History of Irish Dance Irish dance is the traditional dance of ‘Ireland. ’ The history of Irish dance reveals constant shifting of the population. The people brought with them their preferred types of music and dance. Tracing the history, it is believed that the Druids were the first practitioners of Irish Dance. They used to dance in religious rituals and through the dance honoured the Oak tree and the Sun which were an important part in their ancient society. This is where the Irish dance supposedly originated from.
Around 400AD, after the spread of Christianity and the Anglo-Norman conquest in the Twelfth Century bought their qualities and culture and mixed it. These dances were performed at wakes or during midnight around bonfires at important events. Role of Irish Dance The role of Irish Dance in the society is simple. The Irish are known to love their music and dance. The traditional music of Ireland still has a strong foothold despite the various influences from abroad.
It is part of the traditions and culture from very olden times. Irish Dance has evolved overtime mixing with other cultures that brought their changes to the dance. The main change is from the Celtic. This might have been the reason the Irish have a variety of dances ranging from modern Irish Tap Dancing to Step Dancing. Druids & Celts (later Irish) also believed that dancing brought good luck & was important esp. during sacrifices to please their gods. Why the Arms are usually held Straight?
Since Irish dancing evolved as a pass-time amongst friends and families in small kitchens and bars, there was limited room to accent their foot work with fancy arm gestures. Furthermore, Irish dance is tied closely to the music, the emphasis being on the sound that the shoes made on the floor hence the arms were largely ignored. Irish dance has been evolved, modified and changed as time passed by. Nowadays, Irish Dancing is used as a form of entertainment, profession, education (learning it), part of their culture and of course for competitions rather than traditional rituals.