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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That's entertainment: the Scottish OD

This one is almost too easy; who doesn't love Sinead and John Kerr's original folk dance to Erin Shore and Auld Lang Syne? It received an enthusiastic response from audiences (and commentators) in the 2007-8 season, at 2010 Worlds, and in galas around the world. During the 2007-8 season, the program certainly stood out in a sea of Russian and Eastern European folk dances, and of course, John stood out in his kilt!

There may have been better dances technically, but this is my favorite 2008 OD

Following the 2007-8 season, the Kerrs discussed the program (and the kilt) in this Golden Skate interview: "When the Dance Committee announced the rules, we knew we had to do something to portray our Scottish-ness,” John explained. “It would be hard for us to be Russian gypsies.”

“As soon as it came out that it was ‘OK’ to wear the national dress, John was keen on doing a Scottish folk dance with a kilt,” Sinead said. “Our fans would have been disappointed if we didn’t do a Scottish dance... you don’t have to work so hard on the dances if Scottish is in your heart; the dances aren’t something you go to learn. It’s something that is always done at weddings and school parties. When you’re young, you go to the cèilidh and do the dances. It’s just part of the culture.”  

John apparently was not the only one keen on the idea of wearing a kilt (source): "The first thing we had to check was whether it was within the rules to wear it. It pretty soon came from on high that people would be disappointed if I DIDN'T wear the kilt."

The Scottish OD was just one example of what the Kerrs brought to the ice as skaters and performers. Their ability to create and skate interesting and entertaining programs got them far in the sport despite several limitations - a late start in ice dancing, lack of height difference, being siblings, John's occasional issues with twizzles - and is a testament to what skaters can accomplish when they think outside the box. Their retirement from competitive skating was a huge loss for fans.

I can't believe this is the first time we've needed a tag for the Kerrs!
The concept for the "that's entertainment" posts was explained in the first entry in the series. If you have ideas and further suggestions, please feel free to share them!

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