An Irish Dancing Scandal Is the Latest in Our Season of Cheating

The dance community—like the chess, fishing, and poker worlds—is not immune to cheating accusations.

An Irish Dancing Scandal Is the Latest in Our Season of Cheating
Photo:Charles McQuillan (Getty Images)

Across the globe, cheating is afoot. The latest scandal on the cheat-beat has the Irish dance world wobbling on its tippy toes. The Irish Dancing Commission, known as An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), is investigating text messages sent over the summer between judges and teachers discussing fixing the feissana—aka rigging the dance competitions! Between this, a competitive fishing scandal that has led to felony charges, a chess champion accused of covert anal bead communication, and a ruby ring at the center of a contested poker match, early fall has been the season of the (alleged) cheat.

Honesty and fairness? *takes a long drag of my cigarette* Haven’t heard those names in a looooong time.

Over in Ireland, 12 teachers are being investigated by the CLRG, and the Irish Independent claims to be privy to text messages implicating six more. One exchange reportedly revealed that a teacher and judge agreed to exchange sexual favors to raise scores. It isn’t entirely clear if they exchanged these favors with one another (in which case, it would sound to me like two people engaging in what prompted yet another ongoing cheating saga: a consensual workplace relationship). Nonetheless, dancers as young as 10 and under have had their scores altered by these slip jig swindlers!

The CLRG released a statement this week promising that “the services of an independent former judge of the Court of Appeal have been engaged to oversee and supervise the immediate investigation into these matters” in order to “ensure fairness, transparency and thoroughness.” Dance parents and teachers have likened the scandal to the mafia and one even cited The Sopranos. As an Irish-American, I want to give them permission to reference an organized criminal institution of our own: Tammany Hall. There’s no need to bring the Italians into this.

There’s also been an onslaught of news about famous men cheating on their wives, as you likely have seen. Adam Levine asked his mistress if he could name his unborn child after her. One of the Try Guys kissed a woman who wasn’t his wife. Tristan Thompson exists. Admittedly, men cheating on their wives doesn’t get me too upset. I don’t know those people or what they do under their large, mansion roofs. None of my business. And the institution of marriage is long overdue for its own rehab show on the HGTV network, anyway. But cheating in recreational activities—however professionalized they may have become—like chess, poker, and dancing? Let me go get my ruler and nun’s habit and stare so disapprovingly that the guilt of a thousand Catholics is instilled in them.

I laughed it off last month when Timbo Chambray said that “societal collapse is in the air.” But upon reconsideration, how strong are the girders of society when a chess champion is allegedly shoving vibrating beads up his booty hole so that he can move the knight at the right time or whatever?? Do we even deserve a safe and orderly civilization if fishermen are stuffing fish filets and lead weights into their prize-winning catch? (That combo, by the way, is the cheater’s pescatarian turducken.) If the simple pleasures of humankind—fishing, dancing, using anal beads—are being tainted by dishonest contenders to get ahead in such minuscule ways in the grand scheme of things, perhaps Timmy is not only correct, but his prophecy has already come true. Society has collapsed under the weight of duplicitous hefty fish, beaten down by the stomps of cheating Irish quadrilles.

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