Irish Dancing Information Exchange

Irish dances are basically dance forms which originate in Ireland. These can be broadly categorized into two sections performance dances and social dances. Just like psychic readings ireland, dancing too is receiving renewed popularity in Ireland lately due to Irish dance stage shows. During the last two decades, the traditional Irish step dance have undergone a lot of drastic changes. Even though it may be a traditional dance form, but the Irish step dance is extremely innovative and pliable in terms of change. Moreover, it is an art form which is living, flexible and relies on change in order to keep itself fresh, novel and progressive.

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Irish dances have been made popular by shows such as Riverdance. Shows such as these help promote the Irish national identity worldwide. The Irish step dance is extremely easy to identify because it is characterized by rapid and precise foot and leg movements whilst the body and arms stay stationary or rigid (mostly). These dances are performed either in solo or in groups. To understand the difference between traditional and modern Irish step dance one has to take a look at the history of this popular dance form.


Dance in Ireland dates back to the late 17th century. Prior to this, i.e. during the 16th century, the traditional Irish dance and music experienced a lot of hindrances under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, therefore the history of Irish dance during this period is relatively unknown. However, this doesn't mean that Irish dancing did not exist because it did, as per an old English poem written in the 14th Century.


The modern form of Irish dancing began during the early 18th century with the traveling dance masters. These transient experts travelled from one town to another in order to teach Irish dancing to the youth. Each time they arrived at a town they were warmly welcomed because the people of that town would have song and dance. These dance masters usually stayed for six weeks.


Costumes are an important part of Irish dancing, almost as important as the dancing movessteps themselves! Just like the dance forms, even costumes underwent changes over the years. The Irish dancing costumes for men and women became less restrained, looser and more relaxed after the advent of television shows such as Lord of the Dance and Riverdance. Whilst traditional costumes had heavy ornamentation, the modern costumes do not feature these. This way, the attention would be on the feet and steps rather than the distracting embellishments.


Step dancing is all about feet movements therefore it is not surprising that shoes are the most important part of the Irish dance costumes. There are generally two types of shoes worn by Irish dancers soft shoes and hard shoes. The soft shoes are also called pumps or ghillies. These are very similar to ballet shoes in terms of texture since they are made from extremely soft kid leather. The laces of these shoes crisscross in front and are tied under the arch of the foot or round the ankles. Hard shoes, on the other hand, are made of black leather and they come with fiberglass heels and taps at the tips of the shoes. Also known as jig shoes or heavy shoes, these produce very rhythmic percussions.


Irish dancing has definitely not lost its appeal over the years. Even today, Irish dances fit very well into the lifestyles of modern Irishmen and women. Irish dances, just like psychic readings Ireland, are extremely enthralling and captivating, which is why they have a large fan base. Now Irish dancing may require a lot of stamina and feet strength, but it is definitely a tradition that is still alive and kicking, even though it may have undergone a lot of changes and tweaks in the modern times!