Baby Steps into Irish Culture & Dancing

In my corner of Ohio, you’ll find a lot of Americans of Irish descent. There are many Irish pubs, bars, and even Irish dancing groups. So, naturally we would have a yearly Celtic Festival in July for an entire weekend. Here you’ll find everything related to the Celts, most notably Ireland (and Scotland, though its usually tagged on as an afterthought here, no idea why) which includes fish and chips, drinking, little booths with Irish/Celtic related souvenirs, and the main theme: music. 

I’ve only been a couple times and that’s been several years ago. But this year, I went with a friend and we spent several hours watching different bands perform and even went to a keili where a real Irish man taught us a few steps of Irish dance. I couldn’t quite get the steps to a couple of sets, but it was fun to participate in anyway.

And the highlight of my night was dancing with a band member from one of the bands I watched earlier for two minutes. In this dance set you switched partners as they swung you around before handing you off to your original partner. I was lucky enough to switch partners with this guy for a couple minutes. He came up to me and grabed my waist and swung me around confidently. I laughed and said I didn’t quite know what I was doing. He said “You’re doing just fine, just fine” before swinging me back to my original partner. 

Later I thought that I was a bit of an idiot to blurt out something like that. Why not say something flirtatiously, get him to notice me? But by then it was too late. I’m lucky to have talked and danced with him at all: after all, that’s the closest I’ve come to any band member, let alone a band member of a small semi-famous group in an Irish-American sub culture. But then again, I’m a romantic: a connection across the dance floor that renders in drinks and dates and dinners at a later time wouldn’t be too far fetched in my mind…in theory. In reality, awkward comments always blunders my chances in something deeper. 

At any rate, I have a good story to tell people over dinner about my amateur dances with an attractive Irish man with whom I may never see again. Perhaps there’ll be a next time where I’ll be less awkward in my intentions.


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