Reel. Jig. Slip jig. Hornpipe.

These terms were flung at me like I knew what they meant. Like it was obvious what the difference in a jig and a slip was? I had no idea. When I said this my sister could only sigh and sadly shake her head at my ignorance.

Being completely unable to remember the terminology was only the first of the many reasons why I’d never become a champion Irish dancer. Swiftly she dashed any dreams I might’ve had from seeing Michael Flatley whoop and stomp around the stage. I was not going to be the next Michael Flatlley if I didn’t even know the terms.

My sister knew them all, she had strong memories of mouthing 1, 2, 3 as she jumped on the spot, focusing all her abilities in tapping her shoes to the beat of a…

Nope, I’ve lost it. Some sort of drum.

Bodhran! That’s it.

My sister had danced in Australiafor years with the Cosgriff School of Irish Dancing in Melbourne. That was back when you were expected to use a whole can of aerosol to keep your hair in place, she tells me wigs are more common now.

She is going to be my guide at the next event we go to: FEIS CLUAIN DOLCAIN with the Gathering Dublin present the 26th Annual Feile Rince (Ciaraithe leis An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha) in City West Hotel & Convention Centre Saggart Co. Dublin on Sunday 17th February 2013. I went to the World Irish Dancing Championships that were held there in 2011 and had a fantastic time interviewing everyone involved in the video below.

We’re going to go as civilians, not as dancers. Although I still might bring the sock glue, who knows, maybe they’ll open up the competition to amateurs who are completely out of shape…

She tells me not to get my hopes too high.

For more information on The Gathering Dublin, visit the website at