The Irish dance originated in Ireland, and it encompasses dancing both solo and in groups. Irish dance is influenced by English country dancing and French quadrilles in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Irish dance was considered as a serious activity, and travelling dance masters taught it to the people all over Ireland during this period. Later many dance forms were developed in several regions, and the dances had different purposes. During the Irish nationalist movements, the Irish dancing was a notable part of their culture.
The following are some of the types of Irish Dance styles:
Irish Set Dancing:
The Irish Set Dancing comprises of eight dancers, and these dancers combine into four sets. The dance is done by keeping the feet flat, and the body relaxed. Your arms need to be in the air in a gliding style.
The Irish Set dancing is an energetic and refreshing style of dance; this type of dance is based on dancing Quadrilles. These dancing Quadrilles were originated from France, but the Irish have combined their music and steps to the dance more rhythmic, vibrant and entertaining.
The dancers keep their feet very low, and it is usually flat to the floor. You can see their feet pushing and sweeping the floor. Based on the rhythm, they move their feet, and it is brilliant to watch. The Irish set dancing can be compared to American square dancing, as both of them have similar steps but Irish dance steps are more organised and have a disciplined structure of music.
Irish Two-Hand Dancing:
The two hand dancing style includes a group of couples dancing to the same steps and music and these steps are usually repeated, and they follow a pattern.
Some of the popular two-hand dances include Pride of Erin Waltz, The Peeler and The Goat, Shoe the Donkey and the Circle Waltz. Irish two-hand dances styles are danced mostly at social gatherings called Cèilid.
Irish Céilí Dancing:
Céilí dancing is pronounced as “Kay-lee” dancing. The dance involves dancing with a partner separately as a couple and also dancing as part of a group. The Irish Céilí Dancing is also performed in competitions. The Céilí Dancing Style is said to be done with pointed toes. Many dancers dance up on the balls or front of the feet. They don’t place their feet on the floor as they do for set dancing. Their hands are usually held high, unlike most Irish set dances where the hands are kept low.
Old-style Sean Nós Dancing:
The Old-style Sean Nós Dancing is kind of solo dancing, and it has individual steps, and the dance steps deeply correlate with the music. The feet are usually kept flat on the floor, and the body is kept relaxed. The hips and arms are let loose. The Old-style Sean Nós Dancing can be compared to the English Country dancing and the renaissance dancing.