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Some reckon the best way to describe Irish dancing is to imagine a pot of gold – just beyond your reach.
Then, a mischievous pipe-smoking leprechaun emerges from the woods, hits you on the chins with his walking stick and dances gleefully on your head.
That stomping dance is Irish dancing.
Those who choose to describe Irish dancing this way need a little lie down, since the dance could really be summed by using just two words – Michael Flatley.
Goodwood has one of its very own Michael Flatleys who goes by the name of Ruanne de Wit.
This 17-year-old Bosmansdam High School learner has grabbed the attention of the dancing world with his sizzling Ard-Ghrad moves.
Ard-Ghrad?
Hang on to your hat, because there’s plenty more Irish dancing terms designed to bamboozle the uninitiated.
The leprechaun Ruanne smiles playfully while he explains. “The first level of Irish dancing is Bun-Ghrad, followed by Tus-Ghrad, Advanced Tus-Ghrad, Mean-Ghrad and then the highest level – Ard-Ghrad.”
He has already reached the highest level after just three years of dancing (which started when he was inspired by Michael Flatley’s Riverdance).
Since then his dancing improved with his Gaelic vocabulary. After plenty of reels, treble jigs, gilly pumps, feis and croadhcomortas, Ruanne was invited to compete in Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne 2013.
TygerBurger’s interview with the prodigy of Goodwood lasted 30 minutes.
At least 15 minutes were dedicated to the spelling of crazy Irish/Gaelic words.
The Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne 2013, which is a renowned national Irish dance competition, will be held in Boston, USA, next year.
Ruanne wouldn’t describe himself as a juggler, but he manages to juggle his time remarkably.
He practises his dancing (Irish and highland dancing as well as ballet) at least 10 hours a week, he partakes in the mandatory ritual of high school socialising and to top it all off, he somehow boasts a 90 % aggregate in school.
Perhaps if he averaged 60 %, he could dream of becoming a professional dancer, but his academic excellence virtually compels him to succeed in the business world.
Ruanne will be studying actuarial science when he’s finished with matric, but until then the echo of his tapping heels will continue to reverberate through his parents’ wooden-floored house.
When asked if they didn’t secretly wish their son had chosen a less noisy dance-type they just smiled and shook their heads.
Obviously Ray and Carol de Wit are very proud of Ruanne.
“Carol inspired him the most,” says Ray.
“She is also a dancer.”
There is a very real chance that Ruanne might not compete for South Africa in Boston as funds are low.

***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

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