The Late Movies: Irish Dancing Parodies

Back during the fourth season of Friends, it was revealed during a trivia game that Chandler Bing is terrified of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. ("His legs flail about as if independent from his body!") I agree with Mr. Bing. Michael Flatley, the Riverdance dancers and pretty much any other form of performance that includes such rapid-fire leg movement can be a little unsettling—unless it's supposed to be funny. Then, I love it. Here are our favorite Irish dancing parodies.

Stavros Flatley

Everyone talks about Susan Boyle from the last season of Britain's Got Talent, but it was the father-and-son team of Demetri and Lagi that brought laughs to the Hammersmith Apollo. Reprising a character from Demetri's famed burlesque shows, Stavros Flatley quickly became a fan favorite. Even Simon Cowell admitted they were his "favorite ever dance acts."

Gálvölgyi János

Hungarian comedian Gálvölgyi János, known for his parodies of popular public figures, mocked the famed Flatley in this clip.

Johnny FilmMaker

Of all the homemade parodies, this is one of my favorites—and that's only partially because it begins a line from Titanic. There's also a terrible Irish accent, cheesy sound effects, pajamas pants and documentary-style interviews in Johnny FilmMaker's "The Headband of Flatley."

The Cast of Twilight

What's that, Perez Hilton? You think Kristen Stewart looks depressed all the time? Somehow, it's impossible to appear sad while doing an Irish jig.

Monkeys

It's funny and adorable when animals do human things.

The Cast of Final Fantasy XI

This seriously impressive video by Killara Strider shows the cast of Final Fantasy XI busting out some moves you've never seen before.

Robert James Hoffman III

Just when you thought the parodies had gotten stale, this dance troupe incorporates a very special guest—the bumblebee from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video.

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College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy
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One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

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North America: East or West Coast?
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