Erickson Academy Dance Drama
The Fairy Ring
Photo:  Becky Hussey

I had the great honor of reviewing the Dance Dramas at the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships. The Hyatt Regency hall was beyond-packed when I showed up with paper and pen in hand. The dance dramas were performed just before awards, and yes, people were there in anticipation of the solo and ceili awards from the day, but the buzz about the dance dramas was palpable.

Everyone had their favorites. It was standing-room-only as the lights fell and all attention was drawn to the stage.

The first group on stage was the Erickson Academy of Irish Dance from Cincinnati, Ohio.  The story was about an enchanted fairy ring.  The tale was set in a pastoral setting complete with mischievous sheep.  While two of the girls were trying to catch the unruly sheep, they happened to step into a fairy ring.  The girls were taken by the fairies into their world, but were smart and didn't partake of the fairy food, which would have kept them prisoners of the fairies forever.  Still, they had to stay with the fairies for 'one year and a day' - dancing to earn their eventual freedom.

The fairies were dressed in blues and greens with wild hair.  They didn't look like the sweet fairies that we think of in present-day stories; they were beautiful, but just a little scary too!  At the end of the 'year and a day', there was a dance-off between the girls' family and the fairies.  Mom, Dad, and four brothers all took part in the dancing.  Of course, in the end, the girls were reunited with their family.  All was well, however the naughty, unrepentant sheep stepped into the fairy ring.
"We had a great time putting the Fairy Ring Dance Drama together. This was only our second time entering a Dance Drama ... with our first being at the 2011 Mid-America Oireachtas and then the Chicago Nationals our second.  The competition was fabulous with four very different stories told."                             -Allison Erickson, TCRG, ADCRG
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The Erickson Academy of Irish Dance dance drama performance really got everyone's attention for the evening and whetted the appetite of the audience.  I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing, and I appreciated that the story they told was archetypal of many Irish tales of the realm of fairies and the dangers to distracted or unaware children.

Thank you to all of the performers and teachers from the Erickson Academy of Irish Dance! I am so grateful that I got to watch and review and enjoy these fabulous performances.  Did you see them?  Were you a part of any of the groups?  Comment here to share your enthusiasm for Dance Drama.

Look on the Moms to Reel Boys blog here on IrishCentral for further installments in the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships Dance Drama Review

Full results of the 2012 North American Irish dance Championships are available here.  Check back here on IrishCentral's Irish dance page for more North American Irish Dancing Championship recaps, photos, interviews and results!