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BS: wigs in Irish dancing

GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 13 May 13 - 05:22 AM
Jack Campin 13 May 13 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 05:53 AM
GUEST 13 May 13 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 13 May 13 - 07:49 AM
clueless don 13 May 13 - 09:13 AM
Ebbie 13 May 13 - 10:12 AM
Desert Dancer 13 May 13 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,mg 13 May 13 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Bonnid 13 May 13 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Bonnie 13 May 13 - 05:39 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 13 May 13 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,CS 14 May 13 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Eliza 14 May 13 - 03:34 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 May 13 - 03:55 AM
Penny S. 14 May 13 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,mg 14 May 13 - 04:11 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 May 13 - 06:46 AM
Maryrrf 14 May 13 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 May 13 - 11:28 AM
GUEST 14 May 13 - 12:03 PM
Desert Dancer 14 May 13 - 12:19 PM
Max Johnson 14 May 13 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,KT, not logged in.... 14 May 13 - 01:39 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 May 13 - 03:55 PM
Charmion 14 May 13 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Eliza 15 May 13 - 07:01 AM
Steve Parkes 15 May 13 - 12:39 PM
The Sandman 15 May 13 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,mg 15 May 13 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Eliza 15 May 13 - 03:54 PM
michaelr 15 May 13 - 08:25 PM
clueless don 16 May 13 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 16 May 13 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 May 13 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 May 13 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 16 May 13 - 11:59 AM
Maryrrf 16 May 13 - 12:35 PM
GUEST 16 May 13 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Bonnid 16 May 13 - 07:16 PM
Charmion 17 May 13 - 06:58 AM
The Sandman 17 May 13 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,mg 17 May 13 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 May 13 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 18 May 13 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 13 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 20 May 13 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 May 13 - 11:09 AM
The Sandman 20 May 13 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 21 May 13 - 04:54 AM
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Subject: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 04:36 AM

I went to irish fest last year and was horrified by these little girls in these weird polyester wigs...what is that about? is it commonly done? there were Irish dancers in seattle and i don't remember seeing it..it is so fake looking and must be too costly for many..plus the messsage it sends that your own hair is not good enough..funny, they have wigs to duplicate the hair i had as a kid..but some of these kids are of chinese or nigerian origin and they put the wigs on them too...i found it really creepy..do they do that in ireland? other parts of US? with all the messages they are trying to give young girls these days..then saying you have to spend money to look ridiculous and flammable besides and your own hair is not good enough so put this on....weird..it is reminiscent of those toddler pageants....mg


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 04:41 AM

i googled irish girls dancing creepy wigs and got 11 million hits. so i guess others share my disgust...marlo thomas needs to hear about this.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:00 AM

here are some pictures

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/17/magazine/irish-dancing.html?_r=0

i guess they do spray on tans as well..and the wigs give them bald spots and headaches some are saying...they are dressed up to appeal to low lifes I think..what happened to modesty for girls in general, and Irish girls in particular...I am going to write to the Irish fest about this..


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:22 AM

'they do spray on tans as well.'

Well, spray tan is a bit of an Irish thing. I sometimes do the honours and collect my son after nights out. Oompah Loompahs falling about all over the place.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:35 AM

I knew it was bad but I didn't realize it was that bad.

Those NYT pix are like something out of Diane Arbus. The girl from Glasgow seems be wearing spray-on pimples.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:53 AM

dance in the hair you were born with. that is why god made bobby pins and ribbons and rubber bands.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 13 - 07:34 AM

Those NYT pix? Ha ha! Yuk
:(


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 13 May 13 - 07:49 AM

The guardian had a set a while ago as well : Irish dancing championships


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: clueless don
Date: 13 May 13 - 09:13 AM

According to my old step dancing teacher, Feisianna (Irish dance competitions) in Ireland were traditionally held on Sunday. Girls/women would traditionally have their hair curled for Mass. As a result, dancing judges "of the old school" want to see the dancer's hair in curls, in remembrance of the old way. For years, dancers would curl their hair in preparation for competitions. Then someone got the bright idea of skipping the curling and just wearing a curled hair wig. This has been the practice for the last, oh, 15 years, more or less.

