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LEARN - SUPPORT - GROW - IRISH DANCE!
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January UPDATE: Amazing ideas are being worked out right now for Open Platform Irish Dancing! Open Platform ID Orgs have been extremely helpful and gracious providing info and feedback so far! We are sorting through pages of info right now and will update the sites then. Keep sending in ideas! :)
To the Open Platform ID Organizations we haven't talked to yet, please contact me with your rules & info. We will promote you!! -------
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So CRDM Worlds had 10 under 21... not nearly half the numbers in WIDA and they call it a WORLD -- USA mom, 13:31:57 04/05/16 Tue 
WIDA Had 1500 dancers in their event from 26 different countries from around the WORLD. That is a World. Why are CRDM embarrasing themselves for the sake of a globe. Congrats WIDA for fighting on with all the recent bad publicity from stale old nags who have a major bee in their bonnet of WIDA being so successful. Congrats to all the successful schools this year and the up and coming teachers of the future.
Steps -- Independent Dancer, 06:27:06 04/24/16 Sun 
Looking for advice. I was dancing for a school and moved and haven't joined a new school due to other commitments.
There are open platform feis that I want to enter as an independent dancer. I thought it would be fun and give me a chance to see schools around the area. I don't think I could dance my steps from my old school and wondered how other independent dancers choreograph their steps? Do you get ideas online or off YouTube? Do you get steps off other people?
CRG and CRN Could someone please post a list of the set dance music that these two organisations allow please. -- Dancer, 11:11:57 04/18/16 Mon 
CRG and CRN Could someone please post a list of the set dance music that these two organisations allow please. I can't find it online. I know all organisation differ with music so want to make sure I Have an accepted one :)
Sligo Open Feis (under the rules of WIDA) -- Information inside, 15:07:45 04/06/16 Wed 
All Open Platform dancers are invited to attend. See our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1035545789816311/
Entries are now open https://feiskeeper.com/index.php
Closing date for entries is 23rd April 2016
.. -- .., 03:11:27 04/18/16 Mon 
The history of Irish Dance
The early history of Irish dance reveals a constant shifting of population through migration and invasions. Each of these peoples brought their preferred types of dance and music. There are only vague references to the early history of Irish dancing, but there is evidence that among its first practitioners were the Druids, who danced in religious rituals honouring the oak tree and the sun. Traces of their circular dances survive in the ring dances of today. When the Celts arrived in Ireland from central Europe over two thousand years ago, they brought with them their own folk dances. Irish Dance history Around 400 AD, after the conversion to Christianity, the new priests used the pagan style of ornamentation in illuminating their manuscripts, while the peasants retained the same qualities in their music and dancing.
The Anglo-Norman conquest in the twelfth century brought Norman customs and culture to Ireland. The Carol was a popular Norman dance in which the leader sang and was surrounded by a circle of dancers who replied with the same song. This Norman dance was performed in conquered Irish towns.
Three principal Irish dances are mentioned often in sixteenth century writing: the Irish Hey, the Rinnce Fada (long dance) and the Trenchmore. One of the first references to dance is in a letter written by Sir Henry Sydney to Queen Elizabeth I in 1569. "They are very beautiful, magnificently dressed and first class dancers," Sydney wrote of the girls he saw dancing enthusiastic Irish jigs in Galway.
Sydney went on to describe the dance formation, observing the dancers in two straight lines which suggests they were performing an early version of the long dance.
During the mid sixteenth century, dances were performed in the great halls of the newly built castles. Some of the dances were adapted by the sixteenth century English invaders and broughtIrish Dance to the court of Queen Elizabeth. One of these dances was the Trenchmore, which was an adaptation of an old Irish peasant dance. From this period onward another style of dance called the Hey was popular where female dancers wound in around their partners, in a fore-runner of the present day reel.
When royalty arrived in Ireland, they were greeted at the shore by young women performing native dances. When King James landed at Kinsale, County Cork, in 1780, he was welcomed by dancers. Three people stood abreast, each holding ends of a white handkerchief. They advanced to slow music and were followed by dancing couples, each couple holding a handkerchief between them. The tempo of the music increased and the dancers performed a variety of lively figures.
