Monday, January 28, 2013


PLEASE VOTE for On My Toes in the favorite dance blog recreational dancer categories: {click here to VOTE}
Voting just takes a few clicks {of your mouse, not your hardshoes! haha} Thank you! Polls close on January 31st at 10pm.  Thank you for getting On My Toes into the finals for the Top Dance Blog competition!

While preparing for the TCRG exam, I'm learning & re-learning the traditional set dances required for the exam: St. Patrick's Day, The Blackbird, Jockey to the Fair, Job of Journeywork, King of the Fairies,  Garden of Daisies, & Three Sea Captains. As Irish dancing has evolved greatly since these sets were created, these hardshoe dance may seem a bit... well, traditional. {duh!} They're made up of trebles, tips, drums, rocks, toes, heels, kick-your-heels, and the occasional click. No axles, double clicks,

Despite the lack of exciting new moves, practicing these sets has really made me feel like a part of something bigger. Being an Irish dancer is kind of like being a historian. Each of us has a duty to help our artform evolve  through new, competitive, creative steps & tricks, but we also have to remain true to what makes Irish dance special, unique, and different from other forms of dance. Maybe I'm just a history nerd...I was historian of my high school class, a two time county History Fair winner, & the Vice President of Fraternity Development of my sorority in college {aka the VP that makes sure the chapter retains the values of Pi Beta Phi's 146 year history}... but I really love learning more about the history of Irish dance.

This compilation of video footage from a 1929 Irish dance competition in Dublin has been circulating through the online Irish dance community for the last few weeks. After watching it, I definitely feel more connected to those dancers, the traditional set dances I'm working on, and the Irish dance community at large. Though the costumes, shoes, and steps have evolved, I love seeing historical footage like this just as much as watching the top dancers of recent years.

What do you think of the 1929 Irish dancers? Do you like dancing traditional sets?

Keep Dancing,

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