It is possible, of course, that everything I have just said is wrong, wrong, wrong! However, I'm just telling you what my teacher told me. The part about the wigs being in fashion for the last 15 years or so is based on my own memory of attending competitions, and so might be more prone to error.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 May 13 - 10:12 AM

To me, a clueless outsider, the hair is just part of the costume, and as such, is not appalling. One might just as easily say: Wear the clothes you were born with.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 May 13 - 02:10 PM

The story from my friend with the Irish dancing daughters (in Arizona) is that the curly hair style dates from the beginnings of the dance competitions in the Shirley Temple era. They also say that being able to put on (and take off) a wig is a lot easier than dealing with curlers. As Ebbie says, it's a uniform.

One can debate the value of such uniformity... but it's a sport like any other, really, as far as I can see. How the kids deal with it has more to do with their parents' input than anything else. The step-dancing kids in Tucson have some great models of adults who do it because they enjoy the heritage, music, and fun, and who don't make the competition or even formal performance the be-all and end-all. Kids and adults will get up at a session and dance.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:22 PM

I think they shouldn't have to deal with curlers either..how is a Chinese girl, and they do dance, going to get ringlets for heavens sake. What if we couldn't do barn dancing unless we had straight natural blond hair like the Swedes in Minnesota? What if we couldn't do Greek dancing unless we had thick black hair? Not that they all do of course...

And since when does looking like Shirley Temple trump having bald spots and headaches? Those are not my main worries though, which have to do with modesty..some of these girls are in the danger zone I would say of attracting the wrong sort of attention. And as for that bit about curling your hair in rags before Mass...the Irish that preceded me couldn't afford rags and now they have to buy their girls, their baby girls, wigs? There is much discussion about this here and there and I hope sense wins out.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Bonnid
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:37 PM

Big huge thread about this topic here, from a few years ago. Seems to be getting worse -

Wigs/Makeup in kids' Irish dance feis

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=118927#2578343


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Bonnie
Date: 13 May 13 - 05:39 PM

My eyesight isn't wot it used ter be

   - "Bonnid"


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 13 May 13 - 06:02 PM

Dancing is for the feet, not the hair!


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 May 13 - 03:22 AM

Fake tans, heavy make-up and huge wigs on children are weird and nasty enough.
But the shots with the made-up girls clutching teddy bears - obviously for the camera - just take it to another level of creepy. David Lynch would have a field day.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 May 13 - 03:34 AM

I think it's creepy too. Surely it's about traditional dance steps and not looking like a miniature porn star?


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 May 13 - 03:55 AM

Creepiest thing for me was the expression most of them wore. Beyond grim. Is this some new fashion-look, like the anorexic junkie one? Did a photographer tell them to project that mood? Hard to believe that it's natural. God. I hope not.

Some of those images really bothered me, even beyond the child-pornish teddy bears, but I couldn't figure out exactly what it was. Then I put my finger on it: They look like morgue shots.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 May 13 - 04:07 AM

That instructor seems to have a lavish wardrobe to match his dancers. Which is also weird.

Did those girls know what they were going to look like? Or their parents?

We had a couple of children from the school did the dancing and would
show us their routines - the girl's dress always had Celtic features about it, which these do not seem to have.
Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 May 13 - 04:11 AM

i will say that the ones i saw in milwaukee were not this bad...but that guy dressing up to match 14 year olds...that is what i worry about...


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 May 13 - 06:46 AM

14 year olds? One of them is 11.

The girl who looks the unhappiest - a combination of sad and angry - is also quite pretty, in a southern-belle sort of way. I tried to guess her age from the photo. 17 or 18, maybe?

