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Celtic Radio Community > Irish Dance > Is Dancing Becoming A Beauty Pageant?

Posted by: LilysApple 02-Jul-2005, 10:52 AM
Is Dancing Becoming a Beauty Pageant?
By Jon Myles

Trendy young Irish dancers may be all the rage on stages across the world ? but they?re are out of step with Ireland?s Minister for Education.

Parents are used to paying out thousands of pounds for the essential wigs and expensive dresses to make their dancing children look good.

But they?ve fallen foul of Minister Mary Hanafin over the latest fad ? make-up and tanning creams.

And what?s more she wants to orchestrate a backlash against the trend for dolling-up young dancers.

The former teacher said she was hopeful parents everywhere would voice their objections to the spend, spend, spend culture which has grown up around Irish dancing competitions.

?The sooner parents object to it the better,? she said.

Her comments came after watching an Irish dancing presentation performed by girls at a new ?2million all-Irish school in Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan.

She said she pleased all the girls were wearing colourful traditional costumes and hadn?t the slightest tinge of make-up on their faces.

And Ireland?s National Parents Council backed the Minister?s comments ? warning that covering children in blusher and mascara risked reducing Irish dancing to a beauty pageant.

Spokeswoman Eleanor Petrie said: ?It would be dreadful if we saw traditional Irish dancing taking on the role of an American beauty pageant which has more to do with mum and dad?s ambitions than the child?s enjoyment.

?I think any kind of stereotype is dangerous. Dance competitions are supposed to be concerned with how you move and hold yourself not how you look.

?The colour of your skin should not influence a judge one way or the other.?

But not everyone is in agreement ? especially in Britain.

One young Irish dancer from Manchester taking part in a competition this weekend said dressing up was an essential part of the enjoyment of Irish dancing.

?Most girls like to dress up and wear make-up to look their best,? she said. ?it?s part of the enjoyment and atmosphere of the event.

?I can?t see anything wrong with wearing make-up when dancing and all my friends agree.?

What?s your view? Should Irish dance contestants forego the make-up and elaborate costumes? Write to the Irish Post, Cambridge Grove, Cambridge House, Hammersmith, London W6 0LE.

Lily O

Posted by: Irish Stepper 04-Jul-2005, 12:45 AM
Oh Boy! You've hit on a major peeve with me! laugh.gif

I hate the direction that Irish Dance it going for the girls. I think it's over kill to have a $2,000 dress that sparkles so much it blinds you. The NAFC rules state that you should wear "traditional celtic dress". There's nothing traditional about the majority of those solo dresses. I'd say at least half of them don't even have any kind of celtic knotwork or anything else celtic on them. One thing I'm glad they cracked down on here in the US is that girls under 10 years old are no longer allowed to wear make-up, wigs, or tanner. I'd love to see them go back to the more traditional celtic dresses as well. But I doubt if it'll ever happen. unsure.gif

Posted by: catlynelizabeth 28-Aug-2005, 06:49 PM
It's funny that you should mention that this issue is a pet peeve of yours. I don't dance with a competitve school and so we don't have the thousand dollar dresses and wigs and tanner. We have very simple very classic dresses and we have actually gotten compliments and people have said that they like us because we don't have wigs and the like. We love dancing in our simple classic dresses because they flatter everyone and aren't blinding or stiff.

Posted by: Eiric 01-Sep-2005, 02:21 AM
I totally agree with ye on this point! For goods sake; is it dancing or a beauty contest? And when I see lasses that young wearing all that crap on their faces, but with a dress I wouldn't even consider Celtic, I always feel sad, so sad. For goods sake they're kids, not some sort of sex symbols!!!
Being a boy is a little easier (I promise you no lads would even consider wearing make-up when dancing Irish wink.gif )
Anyway, I think that a lass should be natural, and if, I say IF, she wants to wear make-up she should be at least old enough.
In Sweden they sell bras for babies, how sick is that?!!! Is it dancing or sex, are they kids or symbols?

Posted by: Irish Stepper 07-Sep-2005, 04:06 AM
Well, that's one thing I love about being an adult dancer. We have nice simple black velvet dresses with capes. Nothing crazy or outlandish! I've seen some adults dancing with solo dresses, and they really look rediculous. The girls are one thing, but adults? Unless you're competing with the other teenagers, then give up the solo dress and go for a simpler style. thumbs_up.gif

Posted by: Eiric 07-Sep-2005, 08:25 AM
I totally agreee with you!

Posted by: greenldydragon 01-Apr-2006, 03:03 PM
Simplicity is definitely the way to go. That is one of the reasons I decided to wait on possible dancing lessons, I couldn't stand the way the school had the dancers dress..

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