The silliness of the ongoing allegations in Irish dancing would be hilarious were it not for parents having to explain to heartbroken children that some of the teachers they trust and hope for for mature guidance may actually be obsessed with fame, hunters brought on by the lure of awards, even those obtained through unlawful means.
or the rest of us, the mind boggles. Of course, in sports, from boxing to cycling, from gymnastics to athletics, there is no shortage of scandals, but usually it stays on a professional, or at least adult level.
As always, those charged with investigating are advised to go after the money. In the case of the teachers at the center of the allegations, these are medals of no real value, but brilliant proof of “success”. It’s just a shame that it’s in their ability to score a judge with as little moral compass as themselves (in more ways than one) to grant favored students a spot on the podium. It’s just a shame that the fame doesn’t just belong to the child, but to a teacher puffed up by dubious overconfidence.
I attended an Irish Dancing Feis and it was one too many. It was the boy rather than the girl who had an idea about the Aon-Do-Tri. Luckily, he quickly decided it looked like too much effort and switched to something else. All that was required of him were black trousers, a white shirt and soft shoes. Total spend around €20 and the few bobs for the lessons. But the Feis, well, begged, as the fellah says, it was an eye opener.
If you’ve never been there, the closest analogy is those ridiculous children’s beauty pageants in the southern states of America. Young girls cloaked in glittery eyeshadow, false lashes that probably mink were butchered for, clad in curly abominations, laced up in glittery (and outrageously expensive) dresses, and have enough orange tans to make even Donald Trump blush. Tubes of glue (I’m not kidding) held the obligatory white socks on tiny hairless legs.
All of this is deemed necessary, as the organization believes that points should be awarded for such nonsense. It then becomes an industry in its own right, and that’s before the cost of travel (much of it international), tuition, shoes, and trailing paraphernalia associated with a hobby (yes! a child’s hobby) that, at its core, is a display of complicated, practiced dance steps with traditional musical accompaniment.
It takes effort, study and determination to excel in any competition and this can be judged by judging competitors from the waist down without emphasizing fake from the waist up. This is achieved through transparency of the process, clear step markings and open, independent competitions for all to witness. Until then, the message to the children, whose devotion, devotion and enthusiasm cement their loyalty, is “Your dancing alone is not enough or not good enough”.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/wrong-message-sent-to-loyal-irish-dance-kids-when-focus-is-on-fakery-42059793.html False message to loyal Irish dance kids when the focus is on fakes