11.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Maryrrf
Date: 14 May 13 - 10:37 AM

Our trio often performs at events during March around St. Patrick's day, and the usual schedule is live music (us), followed by dinner and then the local Irish dance group puts on a show. The kids are well scrubbed and bright faced, sometimes wearing costumes (not as elaborate as those in the pictures)and sometimes dressed in simple black skirts and leotards that allow for movement. There are no wigs. They look like they are having fun and enjoying the attention, and I really enjoy this kind of thing better than the competitive events where they're dolled up in the curls and makeup and must be under extreme stress. I know several kids involved in Irish dance who, as they progressed and did well, felt so much pressure to "take it to the next level" that they dropped out because it wasn't fun anymore. I suppose Irish dance is like anything else, when it reaches a certain level the focus and character of the whole concept changes. It's up to the individual as to how far they want to go, although one wonders sometimes whether the kids are doing what they want or what their parents want.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 May 13 - 11:28 AM

Two of my nieces and one nephew were in Irish dance for a long time. I went to a number of events as part of the family.

I remember the mother of a twelve-year old mentioning casually that her daughter was vomiting from nervousness at every competition. What!?

I remember my sis-in-law snapping at her boy because his foursome got a low mark on a dance. He was about nine years old.

The kids are doing this because they think it's what their parents want. Do they have any choice? Not really.
======
Nice post, Maryrrf.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 13 - 12:03 PM

Looking at the links from this thread and remembering the previous one the whole "creepy" element seems to have gone up a notch or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 14 May 13 - 12:19 PM

Echoing Maryrrf, world-level competition (that shown in the two photo sets) in anything is going to bring out the obsessives and the craziness associated with them. Not representative of all participants, for sure. And a good thing, too.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Max Johnson
Date: 14 May 13 - 12:20 PM

I remember the amazing dancing team Clan na Gael from the North East at the British folk festivals many years ago, as I'm sure many of you will. I'm sure these kids are also great dancers, but to me this just looks grotesque. Clan Na Gael were such a joy to watch, but sorry - I don't get this.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,KT, not logged in....
Date: 14 May 13 - 01:39 PM

It's not just the wigs....$$$$ want to buy a dress?


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 May 13 - 03:55 PM

And most of them are second-hand at that. One outfit has had two previous owners but will still set you back $1200. For a kid who'll outgrow it in a year.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Charmion
Date: 14 May 13 - 08:20 PM

The costumes and make-up look desperately vulgar to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 May 13 - 07:01 AM

Their appearanc reminds me a bit of Elton John in his huge wig and OTT make-up, during his very flamboyant phase!


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 May 13 - 12:39 PM

I think you should all be aware that in rhyming slang (a peculiarly English form of perverted English), an Irish jig is in fact a wig ... as is a syrup [of figs]. And you could try and connect rug with to cut a rug ... but maybe that's pushing the analogy a little too far?


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 May 13 - 01:27 PM

not quite what De Velera envisaged of comely maidens dancing at crossroads


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 May 13 - 01:56 PM

I just wonder what the good Irish nuns who taught me (and we were a missionary parish of Ireland) would have said..seeing 10 year olds in makeup and fake tans and plastic wigs and sometimes way too short skirts...what came down to me as Irish/Catholic although not all are...is extreme modesty...not whether or not you rolled your hair in rags and if that was a problem you went out and bought your daughter a wig??????? I can just imagine someone telling my father to buy me a wig..well, I would have been the one that didn't need one...so that I could do a jig...he would have thought it was hilarious and then he would have said no..as in no daughter of mine is going to leave the house dressed like that...and if we had had enough money to buy one of those wigs to say nothing of special socks, dresses that would cost a month of his salary...we would have had to give it to the missions instead...no wig no jig


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 May 13 - 03:54 PM

My mother was Irish (from Cork) and when I was small she insisted on rolling my hair up in 'rags' every night. It was painful when she did it, as it pulled, and it was uncomfortable to sleep on the knobbly lumps. I must have looked like Shirley Temple. Eventually she got fed up doing it and my hair was left alone. She never tried it with my feisty sister as she'd have created merry hell!


