Few people realise that when George Bernard Shaw uttered the immortal phrase, “Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire”, he was actually bemoaning his experience with a multi-féis winning Irish dancer.
Most people upon hearing the phrase immediately think of the most sensual dances; the Tango, Flamenco, Waltz or Twerking. However, as skillful as Irish dancing is, and despite the best efforts of Michael Flatley and co, if all those dances were a group of girls, you’d describe Irish dancing as the one with a “great personality”.
People don’t realise the deep psychological trauma suffered by Ireland’s female population due to the Irish dancing lessons of their youth. A fear of intimacy, an addiction to fake tan, an over dependency on hair extensions…these are just some of the side affects suffered by Mná na hEireann. In fact, the persistent drone of ‘one-two-three’ bellowed out by angry middle aged women seems to be a subliminal binary type code that has programmed generations of Irish women.
My research shows the asexual moves required for the performances has, in far too many cases, sadly stayed with the pupils. The rigid upper body, hands stuck to the sides and a face on her like an Irish rugby fan at the final whistle on Sunday, tragically aren’t left behind when they hang up their pomps.
Indubitably, the average Irish man has his issues as well when it comes to tripping the light fantastic. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” or a sober Irish man on the dancefloor.
Despite knowing that there are few better ways to impress the fairer sex, Irish men still face a fear of taking to the dancefloor on a par with Joey Essex’s fear of reading educational material. Unlike refining your performance for the no pants dance, which is both fun and beneficial, wayward attempts to dance can be crushing for Irish men. Most expeditions to the dancefloor are alcohol fuelled, with the resulting flashbacks leaving mental scars that’ll cause cold sweats if they ever accidentally land on ‘Strictly’.
Some, to their eternal credit, believe they are John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever but to an outsider, their efforts resemble a demented Davy Fitz on the sidelines squealing for a free. In defence of my brethren, while the girls were sent off to Irish dancing classes, we were sent to the local sports grounds.
Sadly the range of movement required to achieve success on the local GAA pitch is not especially transferable to the dancefloor. Having said that, we all know those who earnestly endeavour to replicate some of their trademark moves, particularly the shoulder charge and, in some cases, depending on whether he has the good jeans on or not, sliding tackles.
So here goes…girls try to loosen up. Both vertical and horizontal dancing should be a full body experience. Lads, instead of grinding up against her like a flea-bitten tomcat rubbing up against a pebbledashed wall, practice a few simple moves, loosen up and dance like nobody is watching. After all, a dance before going out to score seems to be working out pretty well for the All Blacks lately.
And remember folks, don’t hate the Galway Player hate the Galway Game…