Feature: Irish / Irish

Reel Treble #38!!
By Cinnawiz
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 06:18 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2009-09-09 06:36:39 featureated!

Welcome to Reel Treble #38!!
In this issue we meet Hop_123, a.k.a. Rachel, an adult dancer from the Southern US.


Name: Rachel
Dance.net Name: Hop_123
Member since: Feb 2007
Years Doing Irish Dance: 7
Age: Do I have to admit to it? Okay, 45
Dance School: Beaton School Of Irish Dance
Organization: CLRG
Competition Level: Adult PW, except slip jig is still in novice
Region: Southern US

What's the story behind your DDN name?
I was looking for something Irish dance related and Hop_123 is about as basic as you can get!


How old were you when you started Irish Dance and how did you get started?
I was 38. I heard a local dance school was starting an Irish class for seven year olds, so I signed up my daughter. After watching a few classes, I asked if there was a class for adults. There was. Even though all the classes were taught by our TC, none of them were competitive at that time. Three years later they offered a competitive class for the kids, and I begged to be moved from the adult recreational class into the competitive class. I've been dancing with the kids ever since.

How many classes do you have a week?
Only one. I wish more were offered.

How often do you practice at home?
Usually 2 times a week.

Did Irish Dancing come naturally to you or did you have to work at it?
Definitely have to work at it. Turn out does not come naturally to me and it takes me a lot of repetition before I have a step memorized.

Does Irish Dancing get in the way of your school work or social life?
Not at all. I don't attend school, can't bring work home, and I'm a home-body anyway. It does get in the way of work when I am injured, though!

What do your friends think of your dancing? Do they support it?
They think it's interesting. Some of the residents at work (I work in a nursing home) are very interested. They ask if my daughter and I have any competitions coming up, how did we do, etc. They are always asking when we are going to come and dance for them. My husband is very supportive. He built us a dance floor and encouraged me to make my own solo.

Do you do figure dances?
I do a two hand reel with my daughter in competition all the time!

What does your dress look like and who made it?
It a 2 piece, raspberry velvet and brocade. It's kind of medieval looking. I designed and made it myself. That was quite a learning experience, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.

What brand of softshoes and hardshoes do you wear?
Hullachan softshoes (these old feet would not be able to dance without the padding), and Rutherford hardshoes (because they are the widest ones out there!)

What is the farthest you've traveled for a feis?
Six hour drive.

What is your favorite feis and why?
CCE in MD. It's very close by, it was my first feis, and I always place well there. They also have nice sized adult comps.

Have you ever been to a major championship?
Does watching Worlds in Philadelphia count?

Do you get nervous before you compete?
Very nervous until after my reel, then I usually calm down.

Do you have any rituals you do before you dance?
I always run thru my steps in my head while I am waiting for the group before me to dance.

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. --Hop_123


What is your greatest accomplishment in Irish Dancing?
I am just so happy being in PW. I remember when my personal goal was just to get into novice.

What was your greatest disappointment in Irish Dancing and how did you overcome it?
Not starting sooner. I wish I had known about ID when I was a kid. How far would I have made it? How do I overcome that? Since I can't get any younger, I just keep dancing, practicing, and drilling.

What are some of your short term goals?
Move my slip jig into PW.

What are some of your long term goals?
To get firsts in all my dances, in PW. When I do that, *shh, don't tell anyone* then I'll see if I could convince my TC to let me drop down into the and-overs.

What is your favorite dance and why?
Probably reel, because I love the music. Who can sit still when a reel is playing?

What is your least favorite dance and why?
Slip jig. I'm just not a light and airy dancer.

What move took you forever to master?
Front clicks on the right, I'm still working on that one (dang turnout!).

What is your favorite move?
I love how champion dancers have so much extension that they can cross the entire stage in about 2 steps, and make it look so effortless.

Do you ever want to take the TCRG exam and teach?
No, but I do like practicing with my friends in the basement and using my physical therapy/movement analysis training to help them fix a move that they are having trouble mastering.

Who do you admire the most in Irish Dancing?
Pretty much any World's level dancer. They have put so much time, sweat, and effort into their dancing, and they make it look easy...and their hardshoe rhythm is to die for!

If you could take a free workshop with any dancer as your teacher, who would you pick and why?
Ha! PWover50! As a physical therapist who knows ID, she could analyze what I was doing wrong with a move or step and help me figure out what I need to do to make it better. Stretch this, or strengthen that, etc.

...and there was my skirt lying on the floor!


Tell us one of your funniest or most interesting feis stories.
I was checking scores after my reel, when my daughter finds me and says, "Mom, they are starting your light jig!" I go running out of the awards room, down the hall, and fly down the stairs. My group is already dancing! The stage manager tells me to go stand at the end. I get to my place as the pair next to me is dancing. I do the first step of my light jig, blank on the second step and replace it with the most basic jig step there is. My comment was "needs to move more." I was thinking, didn't you see me come down those stairs?!

What was your most embarrassing moment in dancing?
It was at the recital. For our number, the adults all had "street clothes" on over our class costumes, and we were supposed to strip them off right before we

did Sweets of May with the kids. As an earlier part of the number, I was doing a hornpipe in my "street clothes" when I started running into something. I looked down...and there was my skirt lying on the floor! It had come unfastened and floated down to the floor (we have the video to prove it) I started laughing on stage and could not finish the hornpipe at all.

