The Beginner’s Jig

Day 11 of 17 Days of Irish and it’s time to dance!

The seeds of Irish Step dancing as we see and know it today were planted over one hundred years ago, just around the turn of the 19th century. Of course, Irish dance has a much longer, deeper history than that – but the style and nature of Irish dance as we enjoy it now took shape around 1900…and really kicked into full gear in the 1970’s (and exploded with Riverdance in the 90’s).

Miss A’s dance school began in the 70’s and her teacher is is accredited by An Coimisiun, the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin – which means the best dancers in the school can qualify to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships (I have no aspirations or expectations for Miss A to get that far, but would never say no to a trip to Dublin!).

I love this picture, Miss A looks so serious!

During the summer, the dancers wear parade clothes (a troupe t shirt and skort) and usually as they march in the parade will attempt to stop at various points along the route and perform steps of the jig (one of the easier dances to try and perform while walking).

The first dance every new performer learns is the Beginner Jig – and it’s so cute to see all the little tiny dancers come out to perform for their first time.

Here a little dancer tries to follow Miss A's feet.
It's wonderful to see how the older dancers help Miss A, and she in turn helps the ones younger than her...soon it will be Lil G's turn up there too!

The following is Miss A and several of the other young dancers at a recent performance. Often, at a show, they will break the dance up and assign each dancers a step or two, which is why you see some standing still while others are dancing. Check out the girl to Miss A’s right, she has awesome high kicks!

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