Feature: Irish / Irish

Reel Treble #42!
By Cinnawiz
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 09:37 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-04-05 09:41:41 you CAN has feature!

Welcome to Reel Treble # 42!
In this issue we meet Alicia, a.k.a. Luv2jig, a prelim dancer with the McDade-Cara School.


Name: Alicia
Dance.net Name: Luv2jig
Member since: August 7, 2007...whoa that's a long time.
Years Doing Irish Dance: 12 years...that's a long time, too.
Age: 25
Dance School: McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance
Organization: CLRG
Competition Level: Prelims
Region: Mid-Atlantic (USA)

What is the story behind your DDN name?
It was my AIM name since high school and I use it for everything!


How old were you when you started Irish Dance and how did you get started?
I am a proud member of the Riverdance generation! We watched the movie in music class at school and I knew that I wanted to be able to do that stuff. Unfortunately, I grew up in an Irish dance deficient part of Pennsylvania so it took a few years for my Mom to find a dance school. Eventually, with the help of a local Irish band, we found a school based out of Pittsburgh that held classes at a branch studio on Sundays about 45 minutes from home. I only competed in 3 or 4 feisanna as a "child" and then danced with Kieran Jordan in Boston as well as Step About Boston at Boston University. I danced with the adult group Crossroads for 1.5 years and then switched to a competitive children's school.

How many classes do you have a week?
I could go to a dance class every day of the week if I wanted, but I usually get there 2-3 times per week for 2-3 hours at a time.

How often do you practice at home?
I never do. We live in an apartment and 1) there is no room, and 2) our landlord lives below us.

Did Irish Dancing come naturally to you or did you have to work at it?
It came to me naturally until I got to prelims. I'm athletically inclined in general so I think it took me 3 feisanna to get everything in novice and at the 4th one I got all firsts to move to prizewinner.

Does Irish Dancing get in the way of your school work or social life?
I think my work and social life get in the way of my Irish dancing!

What do your friends think of your dancing? Do they support it?
They love it an always want me to teach them things. I've also been very lucky to have opportunities to teach mini-workshops to theater groups and history classes.

Do you do figure dances?
I did a figure at one class with the little kids and I almost got run over. Literally. The Morris Reel is not for me. I do the low-key ones in parades, though.

What does your dress look like and who made it?
Purple and gold, made my Laurie Westphal of Seattle, WA.

What brand of softshoes and hardshoes do you wear?
Hullachan softshoes and Rutherford hard shoes.

What is the farthest you've traveled for a feis?
Probably from Philly to Pittsburgh last Christmas. But I cheated and stopped at my parents' house halfway there.

What is your favorite feis and why?
I love the ones that my friends go to! I'm the oldest in my school so I like to make sure I will know some people in my comp before I sign up. It's much more fun when you have big group to hang out with.

Have you ever been to a major championship?
I went to the Oireachtas last year for the first time...and probably the last time (as a dancer), because I'm having a baby in June :)

Do you get nervous before you compete?
I always have a moment of "Why did I sign up for this again?" but it goes away pretty quickly. It took me a long long time in prizewinner to dance at a feis and not feel like my legs were disconnected from my body.

Do you have any rituals you do before you dance?
I must put on my right shoe first and my husband has to kiss me.

We had a workshop teacher that told us we should have one word that we say to ourselves before we go onstage. Mine is "fearless" because even though it's a scary thing to dance in front of all those people I still do it and that itself is quite an accomplishment. --luv2jig


What is your greatest accomplishment in Irish Dancing?
Making it to prelims. When you're 25 years old and a med student, competing with 15 and 16 year olds is pretty difficult. I knew that if I made it to prelims I could be happy with what I accomplished with the time and resources I had.

What was your greatest disappointment in Irish Dancing and how did you overcome it?
I'm only disappointed when I feel I haven't danced my best. At the Oireachtas I know I danced the best I ever have in competition even though I came in 3rd to last. When I feel like I danced well I honestly don't care if I place or not. I know it sounds cheesy but it is sooooo true.

What are some of your short term goals?
Stay in shape so maybe I can do adult figures someday in the future.

What are some of your long term goals?
Stay involved in some way, hopefully through my kids!

What is your favorite dance and why?
Slip jig because it's so sing-song-y. Also why I like hornpipe.

What is your least favorite dance and why?
Treble jig because it goes on forever and it's so fast there's no time to make big dramatic moves.

What move took you forever to master?
Bicycles! A girl I danced with in college was doing them back before they were common and about 3 years later I was confident enough to do them in my steps!

What is your favorite move?
I love the old school "side to side" movement that looks like skiing. It's easy but looks different.

Do you ever want to take the TCRG exam and teach?
I would love to! If I ever have spare time it would be great.

Who do you admire the most in Irish Dancing?
Each and every senior lady. I have so much respect for how hard it is to go to school/work while keeping up the caliber of dancing that they do. It's amazing to me how so many of them are wildly successful in dance and life.

If you could take a free workshop with any dancer as your teacher, who would you pick and why?
I think I would just like to be able to dance with my college group again. We learned so much from each other.

Tell us one of your funniest or most interesting feis stories.
At the Nation's Cap feis last year I was in prizewinner and we were dancing on these horrible parquet floors in a hotel. It was so slippery and my hornpipe was not the greatest, to say the least. But at the end I gave Niall O'Leary an big goofy smile and he gave me 1st! My first prizewinner 1st, no less!

