were in your city! If not... their Christmas with the Celts CD {available here} makes a great gift, or music for any holiday party... I've been playing it in my car for weeks!

Thank you so much, The Celts, for the opportunity to be a part of your Orlando show of the Christmas with the Celts tour! The dancers & I had so much fun! We were so inspired by the musicians, and of course the  lovely & talented Alice Ann.

Have you seen The Celts or Christmas with the Celts? Does your school perform for the holidays?

Keep Dancing,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ursula Celano {Irish dance} Inspired Treats

If you read my blog, you probably already know I adore Irish designer, Ursula Celano. She makes the best, unique Irish-themed gifts, bags, cards, and home goods, all from her own graphic designs. Ursula designed the absolute sweetest Irish dancer gift tags for Christmas...and guess what: they're free! Visit the "freebies" section of her website {} to download and print them. There, you'll find the dancer tags, along with other non-dance Irish gift tags... including a romantic couple in Dublin and a festive Christmas donkey. {I'm obsessed!}

Using the Irish dancer tags, I whipped up some super simple little treats to give to my dancers at their last class before holiday break {tonight}.

 After printing the Ursula Celano Irish dancer tags, I cut them out and hole-punched the tops. I also printed 2 sheets of tags per page, making the tags half the size. Printing the smaller version was perfect for mass-producing candy cane gifts. If I was using the tags to wrap gifts, I would print them normal sized, as the dancers' details show up much nicer in the larger format.

I used curling ribbon to tie the tags to the candy canes, and then curled the ends for a finishing touch. Since the tags were red and green, I chose a simple white ribbon. I think they turned out perfect...and took all of 15 minutes to make!

SO cute, right?! I love the dancer's little dresses... and they're all different; just like {real life} solo dresses! Ursula Celano's attention to detail is ridiculously perfect...right down to the little buckles on their tiny hard shoes!  

What do you think of the finished product? I hope my dancers like them!

Keep dancing, 

Can't get enough Ursula Celano Ireland?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nine Ladies {Irish} Dancing

Nine Ladies {Irish} Dancing
During the holidays, the dance school where I teach decorates the studio with a nice big tree, decked out with lights and an assortment of dance ornaments. Ballet, jazz, tap, and [of course!] Irish dance are represented on our school's Christmas tree. At home, I have a collection of Irish dance ornaments I've accumulated over the years. They hold special memories of where I got them, or who gave them to me.  I even have a tiny trophy ornament to go with the tiny dancers!

One of my fabulous Irish dancers asked me earlier this week where she could find an Irish dance ornament of her very own. I thought to myself, and quickly realized I had received mine as gifts, or randomly found them at feiseanna or Irish gift shops around the country. For those of you who might be looking for new Irish dancer ornaments this holiday season, here are the prettiest ornaments [in my opinion]  from around the web:

Add some Irish dance to your Christmas tree!

Irish dancers for your Christmas tree! by OnMyToesBlog on Polyvore

I love the little jigging Santa Claus, and the lovely dancer with the bow in her hair! I wish I could find some Irish dance shoe ornaments, but haven't had any luck yet. These little dancers might not be completely authentic, have proper footwear, or display perfect technique, but they sure are adorable.

Do you have a favorite Irish dance ornament for your Christmas tree? Have you found any cute hard shoe or soft shoe ornaments?

Keep Dancing,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Everyone Loves a Parade!

With Oireachtas season [yes, I totally consider this a season] coming to a close, Irish dancers worldwide have been glued to YouTube watching all the latest winners' Parades of Champions... including me! Congrats to all the champions & all the Oireachtas dancers who've danced their best over these last few weeks! You all have so much to be proud of. [For more of my Oireachtas deep thoughts, click here.] And just in case you weren't one of those dancers in the Parade of Champs at your O this year and are feeling a bit down, remember...
"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."
- G. K. Chesterton
I'll probably post my favorite Parade of Champions videos soon, but until then, lets focus on another type of parade...

The dance school where I teach participated in our town's annual Christmas parade this past weekend. The whole town came out to watch floats, marching bands, and of course, our dancers! The parade was a great time, with loads of Christmas lights, music, singing, and candy passed out to the kids...even Santa made an appearance!

We wore our school T-shirts [bright yellow this year!] with white long sleeved T's underneath [so the parade audience could see our arms in the darkness], black dance pants, and sneakers. Sparkly dance earrings and ponytails completed our school's parade look.


Parade by OnMyToesBlog featuring Nike athletic shoes

Unlike the Irish dance schools I danced for growing up [Shout-out to the Drake School! Great job at the Southern Regional Oireachtas!], my current dance school is not just for Irish dancers. We offer ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, & IRISH dance classes. The parade is a great opportunity for all of our dancers to have fun performing together. We danced to a song called, "The Rhythm of Rejoicing" which was the perfect tune for for jazz, ballet, and Irish dancers to shine! Listen to it... you'll hear the part that sounds like a jig [we danced a single jig to this portion of the song = more single-jigging than I've done since middle school!], and you can probably tell which part the ballerinas waltzed to!

What does your dance school wear during a parade? Are you dancing in any Christmas or holiday parades this winter? 

Keep dancing,
Old navy t shirt

Nike athletic shoes

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