Amy's Paradise

This blog may be the ramblings of an Irish Dancer in Australia who writes stories too…

The Hound of the TCRG Exams – 08/02/12

on 08/02/2012
Things are not going well…

My studying has slowed… I’m frightening to small children… and it’s only several weeks away…

I don’t even want to count them! Eek!

I’ve been having some issues both with dancing and personal… I won’t go into depths about my personal issues, but with studying the ceili dances… WHAT A NIGHTMARE! My teacher was like ‘write a book out each night! It’s the only way you’ll learn them’. Do you know how much that is? Several several pages and my writing hand aches after writing out just a few… so I sort of stopped studying. But then I’d feel guilty because this is a Eight hundred dollar exam! You can’t just fail it! So I thought writing it out is not working for me – everyone works differently so I’m trying a different approach… I just learn the order of the movements of the dances… one ceili dance a day! It’s working… I just stroll around at work and just go through the order of the movements in my head (the customers look at me funny thinking I’m talking gibberish). I’ve got about ten so far (out of thirty) that I can write down in order… I mightn’t know how to dance those dances, or how on Earth to teach them but hey! I know the order – it’s a start.

Then I can go back and write out one a day but hand… duplicate it onto the page… I was overwhelming myself I think and taking a step back I might be able to manage it… but then my teacher gets me all nervous again about studying she wants me to start practice exams which I’m SO not ready for… I attempted a few a week or so ago and the first one did did not go well. Every question I had to sneak my nose into the book and cheat… I’ll get there soon. On the weekend I might attempt another and hand it too her to mark. I won’t know everything yet, but I do know some… It’s all a working progress it is…

Now… small children… I really hope I don’t get a child who doesn’t talk… It’s difficult… very difficult, especially when you’re not good with children in the first place… First day back at class for the year and I offer to help with the new beginners class to help my teachers and myself getting to know children. And there was Lily, the most adorable four year old wearing all pink and pigtails. My teacher just tells her to come with me and do the third step of her reel and I just (in a sweet voice) command her about. She keeps getting the step wrong and I haven’t a clue how to fix it. I know what it is, but how to put it in a way a child understands… another story. I tell her what’s wrong, but… ARGH! She just nods her head and then gets it wrong again. I try and show her, but nah! I think I was very scary… my teacher then saved me and I watched her careful in how she interacted with her and then gave me pointers in how you have to be very visual with them. Talking to children in dance terms is another language… you have to be very visual with them (like teachers do with ‘A is for Apple’ with a picture of an apple). I realised that next time I have to shrink to their height so I’m not big, tall and scary, ask for their name and introduce myself…

The next week was much better with Orla. I remember having to help her last year in classes. So I got down on the floor, asked for her name and asked if she remembered me… She didn’t but that was all right, so I introduced myself again… We got to communicating… Thank God! She talked! It was MUCH easier! And she actually progressed really well and learnt a new step of the light jig! I broke it down easy enough for her to understand and everything! It’s was really rewarding… Not much had happened, but still!

I’ve made a few more rhymes to lilt for the set dances, they’re not as creative as some of my other rhymes, but they work, whenever they start on the iPod I start lilting and I instantly know what set it is (this was one of my teachers brilliant ideas).

But practical way of making up my set dance steps, I’ve started Rodney’s Glory and I almost have a whole Treble Jig, but unfortunately, I’ve forgotten my hornpipe! I’m sure I’ll remember it! I’m pretty good at those things, I can remember my Lodge Road from 4 years ago without visual help so… a few weeks should be fine!

So that’s all I have so far for the 8th of February… till next time!


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