Moms to Reel Boys by Darlene M. White
Even monsters can learn Irish step dancing on 'Sesame Street' - VIDEO
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 01:03 AM
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|Murray and Ovejita of Murray Has a Little Lamb|
PBS's Sesame Street, has a segment called Murray Has a Little Lamb. Murray is a furry, orange monster and his little lamb is a Spanish-speaking, lavender-colored, furry lamb named Ovejita.
Instead of Murray leading his lamb to school as Mary did in the nursery rhyme, Murray is lead to school by Ovejita after a series of clues about what kind of school they are going to.
Murray and Ovejita have gone to soccer, karate, music, science/nature, gymnastics, art, baseball, skating, farm, cooking, drumming, and gardening classes and schools.
The best one, as far as my family of Irish dancers is concerned, is the episode in which Murray and Ovejita go to Escuela de Baile Irishes- Irish dance school!
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Yes, even monsters can learn to Irish dance. This is confirmed on the show by Irish born Irene (O'Conner) Reagan, mother to the Reagan family of the talented Inishfree School of Irish Dance . It is sweet watching her smile at and encourage Murray the monster as she assures him that anyone from anywhere can learn Irish step dancing.
World Champion Irish dancer, Sean Reagan, ADCRG, who runs the school, helps Murray with his Irish dance carriage and stance. "You're not allowed to move your body at all- just your feet," he tells the monster. When Murray has everything just right as far as arms straight down at his side and hands in fists, he says, "I'm really itchy right now though," with his head and jaw held tightly so as not to move anything.
The curly-topped, Irish dance wig on Ovejita made us all laugh out loud.
All of the Inishfree children danced beautifully in their costumes in this show that was taped over two years ago. I especially loved seeing Sean work with the students as he rhythmically says, "And, one, two, three, four, keep your heels off the floor." Also wonderful to see were the children as they answered all of Murray's questions about Irish dance steps and form.
I contacted Sean Reagan to ask him about the experience. He had this to say,
"Everyone loved taping the show. The kids were fantastic and made everyone laugh hysterically. There were some amazingly funny parts, that didn't even make the show. I think the cameramen must have been shaking with laughter. They said it was the tenth show that they did and the Irish Dancers were by far the best and most enjoyable group to work with. What really impressed me the most, was the confidence and composure that the students exuded while speaking and answering questions. The laughter was contagious, as everything was all off-the-cuff."In the end, Murray and Ovejita get to dance with some of the Inishfree School of Irish Dance dancers.
The school that is featured in the Sesame Street video is the Inishfree School of Irish Dance in New York. This Irish dance school, that started in 1985 in New York, is now in several other locations in the U.S. and Mexico. The school's locations in Mexico and Texas are under the direction of Sean's brother, Neill Reagan,TCRG, ADCRG who teaches with Patrick McCarthy, TCRG. There is also an Inishfree School of Irish Dance location in Massachusetts under the direction of Meghan Allen, TCRG. Sean Reagan, ADCRG teaches out of the New York Inishfree School locations along with Colleen Quigley-Carey, TCRG.
If you want to skip the clues and intro and go right to the Irish dance school, start the video at about 3:10.
"It's amazing how many people throughout the United States and all over the world watch Sesame Street. We still keep getting emails to this day, when people watch the episode on Irish dancing. It was a great experience for all and it will be cherished forever." ~Sean Reagan, ADCRGThank-you to Sean Reagan of the Inishfree School of Irish Dance for sharing his memories and thoughts on the experience of taping the show for Sesame Street! Thank-you also to Irene Reagan, the monsters, Murray and Ovejita, and all the Inishfree Irish dancers who helped to make this fun and informative video that shows that, "Yes, even monsters can Irish dance."