Origin Of Irish Step Dancing

1651 Words 7 Pages
Throughout history, Irish culture has faced its fair share of tragedy, alienation and isolation from the rest of european culture. However, one facet of the culture has continued to thrive since it’s creation. Irish Step dancing, which first appeared in the 1700s, has been such a successful part of Irish culture, that it still remains at the pinnacle today, almost two hundred years after its creation. Irish culture has changed over time as the Irish survived through famine and an domineering and discriminatory government and eventually came out on the other side a stronger population. Throughout the trials and tribulations, Irish step dancing evolved from being an escape from a very difficult daily life into being the competitive sport it is …show more content…
Dancers now wear flashy costumes, large hair pieces and tan themselves to appear more attractive on stage. At its creation, Irish dance was an activity that brought people of all social classes together but it now has evolved into a very individualistic and competitive sport.
Today, Irish dance is an individualistic sport that has a strong foundation in competition and showmanship. However, this was not always the case. The origins of Irish step dancing are not precisely known as it has not been recorded anywhere. The earliest known roots of Irish step dancing can be traced back to the mid 1500s, during the reign of Sir Anthony St. Leger, who was the Lord Deputy of Ireland at that time. Many historians including Arthur Flynn, author of the book Irish Dance, believe that this is where the Irish dancing that is known today, was born. “In 1540 it is reputed that the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Anthony St. Leger, saw the round dance performed and brought it back to England. It was also a form of the English Maypole dance. From the mid 1500s the Irish performed a variety of dances. These included the Rince Fada, the Hey, jigs, the Trenchmore, and sword dances” (Flynn 15).Although the
…show more content…
Dancers train endless hours and most competitive dancers are extremely talented in their footwork, causing teachers to become more creative about the manner in which their dancers are able to get noticed on stage. This desire to make their dancers stand out has caused dance teachers and parents to turn to costuming. Included in costuming is the type of dress the girl is wearing, the type of wig, the type of makeup and more recently fake tanning has been included in the category. Dance costuming in Irish step dancing has become so extreme, such as the reliance on fake tanning, that great deal of speculation has been drawn. In order for dancers to get noticed on stage at competitions, fake tans, excessive makeup and large hair pieces have gained a massive amount of popularity. The use of makeup and fake tan have especially caused a massive amount of controversy. In 2014, the CLRG (also known as the Irish dance commision) placed a ban on the use of these products in dancers under the of ten,which was almost immediately overruled by the IDTANA (Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of North America). “With respect to the demands on the Mid Atlantic Region to successfully complete its Oireachtas, processing over 2500 dancers on five stages in 72 hours, all dancers regardless of age will be allowed to wear tanner on their legs and

Related Documents