Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SPOTLIGHT- Irish Dancing...because Irish people RULE.

Most people may or may not know about my talent for Miss America.  If you don't, then continue reading.  If you do, I don't care, continue reading anyways.  I Irish Dance. I have done it since I was 7 years old.  I would like to think it was because my parents saw a Riverdance show live and thought that Michael Flatley was such a bro that they just HAD to have me be a part of it. UHHHH....NO.  Instead, it was because my previous "jazz" dancing, or whatever crazy thing I was doing with other 6 year olds, had inappropriate costumes.  Fail.  The era of Irish Dancing at an after-school club during my homeschool days began soon after...
I picked it up so quick that the teacher helped me get into a real Irish Dance school in Pittsburgh (cough...City of Champions...cough), The Burke-Conroy School of Irish Dance.  A couple years after, I began competing at the  local and national level.  Not only was I getting better, but it seemed that after every year, another one of my brothers and sisters would join it.  So yes, folks, all seven of us danced at one point.  Case in point......................

Yes, I am the blonde in the blue. This was also 6 years ago so calm down....

After moving to Delaware 10 years ago, we joined to Ryan-Kilcoyne School of Irish Dance where I now teach at the Maryland branch.  I have qualified and competed in the World Irish Dance Championships (once in Ireland and once in Scotland) and placed 16th and 22nd.  Pretty sweet.

- so incredible.  I lived off chicken wings, donuts and blue powerade. Literally. 

While I thought my competitive dancing days were completely over when I went to college and my teaching days were all I had left, I have started dancing again....which is SO hard to start up...I could run for miles and miles and not get tired, but dance hard for 30 seconds and be completely wiped out...I still teach and LOVE all of my girls, but now I can do both!!


Do you wear wigs or does your hair naturally look like Orphan Annie?
While my hair is naturally curly, most everyone in the higher levels (while competing) wear wigs.

My sister, Christine, (on left) at the World Irish Dance Championships

Can boys dance? That is weird.

Why yes, all the haters of the world.  Boys can (and do) dance.  Both my brothers have danced.  My 16 year old brother, Joe, won the Regional Irish Dance Championships and placed 11th in the worlds.  And has anyone NOT heard of Michael Flatley?

Are all people that Irish Dance actually Irish?

Some, but not all.  There are dance schools from Japan to Australia and everywhere else you can think of.

In competition, why do you keep your arms down?

Rumor has it that the Irish started that tradition because they didn't want to spill their beer.  I am sticking with that story.  When I perform at bars, schools, or any other venue, I usually don't keep my arms down the whole time.

What is with the dresses?

New beginners start out in a little skirt.  Then they can get what is known as "school dresses," a dress which is the same for everyone.  After you get to the championship levels, you can get what is known as "solo dresses," which can be designed specifically in different colors, shapes and designs.  For Miss America, I will have a custom piece done which will not look like anything you will see at a competition.  We are thinking "outside the box."

Is it the same thing as tap-dancing?


If it's not tap dancing, then WHY IN THE WORLD would you wear tap shoes?

Well for one, they aren't tap shoes. People these days...gotta love them...We have two different types of shoes: hard shoe and soft shoes (aka: ghillies).   The hard shoes have fiberglass tips on them. 

hard shoes

soft shoes

Where do you practice?

I practice at the Philly branch of my dance school.  I teach at the Maryland branch.  I also have a stage room in my basement with wall to wall mirrors.

What ages do you teach?

I have taught from 3 years old up to adults.  The age group I am teaching now range from 3 to 15.

Are any of your brothers and sisters still dancing?

The only one left besides myself is my 15 year old sister, Christine.  She is incredible and has been to the World Championships 5 times.

Are Leprechauns real?

Yes. On Lucky Charms cereal boxes.

Do you have a six pack?***


***Not an actual real life question.

If anyone has a question that I can answer, write a comment or inbox me on facebook and I will post it!  Keep updated with all my super fun activities by following me on twitter @MissDelaware11!

-MISS AMERICA EXCLUSIVE- If anyone wants a hint about my talent music for Miss America....have at gets good around 2 minutes so skip to that if you are lazy and impatient like myself...for anyone that doesn't care about the music, you are able to see the two different kinds of shoes in this video.

For anyone that SUPER cares, this is the music and dance moves I used for Miss Rehoboth Beach.  One of my favorite dances ever!!!

Stay chill and dance at random places (like supermarkets),

"...A time to cry; A time to laugh; A time to grieve; A time to dance...."
Ecclesiastes 3:4


Katy Lovegreen said...

Maria, this is great! Do you mind if I share this on my facebook? You know we all get the same questions and you've answered them very well. Classic music selection, I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Arin said...

hey i loved your talent at miss delaware you wer the only one were the adiunce clapped like clap clap clap that kinda thing

Maria Cahill said...

katy, nope not at all!! I am putting more on now, so you if you hear any questions from people, I will be sure to put them up :) see you soon!!

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