Are you close with fellow Irish Dancers?
I feel close to several dancers on DDN and I love running into adult dancers at a feis. It's great to chat with them between dances.

What's in your dance bag?
Hardshoes, softshoes, duct tape (for all the kids in class who forgot theirs), waterbottle, electrical tape, gel pads for my hardshoes, small notebook, pen, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" socks.

Do you do any other types of dance?
Not now. I did ballet, jazz, and ballroom when I was in high school and college.

Do any of your family members Irish Dance as well?
My 14 year old daughter!

What other hobbies do you have?
Hanging out on DDN, reading, photography and photo editing, being a wife and mom, sewing, scrapbooking.

Tell us something your friends would find surprising about you.
I wore a big black dive knife strapped to my leg under my wedding dress and we used it to cut our wedding cake. (My husband and I met scuba diving.)


Quick Fire Questions:
Hardshoe or Softshoe: Hardshoe
Reel or Slip Jig: Reel
Hornpipe or Treble Jig: Hornpipe
Wig or Bun: Neither. I go au naturale
Feis or Show: Feis
School Dress or Solo Dress: Solo (though I like our school dress a lot)


Rachel, it was really nice getting to know you. Good luck with your slip jig! --Reel Treble

13 Replies to Reel Treble #38!!

re: Reel Treble #38!!
By Crazy_Clairemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 06:27 AM
Great interview as always. :)

Nice to read about an adult dancer and see how Irish Dancing has no age limit on it and everyone can enjoy it. And your costume rocks! Yay for raspberry! :)

Claire.
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By Cinnawiz
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 06:34 AM
Can I just say that I love the idea of wearing a dive knife under the wedding dress? That's an awesome way to meet a hubby! :D
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By ceiliqueen23member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 08:34 AM
wonderful interview I have to say I love your tenacity hop_123 to start at an older age and to make a go and sucess of it is great and it gives me something to look forward to :) good Luck at all your firsts you'll definitley get them
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By Spookiesquemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:30 AM
"What are some of your long term goals?
To get firsts in all my dances, in PW. When I do that, *shh, don't tell anyone* then I'll see if I could convince my TC to let me drop down into the and-overs"

Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. :P

Great interview. I loved reading about Hop_123.
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By ibutterfly
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:55 AM
It is really wonderful to see an older woman follow her dream and dance!!! It must take a lot of courage which I don't seem to have in order to do this. I watch( when she isn't looking my DD practice or at a feis and find my feet moving and think ifhow hard it must be to do those moves! You made my day hop 123 and I only wish I had your fortitude to dance too! Godd luck in all your endeavorsand you will make your goals and be in the and overs soon,
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By ZandBPremium member
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 05:35 PM
ibutterfly wrote:

It is really wonderful to see an older woman follow her dream and dance!!!


Older and younger are such relative terms...

I hope I look as young as Hop_123 when I turn 45...

Mississippi one

Mississippi two

Mississippi three

Now go get a cloth and clean off your screen and keyboard.


Rachel you go girl!!!!!
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By StepdancerPremium member
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 08:25 PM
How wonderful to see an adult dancer profiled! I'm with ZandB--you go, girl!
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By treblejiggernaut
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 09:47 PM
Hop123---I love your ID bio. It is great to read about fellow adult dancers. It's great to see other adults about our age taking ID classes and doing well at it and really enjoying themselves. Keep it up girl :0)!!! I think the older woman label for you just doesn't fit, you are much too young for that label.
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 02:35 PM
Thanks Cinnawiz! It's so cool to be "famous"

^Treblejiggernaut, THANKS! I'm glad you think the older woman label isn't right. I don't feel like an "older woman"
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By StepdancerPremium member
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 05:38 PM
*chuckle* "Older" and "younger" are indeed relative terms, and never more so than in ID. Where I come from, you're told you're too old to start if you're 10. :P (10? 10?)
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By PWover50
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 06:54 PM
Cinnawiz - thanks for another great bio!

Hop_123 - where do I begin? Are we twin sisters of different mothers?

Both Physical Therapists, both working Geriatrics, both able to "see" what muscles are working or are tight in a dance step.
Both with dancing daughters.
Both can sew and scrapbook, but your wonderful dress has put me to shame.
Both are "older women" (I like that label ... if said slowly and with slightly raised eyebrows, sounds mysterious and kinda sexy....)
Both devotees of DDN!

So WHY (**sob**) do we each have to live on opposite sides of the United States?! It's so unfair! :D

Lov U sista!
Lenda
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By Carlin1
On Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:01 AM
Really enjoyed reading your journey in the irish dancing world. I am a 42 year old Mother of five children. 4 of my daughters Irish dance they are aged between 4 years old and 13.. Ive always wished to dance myself, but have felt I was too old. After reading your story maybe Ill give it a go. Well done, youre an inspiration to others.
re: Reel Treble #38!!
By thefonz1
On Wed Jan 20, 2010 01:45 PM
Fare play to you have giving me the confidence to start my irish dancing all over again love the name you called yourselfxx

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