Irish Step Dancing is notable and unusual in that, for the most part, the arms are not used in Irish Dance. ologsinquito2 (author) on February 25, 2013: Hi RoseGrace and Vineliner, thank you so much for visiting and for commenting. First and foremost, the dancing could not be suggestive. I heard an explanation that in the past the Irish really like to dance, but either the church or the ruling class (cannot remember which the article stated) decided that it was decadent and sinful, so they banned dancing. They were on a 3 minute segment on one episode and he was fascinated by them. I now have friends all over the world because of Irish dancing. I thank my parents for pushing me to be the best, yet always keeping me level headed, and making sure I'm always top notch dancing wise before a competition. Friday morning began the execution of the logistical quagmire we were faced with. The teacher was a real spark plug - 100 percent Irish American and a red head. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. I really liked your red panda lens. Celtic dancing is alive and well in my part of Canada, but I must say I never thought about why the dancers don't move their arms. There is no definitive answer to explain why Irish dancers do not use their arms while they dance but there are hundreds of stories and theories passed down to try to explain. by Anonymous: reply 3: 03/27/2018: It's time to end the feud, OP. Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on February 26, 2013: RocketSquid tip - feel free to delete after reading! While keeping your arms down and crossing your feet might come a little easier, many dancers struggle for years to get their toes turned out properly. I'm not positive the Church is the reason Irish dancers don't move their bodies much, but it is the explanation given by my daughter's dance teacher. ologsinquito2 (author) on February 28, 2013: Melanie Wilcox from Pennsylvania, USA on February 27, 2013: I've always like Irish step-dancing -and with men too. Irish dancers keep their arms straight down because back then, people would put the Irish in jail. Close. Yes, the dresses have gotten a lot shorter and there is a more beauty pageant feel to these shows. These dancers refused to raise their arms to her, and kept them rigidly by their sides as they danced out of defiance, and possibly to show they were not enjoying themselves as they danced for her and the English. I've never seen a professional Irish step dance troupe, just the children. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. She concluded with talk with, "If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough.". Yes, they definitely need to be changed and I will do that. I don't know, and I have no way of checking, but her story makes a certain amount of sense. Had no idea about these aspects of the Irish dance. If soldiers were spotted, the little scouts would run inside and tap a message with their feet to alert the worshipers on the lower level. Not a lot of people can say that at all, and I really count myself so lucky, for everything. Why do Irish dancers always dance with arms straight by their sides? Perhaps for the guestbook you might consider asking a question like "Have you ever seen Irish dancing?" Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on February 25, 2013: A Rocket Squid tip for you..be sure to change the titles on your modules. I can't think of another dance form where half of the body is kept in check. This is an incorrect assumption, Irish dancers do move their arms sometimes, Michael Flatley is living proof of it. How to add arm movements to Irish Step Dancing. Now, people all over the world are discovering the magic that is Irish dance: the lively music, the challenging yet engaging steps and the incredible workout … Thus the free wheeling energetic Irish dance of old, was compressed and redirected into a more rigid format. This made it illegal to practice one's Catholic faith. For more info here's a great simple tutorial: http://www.squidoo.com/linking-tips#module2118466. Strange. You might want to use html to link your photo credits back to their sources. Offsite Link. The dancers do not move their arms, at least in the more traditional form of step dancing. We look at the anatomy of Irish dancing turnout to make sure you’re turning out correctly. Kristen from Wisconsin on February 26, 2013: RocketSquids Suggestions/Advice: (Feel free to delete after reading.) Looking forward to your next lens. Thanks for sharing. A company of dancers crammed into the claustrophobic confines of a celtic kitchen, could only form a line, keep their arms tight by their sides, and do steps & kicks to the front. I am not that familiar with Scottish dance. Many dancers force turnout from the ankle or the knee, which is not only incorrect form, but the quickest way to cause injuries. I didn't know the girls hold their arms up. Well, the simple answer is that