People adore Irish dancing because of its vibrancy, bright Irish songs, mental and physical advantages, and the sense of community produced by dancers.

It is always good to see new people discover the beauty of Irish dance, one that instils confidence encourages leadership, and aids in the development of teamwork. There is no better testament to the benefits of Irish dance than the words of the children who are taught.

Irish dance has a long history, and often it’s the best way to learn the dance.

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The Origin of Irish Dance

Irish dance has a long and illustrious history in Ireland, reaching back to the seventeenth century. People danced solo in time to jig music a century later, and the Irish Step was born. From there, Irish stepping grew in popularity, with distinct forms based on whether it took the steps on the balls or heels of the feet.

The dance, which was frequently accompanied by music or singing, took place at religious ceremonies or other important events. Celtic villages had a large local festival known as a 'feis.' It was all about their art, culture, and music and a chance to talk politics, trade, play sports, and share stories. The feis included a lot of dancing.

What are the different Irish Dances?

Traditional irish dance shoes
Irish dance is the symbol of Celtic history and music. Source - Wallpapercave

People plan expressly Irish dances for the stage and can be soft shoes or hard shoes. They involve many dancers performing distinct patterns while dancing to energetic music performed by multiple musicians. Individual dances that can be competed in at all feis levels.

A Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha runs an annual Oireachtas rince cruinne every year which comprises stepdance competition.

Let’s go into different dance categories in more detail

Irish Stepdance

Irish step dancing is a fantastic way to celebrate the arts and Ireland's distinctive culture. It may be done individually or in groups and is characterised by a powerful upper body and rapid and accurate foot motions. They held stepdance competitions all over the world besides public dancing performances.

Early dancers were frequently barefoot and used special hard shoes or two types of soft shoes. Most today's shoes have an adapted tap on the toe and heel, which produces distinct clicking noises that add marvellously rhythmic percussion to a dancer's motions.

Irish Dance Sets

Ireland has a history of folk dances, such as the Irish set derived from French Quadrilles introduced to Ireland in the nineteenth century. Irish dancers changed the figures to their music and movements, resulting in energetic and enjoyable dances.

A set dance is your last dance of the day in competition, and only the top half of the competitors get to execute it. It is performed in hard shoes by individuals and is frequently centred on demonstrating distinctive choreography and rhythm.

There are several tracks to choose from, and they may adjust the BPM to your preference. Traditional and modern sets are the two types of sets available.

Traditional set steps are regulated and uniform around the world, and younger and less experienced dancers frequently performed them. Contemporary dance sets offer more artistic flexibility, are longer, and are performed by professional dancers.

Set dance is a type of social dancing that has been practised in Ireland for over 150 years. Four couples danced sets in a square and typically comprise three to six figures with a brief pause between each.

Reels

A reel is any dance performed in reel time to the music in Irish dancing. The reel is one of the first dances taught to beginners in Irish stepdance, and they do it in soft shoes. There's also a treble reel, which is danced to reel music with hard shoes.

It's usually the first thing a new dancer picks up. In competition, it is danced in soft shoes, however, lively rhythms can also be done in hard shoes for performances. Because Reel music is fast-paced and contains many rapidly shifting notes, the steps are frequently lively and snappy. Both females and guys perform it.

Irish Jig

Irish dance
Traditional Irish Jig Source - Wallpapercave

In 1651, John Playford, a music publisher and choirmaster of St. Paul's Cathedral issued the first jig. They are of three types.

Light Jig

This is a soft-shoe dance that is normally only performed in competition by younger children. Many motions are repeated in the formulaic stages. The identical round hop back concludes each stride. It's also rather bouncy.

Slip Jig

This is another soft shoe dance that is solely performed by females in competitions and exhibitions. The steps stress clean lines and leaps, and the music has a gentle, graceful tone.

Treble Jig

This is a fast-paced hard shoe dance with a constant tempo. Depending on one's skill level, it can be danced at a slow (73 BPM) or rapid (90 BPM) tempo.

Hornpipe

This is also a hard shoe dance, but it is more of a slow, drawn-out jig than a treble jig. It has a more consistent beat and is danced with different taps than a treble jig, and it lasts longer. It has a mellower feel to it, comparable to a slide jig.

Ceilis

They perform these in groups and soft shoes. Teams can comprise four, eight, or sixteen players. They frequently used light Jigs and Reels in Ceilis. There are several dances to select from, all of which have defined steps. The world's greatest teams strive to compete in perfect coordination with crisp lines and good feet.

Figures and Dance Drama

These are relatively uncommon and they performed them in competition in vast groups. Figures are choreographed to be aesthetic and coordinated, yet they are not uniform. The most typical number of dancers is 16. However, this might vary depending on the situation. The dance drama is choreographed differently, but it conveys a tale, and costumes and props are permitted on stage. The music is mostly Irish with a twist, and it frequently incorporates all the preceding pieces.

What is Irish Dance Music?

Traditional Irish musical genres date back to preliterate antiquity. The Irish harp had been the sole instrument used for a long time, but later, instruments such as the uilleann pipes, fiddle, and accordion were introduced.

They commonly used modes in Irish dancing music (a type of scale often found in folk music).

They frequently performed chords without the third note, resulting in a barren, drone-like sound that is neither major nor minor. It creates a heterophonic texture when many instruments play their versions of the tune at the same time. Solo instruments such as the flute, tin whistle, or violin are used in some Irish dancing music. The texture is monophonic (one line).

Where to Learn Irish Dance?

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Irish Step Dance moments to be used with dance studios.
Source - Unsplash

The legs and feet move quickly in Irish dance, while the body and arms remain mostly still. This upper-body immobility is difficult to grasp at first, yet it is crucial to this dancing style technique. You can learn Irish dance in classes that are both online and filter the search by typing "Irish Dance classes near me" to look for the local Irish Dance classes in Dublin for adults.

To go anywhere with Irish dance, you can search for Irish dance lessons in Dublin and need to put in a lot of practice sessions. Aside from your normal lessons, schedule practising sessions many times each week.

Set objectives for yourself. Do you want to learn two dance routines by next month, and be able to dance them from beginning to end on your own? Or do you wish to perform one dance at the upcoming showcase at your studio?

Having a goal will provide you with deadlines, which will motivate you to work more on your Irish dance with correct music. It might intimidate to learn Irish dancing, especially when you witness a dancer performing at full pace.

It causes precise feet and leg motions while maintaining a motionless upper body and arms. As a beginner, try to master the basic steps first and practise them slowly before progressively speeding up after you get the beat down.

No matter how much you are shy, with the correct time and lessons on Superprof, you can learn to tap your feet and be high in the sky with Irish Dance lessons.

We all know how intimidating it may be to enrol yourself or your child in a dancing class. But we also know that if it provides you with the type of support, you will look back on this time in years to come and realise it was the finest decision you ever made.

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