Welcome to Reel Treble #45!
In this issue we meet reel_faerie85, a.k.a. Claire, an Intermediate dancer from the O'Dwyer Academy of Irish Dance.
Years Doing Irish Dance:
About 8 in total but I took a 10 year break
O'Dwyer Academy of Irish Dance
BAID, IDTA, FIDTA
How old were you when you started Irish Dance and how did you get started?
I was about 7 or 8 and the class was across the road from me. I used to see the dancers going in and out and begged my mum for weeks to let me go...she eventually gave in as it was cheaper than the ballet, tap, gymnastics and everything else I also begged for! Then, about a year later Riverdance happened!
How many classes do you have a week?
Its up to the dancer at our school there are classes 5 days a week up to 2 hours long, I usually go for between 2- 3 hours but have agreed to dance every night this week!
How often do you practice at home?
Practically never as I work shifts and have just moved back with my parents and they have banned hard shoes in the kitchen - apparently getting another new floor after I have cracked it again is out of the question.
Did Irish Dancing come naturally to you or did you have to work at it?
A bit of both. Some of it comes easy and I am finding it harder now that I am older, I am not flexible and my ankles seem to have seized up. I travel well but can't do too many tricks.
Does Irish Dancing get in the way of your school work or social life?
It is my social life! And yes I do put it before uni even though I shouldn't!
What do your friends think of your dancing? Do they support it?
They think I am weird most of the time but are totally in awe when I show them.
Do you do figure dances?
I used to do them at my old school, we did 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16. My teacher is just starting to teach figures now. I love them.
What does your dress look like and who made it? Writer's note: I'm so behind on this interview, I'm sure her dress is finished by now! LOL!
Erm, its in pieces. I finally got one last night (2nd hand) and I am stripping it down and sorting it out, re-lining it, taking out darts etc. It's a mess right now but will be ok until I order a brand new one.
What brand of softshoes and hardshoes do you wear?
Antonio Pacelli Elites for my lights they are ace. My heavies were donated and I don't know who made them, they are split sole but the sole is leather?! Nice tips and heels too but the heel keeps flying off.
What is the farthest you've traveled for a feis?
The Isle of Wight!
What is your favorite feis and why?
All of them.
Have you ever been to a major championship?
I used to go to the All Englands when they were held by SPIDA. That was a long time ago. I am down to go to the Europeans (FIDTA) and fingers crossed for the Leinster Championships this year.
Do you get nervous before you compete?
"Never give in!" --reel_faerie85
Do you have any rituals you do before you dance?
I have to make sure I have my glasses on. If I can't see the crowd properly I freak!
What is your greatest accomplishment in Irish Dancing?
Getting into Open when I was younger, winning the All Englands in number of dances and then that Association disappeared so I guess I am still champion? Lol! And now its just being able to dance.
What was your greatest disappointment in Irish Dancing and how did you overcome it?
Getting joint 2nd with my best friend and then she cried and said I had cheated her from 1st and never spoke to me again. It caused all sorts of problems in class and at school and ended up with her Dad moving her to a different dance school. It was really hard as a child to try and understand why her parents were upset. I thought 2nd was great! I have overcome it by reminding myself its not about the trophies and I praise all the other dancers as well.
What are some of your short term goals?
To master my steps for the O'Dwyer Open Feis on 19th September and to have my dress back together!
What are some of your long term goals?
I want to get back into the Open section and to dance at a major. I don't care about winning I just want to go.
What is your favorite dance and why?
Slip jig because it flows.
What is your least favorite dance and why?
Heavy jig, I can never get the timing and I don't think my steps fit well, which is an ongoing matter with my teacher
I change them and she changes them back!
What move took you forever to master?
Toe walks but I have them!
What is your favorite move?
Turn back click.
Do you ever want to take the TCRG exam and teach?
Possibly but I am a full time student at the moment and qualify this time next year as a nurse which means shifts so not sure I could fit it in.
Who do you admire the most in Irish Dancing?
Michael Flately - read his book.
If you could take a free workshop with any dancer as your teacher, who would you pick and why?
Michael Flately because he has struggled to get where he is and has never given up hope.
...a huge mark on her forehead...
Tell us one of your funniest or most interesting feis stories.
A girl fell off the stage onto the trophies once. She had a huge mark in her forehead. Was scary at the time but pretty funny back then. That was before duck tape when we used hairspray to stop us slipping. It does work (usually).
What was your most embarrassing moment in dancing?
I can't think of one.
Are you close with fellow Irish Dancers?
I like to think I inspire other dancers in my school.
What's in your dance bag?
Shoes, a dress (don't ask), baby wipes, deodrant, hairclips, tape, dirty socks, tights, pens, shoe laces, makeup, tweezers, safety pins, brooches, paper, chocolate wrappers.
Do you do any other types of dance?
Do any of your family members Irish Dance as well?
Nope - my Nan used to go to Ceili's though.
What other hobbies do you have?
Horseriding, when I have time.
Quick Fire Questions:
Hardshoe or Softshoe:
Reel or Slip Jig:
Hornpipe or Treble Jig:
Wig or Bun:
Neither I have curly hair
Feis or Show:
School Dress or Solo Dress:
Both or just a skirt and t-shirt
Claire, it's been a pleasure getting to know you. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us! Sorry there was such a delay with the interview!!--Reel Treble