...I cried when I was done!


What was your most embarrassing moment in dancing?
Falling flat on my butt at the Celtic Fling feis this summer. I sprained my right ankle at a feis a few weeks before and then I fell and sprained my left one at Celtic Fling. I redanced on it, though, and I was so proud of myself for going back out there I cried when I was done!

Are you close with fellow Irish Dancers?
Just a few, but I don't get to seem the often because they live a few hours away. That's why feising is so much fun!

What's in your dance bag?
Hard shoes, soft shoes, poodle socks, sock glue, shoe polish, duct tape, at least 3 empty water bottles, deodorant, leg warmers, and extra pony tail elastics.

Do you do any other types of dance?
I've taken ballet, hip hop, and break dancing classes in college which were all enormously fun. Tap was not so fun.

Do any of your family members Irish Dance as well?
My mom can to the basic jig step! But otherwise I'm the only one.

What other hobbies do you have?
Irish dancing is pretty much the only hobby I have! I don't have time for much else, but I do love to read and travel, travel, and travel.

Tell us something your friends would find surprising about you.
My friends already know this, but in June I will become a doctor AND a mom!


Quick Fire Questions:
Hardshoe or softshoe: Softshoe
Reel or Slip Jig: Slip jig
Hornpipe or Treble Jig: Hornpipe
Wig or Bun: Wig
Feis or Show: Show
School Dress or Solo Dress: Solo dress

Alicia, thank you for taking time to chat with us today. Congrats on your upcoming achievements!! --Reel Treble

15 Replies to Reel Treble #42!

re: Reel Treble #42!
By ScullyPAmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 AM
Great! Love the dress, and congrats on two huge accomplishes, a baby and a doctor.
re: Reel Treble #42!
By celticfeetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 02:38 PM
Another wonderful interview! Thank you for being so inspiring; I'm 22 and two firsts away from prelim (my goal since I started dancing). My other goal is to make it to an Oireachtas, so thank you for reminding me to keep at it! :)
re: Reel Treble #42!
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 02:54 PM
Love reading and learning about other IDer's. Congrats on your impending baby! That's terrific. I'm glad you have had a lot of fun with dance up till now. Nothing like having a baby to shake your life up! I had to wait until after my kids were 7 and 9 before I could get involved in ID.
re: Reel Treble #42!
By Sweet_Annabelle
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 05:01 PM
A great interview! It's nice to know there are other med student irish dancers out there. I'm 2 dances away from prelims and a third year med student. I'm hoping to make it to prelims before i graduate. Congratulations on the baby and graduating. I hope the Match was good to you! :)
re: Reel Treble #42!
By luv2jigmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 05:27 PM
Thanks, everyone! Annabelle - the match was very good to me, I got my first choice! You can definitely make it to prelims before you graduate!
re: Reel Treble #42!
By ibutterfly
On Mon Apr 05, 2010 06:40 PM
Wow you are great. My DD married had a baby and went back to dancing. Since you are in her age group in prelim se is 21, perhaps we will see you at a feis in the mAR. Good luck and congrats in having a baby!
re: Reel Treble #42!
By Tansey
On Tue Apr 06, 2010 04:14 PM
Congratulations! You are one very accomplished young lady! I'm going to show this to my h.s. dd who is wondering if she can make it work to go into medicine and keep dancing. You're an inspiration!
re: Reel Treble #42!
By Sweet_Annabelle
On Tue Apr 06, 2010 07:14 PM
Congratulations on matching at your first choice. that is awesome! As an aside, do you think that dancing as an extracurricular activity was helpful or didn't make much difference for your application? I am curious if residency directors care about non-medical activities.
re: Reel Treble #42!
By ID_capes29
On Wed Apr 07, 2010 03:33 AM
Love reading reel treble. Luv2jig I really admire your positive attitude and the fact that you dont care so much about what place you come but whether or not you danced your best!!! :)
re: Reel Treble #42!
By ReelGirl343member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:05 AM
We love you Luv2jig!! You are an incredible dancer and a fabulous friend. Can't wait to feis with you again when we are all back <3
re: Reel Treble #42!
By dancing_rokker
On Sat Apr 10, 2010 02:43 AM
Amazing interview to read. Congrats on the baby!
re: Reel Treble #42!
By knossienne
On Tue Apr 27, 2010 03:55 PM
what's a side to side move? lol irish dancer blank out movement
re: Reel Treble #42!
By Ceallaighaine
On Tue Apr 27, 2010 08:55 PM
Yay Alicia! You better come back around to the feis, us MAR Senior Ladies will miss you! Congrats on the degree AND the baby!
re: Reel Treble #42!
By mcbrittle
On Sat Sep 25, 2010 08:07 PM
Are you still dancing? Because if you are you may have just made my day. You are no longer the only competitive dancer over 21 dancing for McDade-Cara! I have been a McHugh dancer since I was 9, after transferring from Timoney. With the merger, that means you're not alone anymore! I've been saying how I'm the only one since I've been back (past 7 months). There are a few other dancers, who came back when I did, that danced back when I did before. :) I've been competing since 4 provinces (I had only been back for 2 months then).
re: Reel Treble #42!
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Sep 26, 2010 06:42 AM
great interview love the dress!!

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