Some good news!

My visa has arrived!  This is beyond exciting because there was about a week where my adviser wasn’t sure if the government in my province was going to allow my school to send an application for my visa and I am very happy to now be holding it in my hand!

My cast (fingers crossed) is coming off in 9 days!

Not only is there a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Shanghai, but also Gaelic Society.  In addition to these, which were already fun news, there is also an all Chinese “Irish Tap” group called “Celtic Storm”!

St. Patrick's Day parade in Shanghai

Path which led to this information:  One of the founders of Chinesepod is from Dublin and started the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Shanghai (Chinesepod headquarters are in Shanghai).  So I googled the parade, which lead me to the Gaelic society, which then inspired me to email the president of the Gaelic society to see if, perhaps, she happened to know of any Irish dancers in Shanghai that I could swap steps or even just dinner with.

I received a very very happy response.  She told me that she was copying the president of Celtic Storm on her email, and also that “there’s an Irish pub, ‘Blarney Stone’ in Dongping Lu, where there’s great Irish music every evening except Tuesday.”

I die.  Then immediately look up Celtic Storm.  Apparently, the group formed and learned to dance from Riverdance dvds.  I would normally be wary of this because of a less-than-accurate reenactment that one of my ballet schools did when I was 12 of Riverdance after my ballet teacher had watched the dvd (granted, it was equal parts how-is-this-irish-dance, equal parts fun…aaand she taught Russian ballet, so she blended some of the Russian dancers’ choreography from the dvd in with the “Irish” stuff…) .  However, as I read further, I saw that Celtic Storm had met the cast of Riverdance when they toured in China, and that the director was impressed.  Whether or not Bill Whedon really was impressed or not is beside the point because I’m fairly confident that they at least were/are twenty billion steps ahead of my 12 year old dance recital.

SO what’s even more exciting, is that the president of Celtic Storm emailed me back.  And said that he would “arrange my colleagues in the dance group to meet take you to our training and introduce you to the group members”, that ZJG is not too far from Shanghai by train so I could easily drop by on the weekends, and that, dance aside, he’d love to help me as a friend if I needed anything.  Sooo, not only do I potentially have an Irish dance group to dance with, but also both a reason, direction and friends to visit in Shanghai!

This is exciting on about a billion levels.  It’s exciting because I may be dancing in a parade on St. Patrick’s day…in China…It’s exciting because it’s an all Chinese group, so potentially I could learn some Chinese vocabulary for teaching Irish dance, and in this regard, use it when teaching students in ZJG…pluuuus, it would be cool, if I really do get excited students, to bring my Irish dance students from ZJG to Shanghai to dance in the parade or to meet Celtic Storm.

I mean, how much more exciting can this get??  Of course, I’m getting kind of waaay ahead of myself seeing as I first off, am not even in China yet and don’t know how my (and any potential Irish dance students’) schedules, transportation etc will work, and second, I don’t actually have Irish dance students there yet…but still, it’s an overflowing ocean of opportunity and I can’t wait to see how it pans out!

Some words to leave you with:

踢踏舞 tītàwǔ : tap dance (kick, stomp, dance)

建力士 Jiànlìshì : Guinness…FUN note on this one, if anyone knows the history of Guinness advertising, “Guinness for strength” was one of them.  The literal translation of Jiànlìshì is 建 jiàn (to build/construct) 力士 lìshì (a strong man)

爱尔兰 ài’ěrlán : Ireland


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