Irish dancing was accompanied by music played on the bagpipes and the harp. In the houses of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, the master often joined with servants in some of the dances. Dancing was also performed during wakes. The mourners followed each other in a ring around the coffin to bagpipe music.
The Irish Dance Master
During the eighteenth century, the dancing master appeared in Ireland. He was a wandering dancing teacher who travelled from village to village in a district, teaching dance to peasants. Dancing masters were flamboyant characters who wore bright clothes and carried staffs. Their young pupils did not know the difference between their left and right feet. To overcome this problem, the dancing master would tie straw or hay to his pupils' left or right feet and instruct them to "lift hay foot" or "lift straw foot".
Group dances were developed by the masters to hold the interest of their less gifted pupils and to give them the chance to enjoy dancing. The standard of these dances was very high. Solo dancers were held in high esteem and often doors were taken off hinges and placed on the ground for the soloists to dance on.
Each dancing master had his own district and never encroached on another master's territory. It was not unknown for a dancing master to be kidnapped by the residents of a neighbouring parish.Irish Dance When dancing masters met at fairs, they challenged each other to a public dancing contest that only ended when one of them dropped with fatigue.
Several versions of the same dance were to be found in different parts of Ireland. In this way a rich heritage of Irish dances was assembled and modified over the centuries. Today, jigs, reels, hornpipes, sets, half sets, polkas and step dances are all performed. Solo dancing or step dancing first appeared at the end of the eighteenth century.
The costumes worn by Irish dancers today commemorate the clothing of the past. Each school of dancing has its own distinct dancing costume. Dresses are based on the Irish peasant dress worn two hundred years ago. Most of the dresses are adorned with hand-embroidered Celtic designs, copies of the Tara brooch are often worn on the shoulder. The brooch hold a cape which falls over the back. The clothes worn by men are less embellished but steeped in history- they wear a plain kilt and jacket, with a folded cloak draped from the shoulder. Male and female dancers today wear hornpipe shoes, and for reels and jigs, soft shoes similar to ballet pumps are worn.
Today there are many organisations promoting Irish dance. The Feis has been an important part of rural cultural life. Children, teenagers and adults compete in separate competitions for Feis titles and prizes. There are group and solo competitions where dancers are graded by age from six to seventeen and then into the senior categories.
There are dancing championships in all four provinces, and winners of these provincial competitions qualify for the All Ireland Championships. The World Championships are held in Dublin at Easter where dancers from England, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand compete for the World title.
The Irish word céili originally referred to a gathering of neighbours in a house to have an enjoyable time, dancing, playing music and storytelling. Today it refers to an informal evening of dancing. Céilis are held in large towns and country districts where young and old enjoy together group dances. The céili can be traced back to pre-famine times, when dancing at the cross-roads was a popular rural pastime. These dances were usually held on Sunday evenings in summer when young people would gather at the cross-roads. The music was often performed by a fiddler seated on a three legged stool with his upturned hat beside him for a collection. The fiddler began with a reel such as the lively "Silver Tip", but he had to play it several times before the dancers joined in. The young men were reluctant to begin the dance but after some encouragement from the fiddler, the sets of eight filled up the dancing area.
The world-wide success of Riverdance and more recently Lord of the Dance has placed Irish dance on the international stage. Dancing schools in Ireland today are filled with young pupils keen to imitate and learn the dancing styles which brought Jean Butler and Michael Flatley international acclaim.
Today there are many opportunities to watch and enjoy Irish dancing. It is still a regular part of social functions. Dancing sessions at céilis are usually preceded by a teaching period where novices are shown the initial steps. During the summer months, céilis are held in many Irish towns. Visitors are always welcome to join in and with on the spot, informal instruction, anyone can quickly master the first steps and soon share the Irish enthusiasm for Irish dance.
