An article about us in the Irish Central
Christy Dorrity wrote a lovely article about Hopping Mad in the Irish Central. This is an online magazine that focuses on everything Irish. It was lovely to see, here’s a link to the article: Hopping Mad Irish Dance School for Adults in the United Kingdom
Previous Events and upcoming Events!
So after we returned from Worlds we put on a bit of a display in Molly Malone’s pub in Brighton. This was part of our sponsorship deal. It was really good fun, if a little exhausting.
On the Saturday we put on a display for a wedding anniversary. It was good fun, we had everyone up for a bit of céilí dancing and we did a few heavy displays. It was really good fun.
So the next set of excitement is the Hemel Open on the 21st and 22nd of July! We will likely enter solos only but it would be nice to get the team sorted for entering a céilí too.
European and Worlds Update!
So it’s been two weeks since the Worlds/Europeans weekend and I’m very proud to inform you that we placed 7th in both our competitions! We were only aiming for top ten so to come 7th is brilliant!
It was a fantastic weekend away. Once we arrived very early on the Friday morning, we checked in and most of us were able to go to our rooms. This was quickly followed by going to the pool and lying about for a while and enjoying a nice steam. We did some practice in the evening to just confirm we were all comfortable with the dance.
Then Saturday arrived! Thankfully we weren’t dancing until 5.45pm, so we spent the day watching all the other dancers and faffing generally! We had another practice on the day just to help get rid of some of the nerves. Once practiced we made the dash to shower and change into the dresses. I’d already spent time ironing all our shawls and my OH spent time polishing 8 pairs of pomps ready for the stage! So dresses on, hair curled and multiple trips to the bathroom, we were ready. We got up on stage and danced our socks off! Very nerve wrecking, but I planted an enormous smile on my face and we all relaxed and danced on. That was just the Europeans!
We had the Sunday to ourselves, so some of us split and went to investigate more of the old part of Dusseldorf - only the old part was open as it was Easter weekend, the rest of us stayed to watch the grade feis. We practiced our Cross reel a bit in the evening but nothing too exhausting.
Monday rolled round and the nerves started to come back. The Cross Reel was looming over us most of the day. We did some easy practice, making sure we were all comfortable again. Our time slot rolled round and we all lined up at the side of the stage with the other teams. We danced second to last, which I’m not sure was a good thing or not. Either way we got up, smiled and danced our best.
Unfortunately the only down side to this competition is they only place the top three teams. So we had to wait until we were back in England to find out the official placing. Other than that it was a brilliant weekend all round!
Europeans and Worlds
So all the preparations have been done. We had our last team practice at the end of last week. All the girls have worked so hard and put in serious blood, sweat and tears into these dances. So fingers crossed after all this hard work we can place in the top 10 in the Senior Ladies teams.
We fly out early Friday morning, thankfully the Maritim hotel is attached to the airpot. So we can all get booked in and lying down! Early mornings are not good. I’ll have to go and sort out a few bits and help the organisers from WIDA. If any of you fancy a look, you can click on the link and it will take you to the pictures area - we’re dancing in the Hall Maritim.
We’re dancing on Saturday late afternoon in the European Championships and Monday late afternoon in the World Championships. I have to admit the nerves are already kicking in. I’ve never attended a competition of this level before, so it will be a new experience for all of us! If you’ve had a look at the photos on the hotel website you can understand the nerves, the stage is enormous! The hall is enormous!
We’ve put in all the hard work, we just need to remember to enjoy it when we get up on stage. Fingers crossed we will place well and come back with some medals. Wish us luck!
St Patrick’s Mayhem
So here’s a run down of St Patrick’s epic weekend mayhem! Thursday night we kicked things off with a performance at the Sussex Uni union. As we were late getting on we didn’t dance for the full half hour, but we got through the main displays and it was good fun. Then Friday rolled in and we started our dancing day at an old peoples shelter, this is our second year dancing here. We love it, the residents are lovely, they make a real fuss. So buns with shamrocks, green cakes, barn brack and the residents decorate their day room. Really genuinely nice people too. Friday evening we held our annual St Patrick’s day céilí, which was just brilliant! Plenty of dancing, a few displays by my girls, we had some live music from the Celtic Ti-grrs, a raffle and we even had a family reunion! We danced our final display of the day after the céilí in Molly Malones - this went down a storm and we even had a stag do attempting to join in the fun!
Saturday morning was tough getting up, but we got up and went to dance outside St John the Baptist’s chapel - unfortunately the regular priest was out and the stand in didn’t tell anyone we’d be dancing, so mass finished early and we didn’t get to dance! Although not too disappointing as it was starting to rain, so didn’t really want to start the day soaking wet.
Then on to Molly Malone’s again for dancing. We could barely even get into the pub! It was craic but we had very limited space to dance in again, but again went down a storm. I was smiling throughout - hard not to when you look up and see people standing on the bar and chairs just to get a look at us! I thought the pub was going to come down with all the cheering! Once done there we went down to The Eagle, this time outside the pub as we couldn’t fit in the pub. We even ran a céilí dance down the middle of the street outside, it was fantastic to see! Considering it was raining - although not hard, hard enough that we were all a tad soaked! Was brilliant!
Our last gig was at The Cricketers, unfortunately we had to cancel. We turned up and checked the paving, it was slick with the rain. I couldn’t risk any of my dancers getting injured just a few weeks before the Europeans or Worlds. So we cancelled.
We didn’t do too badly all in all! We danced 6 displays and raised enough money that we’ve covered over half the costs per person. So technically the girls are getting to the Worlds and Europeans and staying in a very fancy hotel for £100 per person! Not bad!
Successful St Patrick’s weekend all round!
St Patrick’s Celebrations!