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: michaelr
Date: 15 May 13 - 08:25 PM

"desperately vulgar" - yes, that's how I feel about it. Sorta like Honey Boo-boo.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: clueless don
Date: 16 May 13 - 08:18 AM

Regarding the "way too short skirts": There actually are limits on how short a skirt may be (In the Irish Dance Commission rules, e.g.) I don't know how often or strictly they are enforced. However, I suspect that a frequent cause of too short skirts is that the dancer has a growth spurt.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 16 May 13 - 08:40 AM

I chucked a few posts into the thread Bonnie (or "Bonnid" - I like that!)mentioned. My daughter has quite Irish dancing now. She was at a feis where at the end kids were lined up on the stage and told where they ranked. All of them. So it's not enough to tell a kid they're first, second or third. You've got to tell them they're twenty-third into the bargain. Well, f**k that.

Why does all this wigs and fake tan nonsense happen? Because parents - mostly mothers - are ignorant, shallow, (predominantly) white trash who care less about their kids than they do about showing off how much tat they can afford. As far as music goes, most of them couldn't tell a slip jig from a slipped disk.

For the cost of one of these ghastly outfits they could buy their kids a decent quality musical instrument that would last them a lifetime. Try and explain that to them and they just look at you as if you'd just drooled down your shirt.

What's really disturbing is that they breed and they have votes.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 May 13 - 11:06 AM

Because parents - mostly mothers - are ignorant, shallow, (predominantly) white trash

Well, that may have been how it started, the reality is that those who don't conform won't get anywhere in the competitions. I know a few parents whose children have danced at competitive level. They resented the dress up and the cost of the gear. But. In order to have any stab at competing at all, the outfit matters. A lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 May 13 - 11:09 AM

It has, by the way, been often said the dresses look like someone who had eaten the book of Kells had vomited on them.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 16 May 13 - 11:59 AM

Someone else mentioned the Book of Kells thing before. Think it might have been Bonnid.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 May 13 - 12:35 PM

I would think that if the dance is what is being judged, which I would assume would or should be based on skill, grace, timing, getting the steps right, etc. an elaborate costume and hairstyle would just be distractions....after all this isn't supposed to be a beauty pageant. If the competitors wore some kind of uniform or regulation costume so that they were all dressed similarly, then it would be the skill of the dancer and not the costume and makeup that was being evaluated. With all the emphasis on the costume, makeup, hair etc. it almost seems like it's the image that is being judged and promoted. Well I suppose a whole industry has grown up around it, and it's taken on a life of its own. All in all I think Irish dance is a good thing - a lot of kids really enjoy it at the level they are comfortable with, and a select few decide to join the elite ranks where the pressure is really on.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST
Date: 16 May 13 - 07:11 PM

@Chris - I wish! I think it was originally Michaelr (??)


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Bonnid
Date: 16 May 13 - 07:16 PM

I wish Mudcat would transmit what I actually write - this is my fourth attempt to get something to post, and then it left the name box blank, even tho I definitely typed

Bonnid


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: Charmion
Date: 17 May 13 - 06:58 AM

In ballet competitions and auditions, the dancers wear strictly conventional leotards, tights and slippers. Their hair must be dressed in the dreaded ballet bun. This is done to ensure that adjudicators and casting personnel keep their attention on the dancer's physical and artistic capabilities.

It's not only cheaper or everyone involved, but also far more dignified.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 May 13 - 01:06 PM

do boys have to wear wigs too? the whole thing is very strange and somewhat unhealthy, it could encourage paedophilia


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 May 13 - 04:12 PM

That is what I have been thinking as well..my biggest worry more than bald spots.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 May 13 - 06:25 PM

"...parents - mostly mothers - are ignorant, shallow, (predominantly) white trash who care less about their kids than they do about showing off how much tat they can afford."