they don’t, at least, not for most Irish dancing. I love to watch this dance. CONTENT Cromwell also deported many lay Catholics to remote Irish outposts and to the Caribbean. This is probably a good time to explain that neither our family, nor the groom’s family, are local. But there were a few stipulations. Thanks so much for a wonderfully interesting lens. You have some interesting material here. Fantastic job! 4 Theories On Why Irish Dancers Don't Move Their Arms - Diddlyi No one knows for certain as to why the upper body is the way it is in Irish dance. We must have watched those 3 minutes over 100 times. Irish step dancing is a unique form of artistic expression. One story is that a group of Irish dancers were brought to dance for the Queen. Irish dancers keep their arms straight down because back then, people would put the Irish in jail. It is performed traditionally with intricate foot work and is most known for the dancers performing with a stiff upper body. WHY IRISH DANCE? Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. It is the first time I have heard why irish dancers don't move their arms, and until I saw the title of your lens, I haven't thought about it, but I like how your daughter's teacher explained it so until I hear different I will consider your version right. ologsinquito2 (author) on March 11, 2013: Thanks for stopping by an for commenting. in jail, they would dance to keep from going insane. ologsinquito2 (author) on April 17, 2013: Thank you for visiting and for commenting. Irish dancers were to perform for Queen Elizabeth I but refused to raise their arms to her. Anyway, the teacher is a devout Catholic and according to her account, Ireland was once a strongly Catholic country. So one could say that ‘tradition’ is the reason arms don’t move, which is correct, but why is it … One such theory is that, during English occupation of Ireland the Irish dancers refused to use their arms as a way to protest the England’s suppression of Irish culture. I had played the sequence of events in my head over and over, and Todd and I navigated the schedule to perfection like two four-star generals. I had no idea how it developed. Why is that? I do wonder if the soldiers eventually caught on, after finding so many children dancing on Sunday mornings. But it really depends on the type of irish dance, traditional Irish set dances never change at all, an irish dance in the 1950s is still performed the same today, this includes keeping your arms by your side. Irish dancing has evolved tremendously since Riverdance took the world by storm in the 90s. I was reading about this dancing style and found NO agreed upon reason for the still arms! Yes I have.Sometime in the last year I came across a contest of Irish dancing which was the lead up to the grand final of the dancing year and it was absolutely fascinating to watch. Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on March 03, 2013: I love the Irish step-dancing. I've only seen step dancing on television - would love to see a performance in person! Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on February 26, 2013: I enjoyed your lens very much. Some of these steps are very intricate, often leaving you wondering just how these contortions are possible. RD '' like pm report more edit. The Queen in reference is probably Elizabeth I. Elaborate steps are made with just the legs, and it's primarily the lower legs that generate the most movements. Unlike other dance forms, Irish dancers do not move their arms or hands so that footwork is accented. People would spy on each other and report anyone who was dancing. I would suggest added a YouTube video or two of some Irish dancing to add to your lens and to keep readers' attention longer. Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on February 25, 2013: I always wondered why they danced like that. It’s only in Step Dancing that performers are expected to maintain the stiff-arm approach. If you’re new, Subscribe! Feel free to delete this comment after reading. One of the most common reactions of people seeing ‘Irish dancing’ for the first time is ask: why do they keep their arms so stiff by their sides? It is quite possible that this event actually happened. Irish dance is very unusual in that the arms are not used in the dance style. It is quite possible that this event actually happened. ologsinquito2 (author) on April 18, 2013: Thank you for stopping by. But I like my daughter's Irish step-dance teacher's explanation. Your dancer will love this beautiful Christmas tree ornament or St. Patrick's Day ornament. Very interesting indeed :). I loved the history behind Irish dancing, I found it fascinating! Why don't Irish step dancers move their arms? Thank you for visiting and for commenting. by Anonymous: reply 1: 03/27/2018: Step dancing was a release of joy as farmers families left the potato fields lugging home sacks of potatoes. I really enjoyed reading! Posted by 8 months ago. No one can doubt the passion and commitment of the young Irish dancers themselves. To be honest, I don't think we really know why the arms are the way they are in Irish dancing. But Maureen believes straight arms resulted from British subjugation when the English forbid the Irish from singing, dancing, playing instruments or doing poetry that celebrated Irish culture. Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. If the soldiers happened to arrive at the home, they'd find children dancing in the house, while everyone else scurried to hide all evidence that a Mass was taking place. Elaborate steps are made with just the legs, and it's primarily the lower legs that generate the most movements. I can easily add a video. So this is why the girls started dancing with their arms held to their sides like two boards. John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on May 06, 2013: I think you're probably right about the explanation being the Catholic Church, but I'm not absolutely sure what it was. Tight arms and body, with nimble skilful footwork. Cade first saw the Irish Dancers on Elmo's World. Meanwhile the feet move very quickly underneath a still and held torso. There's a lot in common with traditional Scottish dancing but the Scots girls hold their arms up high, there's a lot more spinning around the upper legs move much more. The popular Irish dance stage shows of the past ten years have reinvigorated this cultural art, and today Irish dancing is healthy, vibrant, and enjoyed by people across the globe." 892. ologsinquito2 (author) on February 27, 2013: Thank you for the kind words. Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on May 19, 2013: I never even thought about why the dancers don't move their arms until now. Rather, they are held down by the side while the dancer's feet move very very quickly, as seen here. Ideas range from not having much room while dancing inside to the dance been originally done by inmates cuffed together. [8] Sometime in that decade or the one following, a dance teacher had his students compete with arms held firmly down to their sides, hands in fists, to call more attention to the intricacy of the steps. For Irish dancers, this muscle is critical to executing ideal Irish dance posture. Your name certainly sounds Irish. Thank you for visiting. Having Irish heritage and living so far away I tend to grasp at anything Irish I can get. While Mass was being offered, several children would be dispatched to stand at the edge of the property to watch for British soldiers. ologsinquito2 (author) on February 26, 2013: Hi Sockii, thanks for visiting and thanks for the link to the instructional module. These dancers refused to raise their arms to her, and kept them rigidly by their sides as they danced out of defiance, and possibly to show they were not enjoying themselves as they danced for her and the English. Thanks for all the great information. My daughter's teacher also explained how Irish step-dancing helped preserve the Catholic faith in Ireland, as the Church suffered intense persecution at various times in the country's history. ologsinquito2 (author) on April 29, 2013: Thank you for visiting. Very interesting. Sociological/Cultural . Particularly in competitive Irish Dance, the arms are held down tightly down by the side. Did the dance teacher have her facts right? Archived. Your little girl will love the "ghillies" charm and also the sterling silver Irish step dancer. “Competitive Irish Dance is basically just a beauty pageant.” Yes, Irish Dancers put a lot of money in to their costumes, shoes, make-up, and basically everything else that is needed to prepare for a day of competing, but it's all to improve your stage presence. I liked my daughter's teacher's explanation as well. It was also highly regionalized until very recently, so everyone has their own explanation for why things are. ologsinquito2 (author) on April 21, 2013: Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on April 21, 2013: Yes I have...They are so talented and well choreographed. There are many urban legends as to why the arms are not used in Irish dance. Ceili Irish dancing closely resembles Irish step-dancing, with dancers performing on their toes. No one is really sure why this form of dance evolved the way it did. Typically it takes years to graduate to hard-toed Irish step-dancing shoes. Ceili Irish dancing can be performed in lines facing each other, circular formations, long line formations, and quadrilles. Mar 18, 2017 - Here is one theory on why Irish step dancers do not move their arms. Nicely done. Not only does it … The concept is that if … in jail, they would dance to keep from going insane. I suspect the dancing costumes worn a few generations ago in Ireland were a little different than what we see now. The Queen in reference is probably Elizabeth I. During the 1600's, for instance, there was something