Getting jiggy with it

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By: D. McKay

“Getting jiggy with it” has an entirely new meaning come March 17.  This is when those who don’t know the difference between a reel and a slip jig or a treble jig and a hornpipe bust out their best Riverdance impression in the middle of a bar (or on one).  It’s quite funny to watch, especially coming from a 15-year Irish dancing veteran.

Watching people attempting their version of Irish dancing always reminded me of Jackson on “Hannah Montana” trying to do it.  He would always do it throughout the show, and one time he even dressed the part in a very interesting get-up.

As a retired Irish dancer, I’ve danced in bars, on bars, and in restaurants, grocery stores, parades, etc.  The list really goes on throughout the whole month of March.  I’ve even had upwards of six shows on St. Patrick’s Day alone.  It’s amazing the reaction you get from a curly wig and a pair of ghillies or hard shoes.

Ghillies or Soft Shoe
Hard Shoe

Don’t even get me started on how much intoxicated people love Irish dancing.  Whether it be from my younger days or now when I’m out at the bar and people find out that I can dance—drunk people love it.  I imagine that today, I’ll be dancing a jig one, two or a hundred times.  But I don’t mind one bit.

Since retiring, I’ve grown to miss the craziness that St. Paddy’s Day used to bring.  Endless shows, a sore body, worn shoes, traveling and an endless supply of Shamrock Shakes.  I’ll take whatever dance fix I can get, whether it be dancing in a bar surrounded by friends on March 17, or cracking up watching people attempt to do what I just did.

While staying safe today, please go out and give your best impression of a jig!  It’ll put a smile on any Irish dancer’s face.

Side note: If the bar scene isn’t really your thing to watch dancing and you want to see professional Irish dancers, Riverdance is in Pittsburgh for the next 3 days for FIVE shows! Get your tickets HERE for Riverdance at Benedum Center March 17-19.

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