Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tables and Technique

So, as most of you are potentially aware, St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching in the month of March. I've done Irish dance since middle school and St. Patrick's Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine. I love the color green and the haunting lilt of penny whistles so any excuse to enjoy those things is more than welcome.

Last year my church threw a party called the "Sham-Rock-N-Roll" on St. Patrick's Day and a good friend of mine had been taking an Irish dance class and was asked to dance for everyone at the party. So, me being a nice friend, and having a decent amount of experience in the Irish dance world, I lent her my hard shoes and went through her dance with her to make sure she was ready. She had this awesome lime-green wig which she wore in pigtails that night.

Anyway, we went to the party and everything was going well and they had a dance off and she got up and danced and everything was dandy. She did a fabulous job and everyone was thoroughly impressed. Others proceeded to get up and generally make fun of Irish dance in an attempt to do their best impression of Irish dancing.

I was enjoying it all from the sidelines until my friend's sister arrived, who unfortunately had been witness to one of my previous Irish dance performances. She wanted to know why I hadn't gotten up. My reasoning was that everyone was having a merry old time making fun of Irish dance without any serious dancers getting out there and ruining it for them.

However, she proceeded to broadcast the fact that I was a "legit" Irish dancer and the crowds cried for a performance and I then got pulled onto the floor until I agreed to dance. They put some music on (not hard shoe music) and I did some demonstrations of Irish dance for them, just a variety of shuffles and rallies. Not anything well put together. But, somehow they loved it, and I won a box of Lucky Charms, so it was all worth it. Although I did feel somewhat bad for those who had legitimately been trying to win the dance off.

Anyway, this year I was asked in advance to perform at the same annual party. Which is a great idea, and I agreed to do, but with a some apprehension since I haven't really danced in about a year.

Yesterday I whipped out my dance binders and found some old written steps. I worked a little on trying to remember how they went and then found some music to dance to and pounded them out on the carpet in my socks. Realizing that that probably wasn't going to be enough to tell if I really had my technique right, today I got my shoes out and started looking for a hard wood surface to practice on. I considered practicing on the tile of our kitchen, but for anyone who has done that, you know that the sound is awful and flat. So, about an hour ago it occurred to me that our table would be a great surface. However, the top of the table is glossed, and I wouldn't want to dance on it anyway, for fear of damaging it. So, I flipped it over onto the carpet and gave that a shot.

Best. Sound. Ever.

Perfect, loud, ringing sound. Almost too good. I was dancing in the middle of the day, but I was entirely self-conscious about my neighbors and bothering them.

So, now you know. If you ever need to spend time in a hard wood floor studio, but you don't want to ruin the nice floors of your home, give the underside of your table a shot.

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