Get fit with Irish Dance in 2018

Irish dance is a great way to get fit and back into shape for 2018!  We incorporate exercises and strength training in each of our classes.  Combine that with the cardio effect of the dance and you have a great way to get fit and healthy!  Come out and join us this year.

A lovely testimonial from our 2017 Showcase on 6/17.

“Hi Kathy – My mom and I attended your 2:30 performance on Saturday and really wanted to thank you and the Academy. My mom has Alzheimers and loves children, music and dance. I try to take her to as many related events as I can but given her continued deterioration it has become more and more difficult to take her out. I was so glad though that we made the effort on Saturday! I had fully anticipated that she would want to leave at intermission but she was enjoying the performance so much that she didn’t even want to get out of her seat at intermission! She has great difficulty communicating now and I was surprised by how many comments she was making to me regarding some of the performers! You and your academy really gave my mom moments of great joy yesterday! While she didn’t remember specifically that we saw the performance by the time I got her back to where she lives, she knew that she had a happy feeling! Thank you! Marcia”

 

Article on the Origin of Irish Step Dance

About Irish Step Dance

History: Step dances evolved as the creation of Irish dancing masters, subsequent to their appearance in the late 18th century.  Dancing masters would often travel from town to town, teaching basic dancing steps to those interested and able to pay for them.  Since the basic folk dances had been done for centuries in their absence, one must suspect that their appearance was motivated by a desire to learn the “upscale” dance styles then beginning to be introduced from France.  The dance masters often paraphrased these dances to fit the traditional music available and, in doing so, laid the basis for much of today’s traditional Irish dance – ceili, step, and set.  The dance masters taught steps, the 8-bar units out of which most Irish traditional dance is constructed.  The steps involved both the movements needed for various dances and the foot percussion, called battering, used for rhythmic emphasis.  Competitions were often held in which the demonstrations of steps by masters were performed on a table-top or similar small stage.  In fact, dancing in a limited space was viewed as such an important aspect of the style that one of the greatest tributes to be paid to a dancer was to note that they could “dance on the top of a plate”.
Structure:  The codification of style that defines modern step dance took place in the 1920’s and provided a basis for judging of competitions.  Although none can deny the great response and popularity induced by competitions, they also tend to push style into emphasizing extremes in preferred characteristics rather than overall balance of effect.  The preferred style for competition step-dancing changed through the 1950’s and 1960’s.  The availability of lorries, then small stages in halls, and then larger stages, especially in the larger cities made it possible to perform the traveling steps, circular lead-in’s, sevens-and-threes, and turns we see as a characteristic of modern step-dance.
Nowadays, Irish Step Dance has evolved to a powerhouse form, emphasizing athletic as well as artistic attributes. Leaps, clicks, and traveling is artfully interlaced with intricate movements and footwork.  Dancers stay on the balls of their feet with their knees straight (or nearly so) at all times.  Their posture is erect and unmoving without rigidity and the competitive demands are even more extreme. It’s beautiful, challenging and can be enjoyed throughout most of a dancer’s life.