Feb 27th Mid Atlantic Champs, Woodcliff Lake, NJ (CRDM All Ireland Qualifier)
April 9th Connemara Spring Fling, Pocono Manor, PA
May 14th Celtic Flame Feis at the Fleadh
May 22nd *DATE CHANGE* Pride of Erin Feis - Mount Airy, PA
July 29-31 RTN American National Championships, Hilton Harrisburg Towers, Harrisburg, PA
Oct 2017 New England Champs Fitchburg, MA
◦Teacher Training: New England - Feb 13th (contact Mary-Sarah at email@example.com if you are interested in attending)
◦Teacher Training: PA - late April 23rd?? (contact Kerrilee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending)
◦ ◦Grade Exams: Watch upcoming competitions for upcoming Grade Exam dates - EXCITING new completion awards coming soon!!
March 5th March Madness Mist of Ireland Spring Feis, Trinity Alliance Church, Egg Harbor City, NJ
April 16th OKC Feis
May 7th Space City Feis, Starport NASA Exchange 2010 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX http://www.tewacademy.org
May 14th Spring Rain Feis Bellwood Ontario
May 14th Connecticut Feis Presented by the Lee School of Irish Dance
1017 Riverside Drive, North Grosvenordale, CT
I walk out onto the stage.
Hands held firmly by my sides,
Shoes neatly tied and white socks glued to my shin.
Behind the firm front flap of my dress,
I clench my sweating hands.
Heart beating out of my chest,
I put on my performance smile
And look out into the crowd.
Chest puffed out,
Feet turned out to their fullest,
The music begins to play.
The beat of the jig pumps in my veins.
Legs flying, mind soaring,
Higher and higher I urge myself to jump.
Kicking and leaping, rallies and clicks.
Can't miss a step.
I'm floating through the fast paced routine.
Jump, jump and, 1 2 3.
Mentally block out the audience
and the dancers around me.
My curly wig bounces as I leap,
Shoes click satisfyingly as I dance it without fault,
My heavy embroidered dress hops with me.
I reach the end of my steps.
Heart pounding in my head.
The audience cheers, I bow,
beautifully pointed toe out front.
I hope the judges saw something in me.
Win or lose,
For those few minutes,
I felt what it's like to be alive
NORTH AMERICAN 2016 FEISEANNA -- please add your feis info to the appropriate month, 14:05:44 02/17/16 Wed 
ANYBODY can add information to the Feiseanna listing.
The goal is that this listing will stay unified without the control of any one person. Meaning: there will be no one person responsible to collect the information from the various organizations or to ensure that what is posted is accurate. But rather, if you are involved with a particular organization then you take responsibility to keep your feis information current and accurate.
So this is how it works:
Find the month that your feis falls under for 2016, hit reply to that month.
In the "Message subject" box > first put the DATE of the Feis then follow that with the NAME of the feis, then in brackets the ORGANIZATION hosting (or the SCHOOL, if independent), and the CITY, COUNTRY (use short forms if needed because of space restrictions).
In the "Name (required)" box type in 2016 (which stands for the year), or your organization's feis coordinator's name.
Then in the "Type message here " box : put any information you wish to note (ie contact number, method of registration, website for more details, etc)
It will become obvious how to proceed once it starts to be filled in.
CRN Irish Open -- Bug bear, 00:17:59 04/17/16 Sun 
Delighted the CRN Orish Opens are off to a flying start but it beggars belief that for a major event they are still only giving out medals for first place! For goodness sake, it's the biggest event on the calendar that most of the dancers attend each year, we pay enough for entry fees and at the door, give the children a trophy. It smacks of tight fistedness. 😟
Thinking of moving to a different organisation in donegal/Derry or Galway -- Dancer, 04:31:02 04/16/16 Sat 
Currently dance with an codhail and was thinking of moving to another organisation in Donegal/Derry or Galway. Would love some opinions on what organisation is recommended and what schools are suitable for dancers 18 and up who want to compete. Thanks
Travelling! -- dm, 04:54:36 04/16/16 Sat 
hi all, just wondering if it is possible to get a bus eireann bus to city west hotel or leapbus or is there a train that lets you off in walking distance to the hotel.