Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'm glad I'm not an accountant


First dates, awkward bar conversation, small talk....all these settings usually result in the same question: "so.... what do you do for work?"
I don't love this question. Not because I don't love my job, but because I know what I'm about to see. I usually take a deep breath, prepare myself and say, "I'm an Irish dancer."This is wear the conversation gets interesting. First, the person who asked the question gets up from wherever they were sitting, moves chairs and tables out of their way, and flails their limbs around for an uncomfortably long time. "You mean like this?!" They always ask, pleased with themselves. Some of them are frighteningly serious about their interpretation.
"Yes," I think, "people pay me to teach their children how to do that. Sometimes, if I'm not feeling adventurous, I tell them I'm a ballet teacher (I do that to). Not once has someone shown me their adaptation of Swan Lake. Hard to believe, but it really is that simple. I just put on some Irish drinking songs, tell the children to put their arms down, and then just move their legs in interesting patterns. When they are good enough at that, they move to the advanced level, it's very similar to the beginning level, but they wear loud shoes on their feet."
Of course, this is not what I say. I laugh with them, humour them. Allow them to mock my lifestyle in front of me.
I wonder if people in other lines of work have similar encounters. Sometimes, if I'm not feeling adventurous, I tell them I'm a ballet teacher (I do that to). Not once has someone shown me their adaptation of Swan Lake. I am grateful for what I get to do every day, and having someone make fun of me (maliciously or otherwise) at a bar is a small price to pay for getting to live a life that I cherish. And, let's face it, watching a grown man hop around at a bar is a lot less painful than attempting to make accounting sound interesting.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Because Irish Dancers are People Too.

I have recently achieved my childhood dream, well, the most important one anyway. It was to live with the girls I danced with, have a dance studio in our house and spend most of our lives practicing, talking about and planning ways to do more Irish dancing.

It happened organically, we started an Irish dance company (another dream come true!!!), got to know each other quickly via arguements about dance technicalities and started trying to make money Irish dancing. Three of us needed new spaces to live, we needed a place to practice and voila! the Seattle Irish Dance House was born.

Irish dancing has always been a personality defining trait for me, if I didn't live it, I'm not sure what I would live. People seem to be facisnated by it; they wonder why we do it, how we do it? They wonder if we all have Irish dance fetishes (we don't!) They stop in the middle of the sidewalk, mouths hanging  open to watch us practice. Some think it's too easy to even be considered dancing, (for example:, some think it's physically impossible and we must be magical creatures. The truth of the matter is that non-Irish dancers are either very uninformed, misinformed or just plain curious. This is a blog about our lives (like many blogs are) but we happen to be Irish dancers.