Irish Dance School - Soft Shoes for Dancing
Soft dance shoes are worn for a variety of dances including the reel, slip jig and single jig. The shoes are very similar in appearance to ballet shoes but tie with laces instead of elastic. The shoes are know by a variety of different names including ghillies, light shoes and pumps.
Irish Dance School - Dresses
Most Irish dancing schools have their own costumes for the dancers to wear when performing in a group situation. Often Irish dancing schools are asked to perform a short routine at weddings, anniversaries and parties. However, once a dancer begins to perform as a solo step dancer the costumes can get very elaborate and expensive! The design of the dresses are based on the style of dress worn by Irish peasants over two hundred years ago but the dresses of today are certainly not peasant dresses! They often cost more than a wedding dress and there are a huge number of specialist designers who create bespoke dance dresses to the requirements of the individual dancer. The choice of colors, designs and material is endless, dresses are usually covered in a selection of Celtic patterns and also feature a cape which is tied at the shoulder typically with a Tara brooch.
Irish Dance School - Types of Dances
There are four main types of Irish step dances that solo dancers are taught:
There are many variations of each of the main step dances including light jig, single jig, double jig and treble jig. Other dances include the treble reel which is danced with hard shoes and set pieces which are individually choreographed dances to a piece of chosen music, each individual Irish dance school will have its own set piece taught to its dancers.
Benefits of Attending an Irish Dance School
Irish dancing is not just about footwork and a beautiful dancing costume! Although the dancers move their feet at a breathtaking rate and their costumes are amazing, timing and rhythm is also extremely important. Other benefits of attending and Irish dance school are:
Increased Physical Fitness
Fantastic and fun exercise
Increased concentration levels
Helps form a competitive spirit
Builds self esteem
Helps to improve stage presence
Promotes Irish Culture
Friendship amongst dancers attending lessons