Worlds are wrapping up today, and I'm waiting to hear how the dance drama pans out. Arrived in Syracuse late last night and immediately crashed in my own bed. It was so wonderful being in my own bed, without 20 or so strangers snoring around me :) Ah, the life of a hostel hopper.
As promised yesterday, I have a few updates and some fun stories from my last few days in Philly:
1. Jean Butler rides Amtrak.
We all know how much I love JB, and how exciting it was to meet her. I told everyone, sent Facebook messages, even called my mom back home in Buffalo to tell her I'd met THE gorgeous redhead from Riverdance.
As if there wasn't enough JB excitement in my life, I ended up sitting in the same Amtrak train car as her. I had been waiting at the train station for an hour, when I suddenly saw that distinct red ponytail out of the corner of my eye. It ended up that we were both heading to NYC's Penn Station on Amtrak. So, somewhere near Newark I got up and asked her to sign my press pass. And she remembered me!
"You're Miss Hornpipe," she said to me.
Haha! I can't wait to tell Thomas Miner, the editor at Hornpipe that Jean Butler made a reference to the magazine.
How's that for an amazing end to the most exciting Irish dance week ever?
2. Coca Rocha was not at Worlds. I have the inside scoop!
Also at the Amtrak station, I met a lovely mom and daughter who were heading to NYC to stay with a friend. The two are from Vancouver and were in Philly for Worlds (the daughter competed in the competition for the first time).
I asked them about their trip to NYC, and they informed me that they would be staying with a former Irish dancer from back home, who is now living in NYC as a model. The mother then disclosed that the friend was quite recognizable, a model by the name of Coco Rocha.
Coco Rocha! Recognizable? She's the queen of fashion these days!
I'd reported earlier (via Twitter) that Coco was listed on the Worlds t-shirts as a competitor, and I wondered if this could actually be true.
I asked the duo from Vancouver who told me Coco was nowhere near Philly, and that she was in the Big Apple with a very hectic itinerary. The daughter made a few calls to Coco, who was waiting for their arrival.
So, why list Coco's name on a t-shirt?
She's enrolled in dance classes in NYC--that's true.
Competing at Worlds? Fib.
3. The Rince na Tiarna dancers reflect on cross-cultural Worlds interactions and the funny things the Irish do with their hands.
I popped by the Kimmel Center Sunday morning to squeeze in a few more interviews and wish the Rince na Tiarna dancers good luck for their team dances. The girls were hilarious and candid about the international interactions fostered at Worlds.
They admitted that they love mimicking accents, especially the Irish accent.
And they said you can tell the Irish teams from a mile away. It's all in the hands, they said.
According to the RNT girls, the Irish grasp hands very daintily. Whereas the American girls grab and clutch each other's hands until the feeling is lost in their fingers. They said that backstage the ceili teams harmlessly joke with each other about the stylistic differences among the teams.
The girls also squealed with excitement when I asked them whether they'd run into Dean Crouch. They certainly did. A few of the girls whipped out camera and cell phones to show me the photos of them and Dean. Too cute. I've asked the girls to email the photos to me, so I'll post them once I get them.
4. New vendors on the block?!
In a later post, I'll introduce the gals of BeMe. They make nifty custom creations, like jewelry boxes, specifically for your Irish dancer.
I interviewed the girls earlier in the week and continued to check in with them throughout the week. More info to come, along with photos of some of the cute jewelry boxes featuring spinning Irish dancers (you know, like the spinning ballerina?).