Why Irish dancing?
Irish dancing is distinctively Irish, and very unique – combining artistry, grace, athleticism and physical abilities. The techniques used in Irish Dancing are not easy to master and take years to perfect. It is the only form of ethnic dance that is dependent solely on natural balance and is performed without the use of the arms. In addition, the steps are generally much more complex than any other traditional types of folk dancing.
Irish dancing has followed the immigrants from Ireland wherever their travels have taken them: from the European Continent to the shores of North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and most recently to the plains of Africa.
Irish Dancing was influenced and preserved by the Dance Masters, who traveled from village to village in Ireland teaching Irish Dancing in exchange for room and board. A dance master would teach in the kitchen of his hosts, in a farmhouse, in schools and even at the Crossroads. Each dance master had his own repertoire of steps, and created new ones over time, setting the precedent for the teachers of today that are continuing their traditions and legacy.
The dawning of the 20th and 21st century sparked Irish Dance to evolve and grow into the sport (yes SPORT) that it is today. While holding onto its traditions and history, Irish Dance continues to evolve in terms of location, costumes and techniques. It remains a very popular form of dance.
Dance for Fun, Fitness and Self Confidence
People are attracted to Irish Dancing for many different reasons: some enjoy the music, others the athletic and graceful movements. Some were inspired by Riverdance, some enjoy the social side, while others love the thrill of competition. Whatever the reasons, the benefits of Irish Dancing are well documented and numerous.
- Irish Dancing provides physical benefits such as increased stamina, core strength, and general overall fitness. It will also improve balance, posture and coordination, as well as promote flexibility and increased muscle strength.
- Mental benefits include learning to listen, following directions and memory building. Irish Dancing also promotes self-confidence and self-esteem, while instilling a sense of good sportsmanship, both in winning and losing. In addition, Irish dancing provides the opportunity to learn teamwork and develop team spirit, as well as the importance of dedication, perseverance and good, healthy habits.
- Whether by following in your family’s cultural traditions or by starting new ones, learning to Irish Dance continues to promote a revival of Irish Identity that started many years ago, even though a young dancer today may not comprehend or realize this particular benefit.
- And finally, our favourite benefit of Irish Dancing: the people you meet, and the lasting friendships and memories you make with others who share your interest and passion.
At Watson Twin Academy we invite you to join us for Irish Dance classes today! Contact us now for more information