Monday, May 11, 2009

I Heart My Dance Parent! Story and Photo Contest

With Mother's Day just passed and Father's Day around the corner, it wasn't hard for Nic and I to choose the theme for our next contest :) We think it's high time to show some appreciation for the hardworking folks who help make the dance world go 'round -- the parents!

So here's the deal! Send a short story (500 words or less, and less is really OK :) ) telling us why your dance parent means so much to you, and how they've influenced your dancing experience. Entries must be accompanied by at least one photo of you and your dance parent, but you can always send more pictures. Email your entries to:

Entries are due June 21st!
Winning entries will receive a $30 credit to the IHTD store (plus free shipping on that order) and be published on the blog and website!

Now for the rules:

1) This contest is open to both Highland and Irish dancers this time, but you must be a dancer or a former dancer and write the story yourself (little ones can get some help typing from a parent or friend, but the words must be theirs!)

2) There will be three categories divided by age, roughly a) under 10 years old, b) 11 to under 16 years old and c) 16 and over. The final divisions will be done depending on the number of entries we receive to give all entries the best chance at winning a prize, and if we get a lot of entries we will offer runner-up prizes in each category as well.

3) Your "dance parent" doesn't have to be your Mom or Dad -- it can be any person you feel supported you in that parental way for a significant part of your dance career. So Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Family Friends, etc are all eligible. Lucky enough to have more than one fabulous dance parent in your life? Write about them both!

4) The only person NOT eligible this time is your teacher! Why? We'll be having a special contest later in the year to honour them, so save your great teacher stories and pictures for then.

5) As always, if you win the contest we will need permission from anyone featured in the photo before publishing, so PLEASE include their email addresses with your entry.

Feel free to send us an email if you've got any questions, we're happy to help as always :)

And don't forget! Sign up for the newsletter (little green box in the right-hand column here on the blog) before May 15th to get the free shipping code!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spammers We Ain't

I hate email spam. HATE it. It clogs my inbox, and I actually resent the 5.6 seconds it takes to delete and/or unsubscribe. Plus the sneaking suspicion that as soon as I unsubscribe from Big Corporation's Annoying Email List they immediately sell my address to someone selling generic drugs. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

So why should you subscribe to OUR newsletter?

Well, because we're not spam :) You'll hear from us only about once a month, the newsletter will be chock-full of useful information about new products, informational features, contests and upcoming sales PLUS as a thank-you for being a loyal reader we'll have regular newsletter-only specials. And if you decide it's not for you and you unsubscribe, nobody but nobody is ever getting your email from little old us.

Signing up is easy-squeezy -- there's a green box right here on the blog in the right hand column. Just fill out the required fields and press Submit and you're good to go. You will be sent a confirmation email immediately with a link for you to confirm your subscription -- you will NOT receive the newsletter until you've confirmed. As a thank-you for signing up we're offering 25% off the purchase price of one item ordered before June 30th (your confirmation email will have the code to use).

Our inaugural issue will go out May 15th! And to celebrate our brand new newsletter we are offering free shipping for a limited time to subscribers -- note that you must sign up for the newsletter before May 15th to receive the newsletter with the free shipping code!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Big Winners!

Drumroll please! We here at IHTD are very very pleased to announce the results of our first-ever Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne Photo Contest! We had loads of great entries, but we HAD to choose winners and the following photos won our hearts with their smiley faces and sweet sentiments. We just KNEW that some of the best folks around were Irish dancers, just scroll on down for the proof in pictures!

WINNER ($50 Prize) : Team Spirit!

In the photo: Kate, Darcy, Kelly and Erin, Rince na Tiarna
Photo and caption by: T. Regan

"This is what the WORLDS experience was for us -- a culmination of 10 years of friendship, love and lots of fun together!"

RUNNER-UP ($25 Prize): Some Brotherly (and Sisterly!) Love From Philly

In the photo: Patrick and Brigid
Photo and caption by: PER

"After almost thirteen years in Irish Dancing, the thrill of both children dancing at the same Worlds, the first one in the United States and more importantly, that they didn't mind posing together for a photo for their mom. Taken in the center atrium at the Kimmel Center by me on Friday, April 10 after the 19 - 20 Men's first two rounds, and after the U16 Ceili first recall round (which was at the Marriot, my daughter ran the five blocks after her team had danced in order to catch her brother's first round)."

RUNNER-UP ($25 Prize): Duct Tape Really Does Work For Everything!

In the photo: John Cuilliane and three generations of Murphy Irish Dancers. Mary Jo, Tricia and Michael (Michael is only 5 years old and really enjoyed watching the dancers!)
Photo and caption by: E. O'Connor

"The highlight of my Worlds experience in Philly was when our student, Andria C., was presented with her medal and she got to take a photo (see second photo attached below) with our friend, John Culliane. John was brilliant as Master of Ceremonies during the Ladies 18 - 19 year old competition. And with a large competition like this one, his sense of humor made the day! During this competition, a lot of head bands, glitter, beads/sequins and bobby pins were flying off of the competitors onto the stage. John came up with a great idea and made a big ball of duct tape (shown in the photo) to help him collect all of these items so that the ladies would not slip. At one point in the competition, he said that since we already have the sock glue, we will now need to invent some hair pin glue! The audience roared in laughter."

In the photo: John Cuilliane and Andria C.
Photo by: E. O'Connor

A BIG congratulations to all of our winners and thank-you to ALL of you who submitted your fabulous photos for consideration, we will definitely be doing this again next year :)

Stay tuned to the blog for future contests and your chance to win more great prizes from I Heart That! Dance!