I was reading the rules for the North American Championships and found this:
ARTIFICIAL CARRIAGE AIDS: Any competitor found to be using artificial carriage aids and subsequently refuses to remove same, will be subject to disqualification from that particular competition. Medically prescribed apparatus (proof of which will be required) will be exempt from this ruling.
To me, a carriage aid is the guy that rides in on the back of the carriage and opens the doors when the carriage stops and looks like those little lawn jockeys. I thought this was a dancing competition (and fashion show.) What role do the carriages play in it? Do the dancers ride in carriages to the stage?
Distraught Feis Mom
Dear Distraught Feis Mom,
The term “carriage aid” is once again an example the problems inherent with translating the rules from the original Irish language, in which they are written, to English.
If you’ll recall, there was a large uproar about two years ago that was also the result of an inaccurate translation of the original Irish rule in which the published English version banned the wearing of “false tans”. After several people challenged the rule, it was discovered that the correct translation banned the wearing of “falsies” and the rule was subsequently changed.
In this particular case, instead of banning “Artificial Carriage Aids”, when correctly re-translated from the Irish, the rule should read “Artificial Craic aids”
Craic (pronounced “crack”) is the Irish word for fun or a good time and is the Feng Shui of an Irish music session or Ceili. Craic is the music of the Irish soul.
Some younger dancers find it difficult to maintain the proper level of “craic” and often resort to using “artificial craic aids” such as putting “whoopee cushions” on competitor’s seats, fake dog poop on the stage, dancing with rubber chickens, or wearing polka dot bloomers.
All of which are, by strict definition, “Artificial Craic Aids”.
Adult dancers are at a distinct advantage in this regard as they can unobtrusively have a snort of “Old Hedge Hog” prior to pointing their toe to achieve the same effect.
Watch for the NAFC to correct the wording in their next rules update.