So to kick off St Patrick’s we’re holding our annual céilí on Friday 16th March, starting at 7.30pm and running until 10.30pm. It’s £3 in and a bring your own bottle event. There will be a raffle and cakes for sale. We’ll put on a few dancing displays and hold some proper céilí dancing for everyone to join in with! It was almighty craic last year so come on and see what the fuss is about! The Celtic Ti-grrs are joining us to add some live trad music into the mix!
We’re then dancing in Molly Malone’s from 11pm until 12pm, which is on West Street Brighton.
On St Patrick’s day itself we’re dancing again in Molly Malone’s at 3.30pm - 4.30pm. Then taking a break to watch the Ireland vs England 6 nations rugby match. Then we’re off to The Eagle to dance after the rugby from 5.30 -6.30pm. We’ll round off the evening at the Cricketers on Black Lion Street at 11pm.
We’re dancing at various places across the city so if you see you dancing feel free to drop us a few pound if you enjoy our dancing! All money raised is going towards covering our costs for Worlds in April.
Brilliant Feis, Junior classes and News
We attended the Stratford upon Avon Open Feis on Saturday and what a great day it was! Two dancers entered a number of dances: reel, light jig, slip jig, single jig and traditional set. I am pleased to say they received numerous medals for their efforts! They also entered the premiership competition - which means they danced their reel and light jig and whoever has the highest combined score of both dances wins. I’m pleased to say that the first place cup and sash went to Hopping Mad as well as a medal place!
The girls danced incredibly well on the day and competed well against the high number of other dances. The Feis was a great success, the atmosphere at the Feis was great. Everyone is very supportive and Mary & Meabh bring a bit of craic that can often be lacking. It was fantastic to see the quality of dancing on the day. I’m a very proud teacher.
The first of Hopping Mad’s Junior classes kicked off well last week. We had a number of children start and I’m pleased to say they took to the dancing very well. The enthusiasm and fun they had learning their first steps meant they were an utter joy to teach. The class went down well and I’m told a few of the girls danced their way home after class! A good sign!
We’re also now booked pretty solid for St Patrick’s weekend. I will post up details of where we are dancing and when so you can come see what we get up to. We’re also running a céilí on the 16th March. All the money raised from the displays and céilí is going towards our travel to the Worlds. So all being well our costs should be fully covered!
So generally speaking we’ve had an excellent start to March!
Getting ready for juniors!
So I’ve been receiving a number of emails asking if I teach children, unfortunately I don’t currently. This is all about to change.
I’m in the process of reorganising a few bits so I can take on a children’s class in March, it will run for an hour - this is long enough for younger children as they require lots of attention from me and it can be hard for them to stay focused for any length of time! So keep an eye on upcoming excitement!! The classes will run at 5.30-6.30 on Thursdays and will be £5 per class. Watch this space!
Hello to 2012
Well this week we start back into class after the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. I thought I’d give a quick round up of our year and our future plans.
In January 2011 we celebrated the school being one year old in January, we decided this was our year to start competing. So in March we attended our first feis in Stratford and the girls that competed got their first medals! Then of course there was the madness of St Patrick’s day in March, we managed to dance in Tru nightclub, a care home, outside and inside a few pubs and we even ran our first proper Céilí. We managed to raise a fortune for charity in those few days! Our feet felt it for a week!
After March the work began in changing the style of the classes. We split them into a Wednesday Céilí class and a Thursday solo class. This meant those that just wanted to do céilí didn’t feel the pressure to take up solo dancing and visa versa! May arrived and the Brighton Fringe Festival. Unfortunately I was absent but my girls put on two fantastic shows and got the crowds involved, resulting in everyone enjoying themselves!
The British Open Oireacthas took place in October, all the girls placed receiving medals and resulting in our team qualifying for World Championships in Dusseldorf! Considering the team had only started practicing together in August - only practicing a few times together as a whole before the competition, I think we did rather well! I also decided to take a number of my teaching exams in October - the same weekend as the Opens. I passed all the exams I took, so I’m on my way to receiving my TCRG and my TMRF qualifications, only a few exams left.
We celebrated our achievements with a fancy dress Céilí - it’s hard to beat the craic. Lots of singing, dancing and general craic was had by all! You should come one day.
I’m pleased to say 2012 will be just as exciting as 2011, if not more so. We’ve our first feis again in March, the St Patrick’s madness, World Championships in April, another feis in May and then the build up for the British Opens again at the end of the year. Throw in a few wedding display bookings and other fundraisers to perform at. So welcome to 2012! I hope to see you at class! Come on for the craic and get involved with something fun.
An Excellent Hallowe’en Céilí
So we had an absolutely excellent céilí on the 29th Oct. We had everything from Zombies, Skeletons, Cats, Witches and a very confused Batgirl by the end of the night! We had a brilliant turn out, so thank you to everyone that came! The craic was almighty.
We tried out the bonfire dance at this céilí, well my edited version anyway - best not to keep these things too complicated, much rather get people dancing and enjoying themselves. We had a few old favourites in there too with the Bridge to Athlone, Walls of Limerick and a few others.
We also had part of the local irish trad band Craic Pots there too, so we had some live music. For more information for their bookings etc please click here. We had some songs printed for the occasion which was great as by the end of the night all the songs were being pelted out, I’m surprised anyone had a voice left the next day!
We managed to raise a bit of money towards our recent trip to the British Opens, so that is always handy. We ran a raffle and I’m pleased to say everyone went away happy, especially those that got the voucher for dinner for two at Strada!
The plans have started now for the christmas céilí and I have to admit I’m really looking forward to it! Hopefully it will be just as successful if not more so! It’s great to see so many people enjoying themselves.