Saturday 23 September 2017

Don't try dancing past Aidan, or a classic hit could leave you reeling

Aidan O’Mahony and Valeria Milova on RTE’s Dancing with the Stars
Aidan O’Mahony and Valeria Milova on RTE’s Dancing with the Stars
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

Oh the days of the Kerry dancers. We will start today's missive with a review of Aidan O'Mahony's stellar salsa performance on Dancing With The Stars.

We will be on the high road to Glasgow with Munster later on and here are a few simple instructions for a Scottish reel, just to whet the appetite. You might be lucky enough to keep an accordion player in the house.

If you are reading this in bed, make sure you are wearing pyjamas or a nightie, as the excitement will have you kicking off the sheets. Here are the moves for the lively Scottish reel known as The Dashing White Sergeant with accompanying accordions opening and closing like the door of a busy shop during the January sales.

1-8: Join up in a circle of six and circle round to the left for eight steps (four bars) and back to the right.

9-12: The person in the middle turns to the person on their right and sets to them, then turns them once round right hand (variation - both hands). The other partner stands still.

13-16: Repeat with the other partner.

17-24: Using elbow grip, turn first partner, then second partner, then first partner, then second partner. (Variation - dance a reel of three, giving left shoulder to first partner to start). Repeat until you drop.

To me this dance plan reads like a knitting pattern from Woman's Way, instructions for an orgy or a plan made out by one of those controlling Northern football managers with lots of going sideways.

And it seems salsa is a dance. I always thought salsa was a foreign food eaten with couscous and hummus, which by the way will finish off the spud.

Aidan danced the salsa with Valeria Milova and she was his coach. The music was Pitbull's Fireball. In honour of Ryan McMenamin. Pitbull's Fireball was always a great favourite at the céilís in Rathmore. The late Eamon Kelly told a story of being refused a dance at a Kerry céilí with the words "ask my sister, I'm sweatin". Dancing, as you will have gathered, is great cardio for Aidan.

There were some adverse comments in the pub, though. It was along the lines of 'Kerry are playing Cork in the McGrath Cup this weekend before a massive crowd of about 127 and there's feckin' O'Mahony dancing the salsa up in Dublin with no buttons on his shirt'.

Aidan owes us nothing. He needs a break. Aidan has no business playing football until the spring. We don't even know if Aidan will come back playing football when the daffodils retreat underground.

Plenty said Jim Gavin wouldn't let his lads dance. Another commentator remarked the Dubs were too busy opening supermarkets. More were of the opinion Dessie was a near certainty what with home advantage and the referees living in Dublin.

Aidan did very well. Some of his pirouettes were Broganesque, but watch out if you're out dancing on the floor at the same time as Aidan.

It was about ten minutes in to the second half of last year's Kerry and Dublin All-Ireland semi-final. A Dublin player was soloing straight for the Kerry net. The computer man up in the scoreboard had his finger on the green button ready to put a goal up on the left-hand column of the Dublin ledger.

It was a classic hit. There was no waltzing through this time. The Hill was alive to the sound of helpful hint whistling for the referee and goose talk. We sports writers always try to keep out of trouble by writing words like "physical" instead of "dirt" and "groin area" for "penis". Goose talk comes from "he wouldn't say boo to a goose".

Be careful Dessie Cahill of the twinkle-toed elegance and stated understatement. So there ye are Dessie, the two of ye, dancing in the dance-off. You're doing the twist, which can be danced in the one spot. Dessie executes a triple somersault from a standing start. Aidan thinks back to the old Tyrone move on Darragh Ó Sé. It was "we will get him coming down". Dessie is carted off, raving, and swears undying allegiance to Manchester United.

Here are a few more Scottish dancing tips. The Ballroom Hold has the man facing the lady; the lady's right hand is in the man's left, the man's right hand is on the lady's waist, and the lady's left hand is on the man's right shoulder. Seems no different to scrum binding.

The Scotstoun ground holds about 9,000 and the Munster fans have, as usual, been up to all of their old cuckoo tricks. There were fake Glasgow accents coming up with stories like they were living in Limerick but belonged to Glasgow and were dying to come home for the game.

If it was Celtic and Rangers you could say crowd segregation was necessary for health and safety reasons. Rugby is about bringing people together, not keeping them apart.

Scottish dancing may the way forward for Munster today. The BBC describe their reels as "controlled abandon" which sums up the way Munster play the game. And what are our favourite Munster dances? The Pick and Go has to be up there.

But my favourite of all is the Rolling Maul which is danced by eight people linked together as one. And today the slow old rolling maul might just be our victory reel against a very dangerous Glasgow team who will try their mightiest to dance a quick-step to the beat of their own drum.

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