Our story profiling the ND-SMC Irish Dance Team’s trip to compete in the All Ireland dance competition was a change of pace for Strategic Content in a few ways. First, it focuses on an aspect of student experience at the University, something that we do not often cover. (Though when it is, the stories typically perform well. A Transformative Journey remains one of the top-10 most viewed StratCon stories of the past 2 years.)
In some ways, it’s one of the most involved pieces Strategic Content has done to date. Some tidbits:
- 2 videography shoots – one at a normal rehearsal, one at a staged dress rehearsal at ND’s Washington Hall.
- 1 photography shoot.
- A web designer visiting a dance team rehearsal.
- A StratCon team member traveling with the team to Dublin and Belfast, acting as both chaperone and brand journalist on the trip. (And he brought back iPhone video that was used in the package included in the story – a first for StratCon, for what it’s worth.)
The resulting story is a look at a small part of the student experience at Notre Dame and St. Mary’s. It’s also a brief recounting of the history of Irish dance in the context of Irish history. It’s a story about chapters of life amid the passage of time, and in a certain way, an interesting commentary on age. Irish dancers rarely compete on this stage once they reach 21 or 22 – the age of the team members who made the trip – as usually injuries or studies or both take their toll. The ND-SMC team competed in the “senior” division, if that’s any indication.
The design of the feature takes cues from The Book of Kells, and rightfully so, as explained in the story. We tried several video takes using the OrcaVue platform to capture some of the dancers’ footwork, though it proved difficult.
We called the story “Steps in Time,” a nod to the importance of music time signature in Irish dance and also an allusion to the chapter in life it represented for these students. It published December 22, and occupied the main feature block on nd.edu starting January 3. Thanks for reading!