There are those things every Irish dancer thinks they want – bejeweled items that we pine and beg for in front of the vendor tables at every feis. But, although the glitter of such lovely dance gifts beckons us, what we think we want and what we actually truly need are often different things.
Here are 7 practical alternatives to the usual objects of Irish dancers’ desire. Not only will some of these serve you better in the long run, they may be a little easier on Santa’s wallet too.
Instead, try: Bobby pins, a hair “doughnut”, economy sized bottle of hairspray (and a small travel size bottle), hair ties, a proper teasing comb (for that elusive poof), and did we mention bobby pins – a dancer can never have too many!
Instead, try: Blister band aids (they have special built-in gel pad), sports wrap, athletic tape, black duct tape (to combat slippery floors or holes in your old-faithfuls), white electrical tape (if you like that look), and black shoe polish – never go on stage unpolished.
Instead, try: Loose swaorski crystals (in a shape or color that match your dress), hot-glue gun & craft glue – This way you can bling out your current dress to your heart’s content.
Also wouldn’t hurt to ask for – SAFETY PINS and, if your dress doesn’t already have one, a proper number holder for feises.
Instead, try: A bleach pen – for spot treating those stains that always seem to suddenly appear on feis days, sturdy sock glue, and blister booties.
Alternate – if you wear tights rather than poodle socks, ask for a pair of convertible tights (they can go from regular to footless), especially if you have to tape, wrap or massage any part of your feet for dance, these will change your life.
All in all, warm ups are a pretty practical request, especially if yours are starting to get worn or torn from all the practicing you put them through. BUT, if you’re one of those dancers who already owns a veritable collection of clothes that say “Dancers Kick Butt,” here are a few other options—
Instead, try: Icy hot or other muscle & joint cream, instant ice packs, ace bandages, pain reliever, and Thera-band for stretching and strengthening feet & ankles.
Instead, try: Feis earplugs for Mum and Dad. It’s not that they don’t enjoy the music, it’s just that a few moments peace and quiet amid the chaos of feis days is priceless. And at the very least, these make a fun gag gift.
Instead, try: A little Irish Christmas magic. We could all use it this time of year (Oirechtas season!) and who knows, with a little magic added to all your hard work, you might just make it to meet Julia and Brogan in person.
Hope these gifts help you to have a very happy holiday. And remember, Santa’s watching so keep practicing, and don’t blow off those treble drills (yep, he saw that).
Photo credit: Images are courtesy of an belong to author.
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