Last year, after their amazing success as The Bacteria Bunch, the kids immediately started plotting their next costumes. At the time we were living and breathing Irish Dance in preparation for Oireachtas 2009. So it seemed natural to say, "hey, how about being Irish Dancers?"
Of course, Oireachtas came and went, the kids (at least Thalia and Annabeth) discovered that performing musical theatre and Shakespeare was at least as fun, if not more so, than Irish Dance, and generally decided that they never cared to compete at a major Irish Dance competition again in their lives. And started kicking around different ideas for Halloween costumes, many of them based on Monty Python routines.
But when it came down to the wire, the only thing everyone could agree on was that Irish Dance would work. So I bought several yards of dark green gabardine (I'm pretty sure it's the exact same stuff that our school uses for these skirts), downloaded a copy of A Reel Around the Sun from iTunes, and found some cheap iPod speakers at Walmart.
Thalia choreographed the routine, basing it on the Clarkson school version of Riverdance along with some 3-hand ideas. They did it as a soft shoe -- well, actually a sneaker-shoe -- due to considerations such as "don't ruin the uber-expensive hardshoes by schlepping around the neighborhood all night in them", along with the fact that sometimes they were dancing in lawns and/or gravel (the original dance in Riverdance is a hardshoe, but the cool factor of hardshoe is lost if you can't hear the beats the shoes make on the dance surface).
And so, the afternoon of Halloween, they got together to put on feis makeup (but not the M.A.C. foundation, which looks like Oompa Loompa Orange, frankly):
Rehearsed a bit on the front porch:
And did the requisite picture posing:
Then off to start our rounds. Our premiere performance:
Then about 35-50 more houses (sometime we should actually count this out). Things we learned: 1. People remember us from year to year (although the kids weren't actually H1N1 last year, it was close enough, particularly since the lady who said it was waving around a camera and saying, "hold on, I have to film you!"); 2. There are an awful lot of Irish people in our neighborhood, some of whom have seen the kids perform in other venues, it turns out; 3. A lot of people can't clap in time to music (but we already knew that from other shows); 4. Most importantly, you can trick-or-treat waaay past acceptable age limits if you're willing to put a little work into your presentation -- this has sort of become HalloweenCon to us, with our own spin on cosplay.
And, by the time we got home a couple of hours later, the kids felt like they had the choreography down pretty well, having danced it in a wide variety of situations. They wanted another quick video, so here it is:
(Actually, we were all so sick of these 2 bars of A Reel Around the Sun by this time that I didn't think I'd be able to load these videos on YouTube without having my ears bleed; but then I realized that I could load them without actually watching them THANK GOD!)
And another lesson for you all -- if you put some effort into your trick-or-treat, you will be richly rewarded: