Irish dancing is a traditional dance that includes social and performance opportunities. There can be solo, pair or group dances. The best known form of dance is step-dancing, made popular by the show known as “Riverdance”. However, there are many different dances included in Irish dancing and is performed by the young and the old. This dance obviously originated in Ireland.
Social Irish Dancing
There are two forms of social dancing, céilí and set dancing. Irish set dances are normally done by four couples, or quadrilles, is a square formation. Céilí dances are performed by groups of two to sixteen members. They dance in various formations. Social dances are a very traditional dance. There are different variations throughout Irish dance communities.
Performance Irish Dancing
Performance dance is commonly known as “step-dance”. This dance is recognized by rapid leg movements while the upper body and arms are stationary. In competition, performances are normally done solo. A dancer can perform in soft shoes or hard shoes. This type of dance became popular after the creation of the famous show ”Riverdance” in 1994.
Sean-nos Irish Dancing
Sean-nos is a traditional solo Irish dance. It is recognized by extremely low to the ground footwork, free arm movements, and battering steps that go along with the beats of music. While it is normally done solo, some times this dance is performed in pairs or small groups. If performed in pairs or groups, there is no physical contact between the dancers and no set routine followed.
Ceili Irish Dancing
Ceili is a popular folk dance in Ireland. “Ceili” refers to social gatherings which contain Irish music and dance. This dance is performed in lines facing each other, circular formations, long line formations and quadrilles. Ceili dances can be performed with only two people or as many as 16 people. Dancers perform the dance on their toes. It is a similar dance to square dancing, but there is no caller.
Irish step-dancing is a performance dance known for a stiff upper body and quick, precise movements of the feet. This dance has become popular throughout the world and there are many different competitions out there. Most competitors are solo dancers, but there are also dances done by large groups of dancers. Step-dances include reels, slip jigs, hornpipes and jigs. Traditional Irish costumes are normally worn.