When you think of Ireland there are probably many things that spring to mind. There is a friendly culture, the drink of Guinness, the incredible music, the clothes such as Men’s Aran Sweaters, and the green rolling hills of this beautiful island. So many of these things are easy to get, for example, there are Men’s Aran Sweaters found here but one of the most striking things about the Irish culture is that of the dancing.
The Eurovision Song Contest of 1994 really put Irish Dancing on the map. Ireland had won the competition again and was hosting. In the break whilst the votes were collected a huge display of dancing captivated Europe and gave rise to the show Riverdance. This emphasized the skill and technique as the dancers leaped across the stage, arms down ramrod straight. The skirts were short and the pointwork sublime.
However, Irish dancing is not as ancient as you might expect. What evidence there was lost in Viking raids and it seems that it isn’t until the late eighteen hundreds that the form we know and love came into being. In fact, it is thought that it was heavily influenced by English and French country dancing.
Regardless of the origins, the Irish have made it their own. It is danced either in groups or solo and even with a competitive edge to it. With swirling Celtic knot dresses, wigs, and makeup the dancers make a real splash and our love for the dance is surely not going to end any time soon.