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Transcript of Irish Dance
Stepping is defined as an hard-driving and discipline dance group form that uses the body as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps, and the spoken word.
Irish Dance Today
Step away from stereotypes
Non-Irish dancers vastly outnumber the Irish
Brown skin is preferred
Tap Dancing Vs. Irish Dance
One major difference between tap and Irish step deals with arm movement. In tap dancing, the arms must move along with the feet.
Irish step uses two different types of shoes: hard and soft shoes. Although the shoes may seem similar, Irish hard step shoes are lot bigger than the average tap shoe. They also have a different style in order to create a different sound than tap. The tips of Irish hard step shoes are made of fiberglass while tap shoes’ tips are made of metal. Irish step shoes are flattened on the front so that the dancer has can stand on his or her toes.
-a dance in which clogs, or heavy shoes, are worn for hammering out the lively rhythm.
Bidzilya, Christina. "Ryan Review." : Tap vs. Irish Step. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
"clog dancing." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 13 Nov. 2014. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/clog dancing>.
Driggs, Jeff. "What Is Clogging?" What Is Clogging? Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://websites.iclog.us/What_is_Clogging.html>.
"Irish Dancing." About.N.p, n.d. Web. 16. Nov. 2014.
"Michael Flatley." Lord of the Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
"The History of Irish Dance." The History of Irish Dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
"Today's Irish Dancers Step Away From Stereotype." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
"What Is Stepping?" StepAfrika What Is Stepping Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.
Upper body movement
Edgy rhythm patterns
Lord of the Dance
First introduced to campuses in 1940 as an ritual for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities. By 1970, NPHC sororities adopted these rituals. (Probates)
Draws movements from African foot dances such as the Gumboot.
Today, stepping has branched from the college campuses to schools & churches. It has also spread to the Latino and Asian American Greek-letter organizations. Although stepping was started with men, more women are seen stepping today, with the exception of fraternities.
"Do not sacrifice precision for speed!"
First professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping.
They strive to evolve the dance form of stepping to include Tap dance and other styles of dance.
Uses props such as canes, bats, blindfolds, and rhythm sticks.
Stepping also includes Strolling which is a line of people moving forward while stepping, usually to song.
Origins are unclear on how Irish Dancing first came about, but many believe that it was formed through the shifting population from migration and invasions where each group brought their preferred types of dance and music.
Though, evidence shows that the Druids were among the first to practice the early form which was an religious ritual honoring the oak tree and sun.
The Anglo-Norman conquest during the 12th century brought Norman customs and cultures to Ireland which is also said to have had and early influence on the Irish dance.
The earliest dance formation was described as multiple dancers within two straight lines. These dances were accompanied by music played on the bagpipes and the harp.
Dancing was performed during wakes that involved people following each other in a ring around the coffin.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, dance masters would dance on tabletops and barrels making the dancing very confined, hands rigid at the sides. This caused the dance style to be limited in body movement and the ability to travel across the stage.
British soldiers were said to have banned dancing within the cities. The Irish people found new ways to dance around the soldiers without them knowing. They would did this by shutting the bottom of their doors and using only their feet to dance. The top part of the doors would only show their arms rigid to the side which made it look like they were standing still.
Types of Irish Dancing:
Characteristics of Irish Dancing:
Irish dancing is a traditional dace form that includes both social and performance opportunities. It encompasses a wide variety of styles for solo, pair, and group dances
One of the most important fundamentals of Irish dancing is keeping good posture. A dancer must pull their shoulders back and down, keeping an long neck with their chin parallel to the floor, thy must only squeeze their inner-upper arms so that they stay by their sides, and they must have straight legs with locked knees.
-similar to tap dancing
"Although some people still enjoy traditional clogging, today’s cloggers are just as likely to dance to hip-hop beats."
Sean-nos Irish Dance: Traditional solo Irish dancing that uses extremely low ground footwork, free-arm movements, and battering steps that accompany the beats of the music. No physical contact
-Clog dancing originated in the Appalachian Mountains in the mid 1700's. The Irish, Dutch-Germans, Scottish, and English came together and combined their folk dances, which is the beginning of clog dancing as we know it today.
-As clog dancing made its way across America other cultures shaped it.
-Bascom Lamar Lunsford, one of the founders of clog dancing
-Stated by Jeff Driggs, "Clogging today is less impromptu and more complicated than the simple rhythmic dance begun by our ancestors. New influences are creeping into the dance because of popular culture. Tap dancing, Canadian Step Dancing, Irish Hard Shoe and even street dancing and hip-hop influences are being seen to bear on the style of steps and dances performed by cloggers today."
Hard shoes are a special type of shoe with a heavy heel attached to the bottom which is made of wood or fiberglass.
Soft shoes or Ghillies are similar to ballet slippers but are more structured and only lace up to the ankles.
Social Irish Dance: Divided into two groups, Ceili and Set Dances. Ceili uses the ballet up technique which is a ballet style with pointed toes, a high lift on the balls of feet, and weight lifted up from the floor. Uses groups of 2-16 with varies formations. Set dances uses the flat down technique which is a flatter, gliding style with more use of the heals and weight sinks down into the floor. Uses four couples in a square formation.
Performance Irish Dance: Includes rapid leg movements accompanied by stationary upper body and arms. Mostly performed by a soloist who has complete control over their upper body, straight arms, and precise movement of feet. Usually associated with Riverdancing which is a type of stepdance. Riverdance is the modern form of performance dance which uses large groups and more arm movement.
Similarities to Irish Dancing:
Mostly similar to Riverdancing:
Use of a hard bottom shoe (similar to the hard shoe) to make the sound of a step louder
Rapid leg movements
The upper body is not completely stationary but is stiff in various movements
Straight arms and precise foot, arm/hand, and head movements are important
Have to have complete control over the body
& Other similar dances
Most competition groups create skits. Not all steps have to be serious! You can have a little fun with it!
Weight sinks into the floor
Tap Vs. Irish Dance