Irish Dance Paper

1098 Words Nov 28th, 2013 5 Pages
Irish Dance: A Marvelous Dance
Irish step dancing has existed since the 1700’s, over 300 years. Families in Ireland have passed down Irish step dance from generation to generation as a way of preserving their culture. While the meaning of the dance remains the same, the performance and showmanship has changed dramatically. From girls and boys with pale skin and natural hair to girls with fake tanned skin, huge curly wigs, and thousand dollar dresses and boys with fake tanned skin and outlandish outfits. Irish dance has become more of a spectacle—such as “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance.” Those dances are some of the most enjoyable and respected around the world. Over time this type of dance has taken on a life of its own and changed
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There are four types of Irish music and dances that compose the step dance: jig, the set dances, reel, and hornpipe. All of these dances are more elaborate than ceili and require more teaching. A ceili is a gathering for music and dance—danced mainly for enjoyment and entertainment not competition. It represents an informal tradition of dance that is generally common among people since prehistory. Ceili dances are danced in big groups and are pretty easy to learn. These basics of the dance have been changed in order to modernize it according to the present. The modern history of Irish dance began in 1893 when the Gaelic League was founded. This league was made to support the rebirth of Irish culture.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, “dance masters” trained dancers. The dance masters were all male and traveled from town to town-teaching dance along with other life skills that applied at the time. Dance masters formed both the set and ceili dances, as well as the first schools of Irish dance. Now teachers are both women and men and are paid for their services through their respective dance schools. During the period of the dance masters, stages were much smaller. As the art of Irish dance grew larger, the dancing was effected and the movement of dancers across a stage increased. Now judges will mark dancers down point if said dancer doesn’t move around the stage enough. Where the dancing took place changed too the outdoors to hotels or schools.
In the 20th

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