Amy's Paradise

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

The Adventures of Studying for the TCRG Exams – 15/03/12

Well that just blows…

didn’t do very well on the practice exams I’ve done so far, but they were the first I did without looking at the book! So 50% correct in that respect is all right. At least it isn’t 20% or something! GOD, that would just send me down a spiral of foreseeable doom!

You hear about all the horror stories about TCRG exam about hows there’s a 75% fail rate and such… but the examiners aren’t out to get you, apparently, they help you if they sense that you do know your stuff. I’ve got to remember that they’ve been where I’ve been… unless they dinosaur age and created the whole terrifying experience. Who knows?

Apparently, there are about 32 people doing the exam both TCRG and ADCRG here in Australia. It’s quite a few more than expected as it’s been over 18 months since the last exam took place down in Sydney. Now it’s in Brisbane, very convenient for me and my friends doing the exam at a nice Bar/hotel. We’ll be getting smashed once the exams are over apparently! Doesn’t help that I don’t drink, but it’ll still be relief once the whole thing is over, but I don’t get to find out my results till October. I think I’ll forget the whole horrifying experience by that time because I’ll be focusing so much on Nationals!

I am freaking out slightly with doing the practice exams, studying the book and set dances. That CD from the pack I got a few weeks ago is so different to the ones I’ve been listening to from the 100% pure set dance CD, I’ve gotten worse in that aspect. I guess it’ll take time. Thing is… I don’t have time. It’s just two months away and I’m going overseas to Worlds, London and Paris for THREE weeks! I want to be excited about going on holiday but I’m so screwed! REALLY screwed! I guess I know what I’ll be doing on the long flight over there and back! Practice exams!!!

*breathe into a paper bag*

I’ve figured out my problem ceili’s that I just blank out when I’m doing an exam and they just keep popping up! There’s mainly four, which I just have to keep going over in my head.

Waves of Tory, Duke Reel, Antrim Reel, the order of the Bonfire dance (I know ‘The Rose’ pretty well) and the third figure of the sixteen hand reel (explaining it in detail that is) I know it’s ‘Arch Arms’, but how to dance it I have no idea. But they like to trick you in the exams. You always expect that when the Gates of Derry question pops up you think they’ll ask about ‘Telescope’, but no the question I had was describe in detail the first two movements. So ha! They can catch you out with any question they please! You have to LEARN everything! There are no two ways about it!


I guess I just keep doing exams! The Ar Rinci Foirne is my new bible and I have to learn chapter and verse (ceili’s and order of movements) off by heart!

If any one has any tips for the exam please help! Me and my friend could really use the advice! I know people like to give advice… readily!

This is our dance school dancing in the parade last year in Brisbane! I'm the girl in the red, black and white dress!


So this is it two days before St. Patrick’s Day! More displays for the public while they drink down their beers and spirits!

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Much Ado About TCRG Exams… 7th March 2012

How did it get to be the 7th of March, eh?

I don’t know…

And just don’t ask about study? Really… I tell you now… it’s hopeless!

I’ve done some practice exam papers and… I haven’t gotten them back from my teacher who is marking them, but I felt like they were just BAD! But… who knows right?

How am I going to survive this? A 2 hour written exam! It’s just ridiculous!

And it’s just over two months away! ARGH!!!! Freaking out!

Though we have had nights getting together (some of the others going for their exams and my teacher) to visualise the ceili dances and boy does it help. Visually seeing what the dances are than what is written on the page makes a whole lot of difference.  It’s hard because no one does them in competition so it’s difficult to see them. Now I can actually remember Glencar Reel, Harvest Time Jig, Haste to the Wedding and Bridge of Athlone, now that we’ve gone through and danced them.

I got pretty excited when I got my examination preparation pack four weeks ago and it was massive. MASSIVE. Practice papers X 10, CD with the set dances on it, Child protection booklet, Code of conduct booklet, syllabuses for ADCRG, TCRG, TMRF, and grade exams (I think the CLRG were having a massive clean out), brief history about things, more application forms (for what exactly? I don’t know) and they photocopied the entire ceili book (Luckily I bought one about a year ago). As I said massive. Barely fit into my mail box.

I also got some other exciting news, because I really didn’t want to retire from dancing just yet, but I couldn’t really wait till the next set of exams to come around, so I got permission from the Head Office to hold my results until after the Australian National Championships! I’m so excited! It’s in Adelaide where I haven’t been before! I’m determined to get a place this year. I get to do Nationals ONE LAST TIME!

Teaching little kids have gotten a bit easier. We got two new little ones, so it’s best to be with them from the start and it’s so exciting to see them get better and better each class. It’s rewarding seeing them do a proper over-two-three for the first time. Plus, they are absolutely adorable!

I think my study has lapsed a bit because during the last few dance classes we’ve been focusing on the upcoming event of St. Patrick‘s Day. This year we have the first ever Brisbane Irish Festival which my club, Queensland Irish Association, has put together with sponsorship from the government. It’s from the 9th -17th and we have to dance a hundred different displays at a thousand different places! But the main events that I always look forward too are the Parade, we get to dance for all the officials like the Lord Mayor and Premier and such, then there’s the Irish Fair, which are usually held at the Botanical Gardens but now held in King George Square (if you’re familiar with Brisbane City scape). I guess this has been distracting because it’s exhausting spending the entire day dancing at different venues, but it’s all worth it. Great memories and helping a part of our culture stay strong!

So not very far for the 7th of March, but I don’t think I’ve gone backwards… that much!

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