Irish Dancing

Irish dancing or Irish dance is a group of traditional dance forms originating in Ireland which can broadly be divided into social dance and performance dances.

Irish social dances can be divided further into céilí and set dancing. Irish set dances are quadrilles, danced by four couples arranged in a square, while céilí dances are danced by varied formations  (céilí) of two to sixteen people. In addition to their formation, there are significant stylistic differences between these two forms of social dance. 

Irish dancing, popularized in 1994 by the world-famous show Riverdance, is notable for its rapid leg and foot movements, body and arms being kept largely stationary. The world of Irish dance has expanded to include "Lord of the Dance, Celtic Tiger, and Heartbeat of Home.

History of Irish Dancing

The dancing traditions of Ireland probably grew in close association with traditional irish music. Although its origins are unclear,Irish dancing was later influenced by dance forms from the Continent, especially the Quadrilles. Travelling dancing masters taught all over Ireland, as late as the 18th and ealry 19th centuries. During this time, places for competitions and fairs were always small, so there was little room for the Dance Masters to perform. The would dance on tabletops, sometimes even the top barrel. Because of this, the dancing styles were very contained, with hands rigid at the sides,and a lack of arm movement and travelling across the stage. It is often said that when the bristish solders banned dancing accross the land, the irish would shut the bottom of their doors and continue to dance only using their feet with arms rigid by their sides.

Dance City

At Dance City we stock the full range items needed for any irish dance event including; Irish dancing shoes soft shoes and hard shoes, irish dancing music, irish dancing wigs and irish dancing jewellery.


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