WAAA! A céili (2) And a tough step ahead...

A slightly unpleasant surprise awaits me when at the bus shelter the bus I should be taking, is suddenly cancelled 3 minutes after it should have been there. A quick run to the other bus-stop (I live right inbetween two Amsterdam-bound services) will most likely mean I miss that one as well and waiting for the next one is a guarantee to miss the ferry.

While walking back home I see the other bus drive by in the distance: I really would not have made it.
I call my teacher to ask if I can hitch, which is no problem at all.

When we get to our floor the group before is taking its time. Chit-chat is going on while they should have left already by now.
The doors at the other side of the hall are already open and when I see others take a look outside and see them pull a surprised face, I get a bit curious. I have no idea what is going on, but just continue with my warm-up.
When I have made my first circle and pass the doors again, I see someone closing them with a huge grin on his face. I also get a glimpse on a frying-pan, the flags are out and all kinds of other decorations are put up.

The teacher asks who closed the doors and I can only reply someone did. She opens them again which makes the guy that just closed them walk up to us again to close them back down immediately.

'We're having a party and your music isn't really our taste' is his comment on the situation. Our teacher responds in a similar way: 'Well, we're having a party as well and your music isn't our taste' and she opens the doors again. But we are kindly requested to keep them closed, so eventually we comply.

The right speed of music?

I get the feeling something's wrong with the music when I have to dance the Reel, although that is hardly possible. But I can stick to the tempo so well I even dance too fast. The Slip Jig or Light Jig, I can't remember which one, also seems to play slower than usual.

As the temperatures have gone up significantly again to practice outside, I practice some of the Light Jig steps there. There are a few shipping-containers in the big hall as well and as clean as they are I can't resist to slap my heels to the floor of them to find out what it sounds like, something I will later try on my heavy shoes as well. The bangs are incredibly loud, so I quit doing that after a few steps already.

The two beginners that were here last week are present this time as well. That's convenient as I can now practice the Light Jig with someone who knows that dance completely. I still end with the wrong leg, especially after the 'closing' step of the 3 identical steps this dance features so much.

As we will be doing a group-dance as well, we skip the Slip Jig this time.
The Treble Jig does not go well. I've got great trouble keeping up to speed and end on the wrong leg a few times during the dance. When I get to the side-step, I just can't go on, stop for a while but then take up the dance again at some point. It's not until the end when I really start to get into trouble and quit.

I practice outside for a while, where one of the beginners is trying her best on her heavy shoes. I won't say anything because I also remember very well how hard it was, but it's nice to not be the 'beginner-beginner' this time. While I can do a treble pretty easy by now, my fellow-beginner still shuffles over the floor a lot. She stammers that she understands the moves she needs to do, but beautiful clicks are not going to happen any time soon. I can only think about the frustration I felt back then, when this proved so much harder than I expected, so I know how she feels.

The Saint Patrick is my next dance. I did practice it, but melting it together to a complete dance is not for me yet. Especially the tip-hop-down, where I first have to hit the floor with my left foot and then have to let my right foot 'fall' to the floor instead of 3 times with left and 3 times with right straight after, just won't get into my brain. It also feels like a completely illogical step so far.

Tough steps in foresight

As I couldn't write down the last steps last week, I couldn't practice them as well. I thought I knew what it had to be, but when I show my teacher, she says I'm doing it all wrong.
When she shows what me and the other beginner have to do, she explains we will be getting our first rocks next week. Me and my fellow-beginner look at eachother in slight fear and I really admit I'm nervous for those steps. Though I have done it before, I was wearing sneakers and had a bar for support.
Now I will have to do this on my heavy shoes and the most important is that there's no bar in our room...
Well... we'll see next week.

Groupdance, second attempt

And then we get to the groupdance. It's the same dance as last week, but now there are 9 people to dance it with, we can go on for longer.
Apparently, I've got a set position as a male, I'm literally being put in my place and have to stay on the outside of a line of 3 people.
The first few bars we are just standing there as we have to wait till the other group faces us.

It's not flawless, but I didn't expect it to be, but the fun we have is great. I do loose sense of where we are when I suddenly end up in the middle of the line of people, where I thought I had to stay on the outside.

I now feel a bit sorry for the two beginners that are with us today. Both got the Reel in whole just a moment ago, after that one of them got the Light Jig and the first steps on heavy shoes and now they are also take part in the group-dance...

And while we are quiet normally at the end of class, we are now exuberant. Everyone is smiling and seems to have relaxed more than usual.
I now better understand the joy of a groupdance and I owe a bit of an apology to myself and some classmembers, when I said how funny I found it when 2 of our class got permission to practice a Two-Hand Reel and - while cheering - fell into eachothers arms.

I now get it. There's a certain feeling to it that lifts the spirit. Next week will feature another groupdance and I'm curious how well I will be doing.