You go too far, Chris. I bet you've never even been to a feis.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 18 May 13 - 10:34 AM

Leeneia, read the rest of my post.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 13 - 12:17 PM

If you didn't mean it, I'm glad to hear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 20 May 13 - 07:00 AM

Oh, I meant it all right. I'm also pretty sure I've attended more feiseanna than most of the parents at these God-forsaken events have attended fleadhanna. From my own kid's point of view, the only benefit of 'Irish' dancing was that it helped her with her music. I suspect, however, that many of these kids have little or no exposure to the music apart from these ghastly CDs that their teachers make them 'dance' to. If their parents spent the same money on instruments that they do on these horrible dresses and wigs and sent them to music lessons they might learn an art form that allows for individual self-expression as well as discipline. I suspect, however, that most of these parents don't want them to have access to anything of the kind.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 May 13 - 11:09 AM

Just because people have slight cultural differences from you and from me doesn't mean they are trash.


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 May 13 - 12:58 PM

LEENIA,in my experience it means that some are pushing their children, to get some sort of reflected glory.
it is a fault of competitions aimed at children, even music competitions can end up putting some children off, and encouraging children to play music for the wrong reasons, music is not a competitive sport, I grant that a lot of children become proficient at music in ireland, but some of them end up with a competitive attitude when they are adults, much of this can be blamed on Comhaltas


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Subject: RE: BS: wigs in Irish dancing
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 21 May 13 - 04:54 AM

Dick, I think there's a lot of sense in what you're saying about competitions though I must admit I'm in two minds about it myself where music is concerned. Certainly, the whole Fleadh thing is incredibly arbitrary, especially in England (which, to be fair, is only a sideshow when it comes to the well-being of the Irish musical tradition overall). What I like about Fleadhanna, though, is when you see kids playing together spontaneously outside of a competitive environment. I can't say I've ever seen anything similar in the dancing Feiseanna I've been to. The great thing about a Fleadh, as far as the kids in our branch is concerned, is that it's a big social thing and an event in it's own right. I've certainly never seen any of our parents tearing strips off a kid for not doing well enough.

On the other hand, music, if you're going to get the most out of it as a young person, needs to be treated as a discipline and a structured activity as well at least when they're learning. They may or may not keep it up in later life but at least they've had the exposure to it when they were young and they've had access to musicians and teachers who (in our case) give their time for free to pass it on. Fleadhanna, for all their shortcomings, give them a focus for practicing, particularly in group and ceili band competitions (which kids love, in my experience).

So while I entirely agree with you that music is not a competitive sport, I think Fleadhanna give kids a focus for their music on a social as well as a competitive level. My own major issue (or one of them) with Comhaltas, I suppose, is that some kids and parents don't appreciate and make the most of what is being offered to them.

When I was running our branch, I stopped the long-established half-time sweetie break because you couldn't get the kids back from it and when you did they were so off their heads on sugar you couldn't do a thing with them. It did them no harm at all to do without but it was the parents, more than the kids, who kicked off about it.

In this instance, the competitive sport analogy would have been helpful. If kids are playing football or tennis or gymnastics you don't let them stop half-way through and stuff their faces with chocolate. And kids do need rules and boundaries. Team sports and playing in a grupaí cheoil are similar in that respect - you need to learn to think of others beside yourself. If practicing for a competition helps keep their focus on that consideration, that's fine by me.

I like the bit about 'reflected glory', by the way. How many middle-aged folkies do we both know who've been driving their kids around folk clubs since their early teens after getting them to learn to play their dad's Martin or their mum's Paolo Soprani? It ain't just dance mothers.....


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Mudcat time: 21 January 11:57 PM EST

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