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> Sore Feet, I'm sure dancers know what this is like!
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Dalriada Dancer 
Posted: 26-Jul-2005, 11:08 PM
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ZodiacHawthorn

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I broke my third metarsal a few years back and feel for you! I have heard in Irish you have to wait to compete. Thank goodness we can move about in Highland. Everything is standardized and we all do the same. I love choreographies to get creative...and adore watching Irish Step!


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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 30-Jul-2005, 12:06 AM
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Most of our steps are specific to the school you go to. A good adjudicator can tell who your teacher is by the steps you do. So yeah, we have to do a 6 month "re-styling period" so we can learn the specific steps from the new school. You're not supposed to use your old school steps anymore in competition. It's a daunting task though to go back to the basics and toss 3 years worth of steps out the door and start over. rolleyes.gif Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I like a challenge and it should be fun. Call me crazy! biggrin.gif


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Dalriada Dancer 
Posted: 09-Aug-2005, 09:30 PM
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Instead of Toss the Feathers, they should call it Toss the Steps!

Do the routines vary that greatly? I have to admit, I've only seen snippets of Irish dance here and there.

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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 09-Aug-2005, 10:49 PM
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Well there are standard dances in both Hard shoe and soft shoe. The soft shoe ceili dances are usually done with between 4-8 people. These are done "by the book". They're the same in the US as they would be in Britain or Austraila. Same thing goes for some solo Hard shoe dances, called Traditional hard shoe. There are separate categories at competitions for these. It's the Solo Soft shoe and hard shoe competitions that end up being whatever steps you can come up with. These are the ones that the teachers choreograph and teach to their students.
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Copar aBeannichte 
Posted: 26-Aug-2005, 03:49 AM
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ZodiacBirch

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Dear Highland - and Irish dancers.
One of the main problems is that the warming up exercises take up to little time in class and , very important, the awareness of the dancers of their body during these exercises.It is of the utmost importance that you are very concentrated .
Another thing is that we often are to cramped and use to many muscles.
Try before getting into class to really relax youself and take the relaxed feeling with you into class and the training. Of course we need to work hard and we want to enter competitions and win. But remember the fun of dancing is the very most important. Let's face it we can not win everything and we can not all be the best.
Especially when young , the dancers and teachers have to realise that a young body is flexible , heals quickly but can be damaged for a long time, sometimes for life. I am 39 had a classical ballet education and have been in and out of Highland dance training since I was 14. In my country there is no possibility to train every day or a few times a week, in the same city. We have about 5 competitions and a varied amount of demo's and performances a year. This of course results in a lower degree of technical skills but on the other hand we have fewer injuries and the average age of the dancers is older than in the countries where in a few years they go through all the levels and then very often quit. I am not saying this or that is better, but I do want to say, try to spare yourselves a bit and try to enjoy dancing for as long as you can, with or without the medals and trophies.
For me dancing is like magic, magic should be used wisely and you should be the master over it. Ofcourse accidents happen, we are only human. biggrin.gif
It is wonderful to see that there is a forum dedicated to dancing on this site, hope
to read a lot from you. And another thing...........where are all the guys in Highland dancing........we need them, no offence to all you wonderful girls thumbs_up.gif rolleyes.gif
Greetings from the Netherlands, Marc


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talleyrand 
Posted: 26-Aug-2005, 10:16 AM
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QUOTE (Copar a'Beannichte @ 26-Aug-2005, 02:49 AM)
And another thing...........where are all the guys in Highland dancing........we need them

I'm here just not a formal competitor. tongue.gif


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Copar aBeannichte 
Posted: 26-Aug-2005, 10:30 AM
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Hey there Talleyrand, nice meeting you here.
Keep those feet moving!!!!!
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ShintyBoy 
Posted: 15-Jun-2006, 08:18 PM
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In Highland or Country if you dance with correct technique you should not suffer from pain or injury, however a very small percentage of dancers actually dance with good body technique, Many advance level dancers have bad habits creep into their dancing which ultimately leads to pain to injury. Foot Pain in Scottish dancing either in Highland or Country can be caused by many factors, some have already been covered in this thread already, but in over 10 years of teaching dance I have found that in both younger and older dancers one way to be proactive in preventing the pain in addition to proper warm up and cool down is being aware of properly flexing your heel when you land. In both Highland and Country dancing you dance on the ball of your foot with the heel up, when you land the heel should flex downward at least 2 inches (without touching the floor), this allows the force of impact to be absorbed by the whole leg and foot and not just the lower leg and foot. Dancers who do not flex their heels (this means flexing the ankle) in addition to foot pain, will eventually suffer from shin splints or stress fractures. Another way to check if you are landing correctly is how loud you are when you land, good dancers hardly make a sound whether they are Highland or Country, someone on the road to injury will make a loud thumping sound when they land. The tendency to land in correctly increases as you get tired and should be paid even greater attention to when they occurs. In addition to all of this proper body alignment from the head down to the feet is crucial, the ankles, hips and shoulders should all be lined up, when one dances with the shoulders or the hips in to far in front of the ankles the chances of injury go up exponentially. One needs to keep their head up, the head is the heaviest part of the body and once again having it out of proper alignment with the rest of the body will quickly lead to injuries. Much of what I have said applies to preventing knee injuries as well. In addition to the above, to proactively prevent knee injuries one should make sure you are turning out from the hips and not the knees or ankles. When hopping or jumping make sure the ball of the foot is in alignment with the knee, pigeon toeness or sickling leads to injury. Extreme alignment to the outside is dangerous as well.
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