known as Irish Penal Laws. Yes, I have watched step-dancing! Real Irish design tradition, in other words, has nothing to do with these flamboyant, flashy Irish dancing fakes. Step dancing was permitted, as it also served a spiritual purpose. Before every recital the teacher would give a 10-minute talk on the history of Ireland and Irish step-dancing. A dancer's arms are held flat at her side, and her upper body is stiff as a board. That's a fascinating historical tidbit, about the children tapping out a warning to hidden Catholics with their dancing toes! One story is that a group of Irish dancers were brought to dance for the Queen. Hi Kristalulabelle84, thank you for reading and for the feedback. Why don’t Irish Dancers move their arms or upper torsos while dancing? This sterling silver charm depicts the "ghillies," which are the soft-soled shoes all new dancers wear for their first recital. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. When children are born in Ireland, they break their arms so that they hang limp to their sides. This is done to try to cut down on bar brawls. My understanding is that it was a way to 'clean up' dance and remove any suggestiveness, as you said. The dancers do not move their arms, at least in the more traditional form of step dancing. Therefore, it was sometimes necessary to celebrate the Mass underground, in the lowest level of a village house. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. A ceili dance may be performed with only two people, or as many as 16. I'd love to see the dresses fall below the knee again. In Which There Are Irish Dancers By Jenster | March 24, 2019 | 0 . Just my $0.02! The dresses and the steps and the time it had taken these dancers to get where they were was enthralling so count me in. Anybody can be an Irish dancer- the only thing that needs to be Irish is your mentality to work hard at what you do. Some of these steps are very intricate, often leaving you wondering just how these contortions are possible. Any form of hip swaying was not allowed either. The skirts probably fell way below the knees and sleeveless costumes would have been unheard of. Irish step dancing is a unique form of artistic expression. http://www.squidoo.com/linking-tips#module2118466, India & South Asia Political & Social Issues. Thanks for reading pyngthyngs. Ever … That's a great idea. Great and interesting information! Check out these interesting and very entertaining theories explaining why. Their principle responsibility is to straighten your arm by extending the elbow joint. In other forms of Irish dancing like Sean Nos, Ceilí and Set Dancing, the arms are free to move as much as the dancer likes. Fascinating history! I had not heard the tradition of the tap dancing to alert the church-goers of British tyrants. Perhaps having a screen above waist level so the judges only assessed dancing leg action would be a fun development. Irish dancing has had a very strong oral tradition over the years. Irish Dance is a group of traditional dance forms originating from Ireland, encompassing dancing both solo and in groups, and dancing for social, competitive, and performance purposes. St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, so why not learn to Irish Dance with the McNulty Irish Dancers? Another name is the River Dance. Erin Mellor from Europe on April 29, 2013: The dresses have got much shorter and more 'bling' over the last 40 years, and there's more of a beauty pageant feel these days. These two need to be changed: Text with Big Picture and New Guestbook Comments. Hi, thank you for stopping by and for reading and for helping out a new member. In Ireland, Irish dance is part of social dancing or may be for formal performances and competitions. But even these are interesting. ologsinquito2 (author) on March 03, 2013: Hi artbyrodriguez, thank you so much for reading and for commenting. Very Interesting lens! She reportedly enjoyed Irish … A few months ago Cade and I were flipping through a community magazine and found an article listing upcoming events, plays and concerts and there in black and white was photo of the Irish Dancers. This is a fun form of dance to watch. The priests at one time had a great deal of influence and people listened to them. Saw it live years ago at the Community College of Philadelphia. It is said that, especially when the dancers performed for … This was also the era of Oliver Cromwell, a rabid Catholic hater who oversaw the assassinations of many priests and nuns. One of our favorite Target Training exercises to strengthen your triceps is a triceps pushup. The Irish suffered a lot for their faith. And the clothing had to be modest, with skirts well below the knee. Make amends with Google. The anatomy of Irish dancers do not move their arms, at,. Lowest level of a village house first and foremost, the arms are not used in Irish dancing resembles..., Thank you so much for visiting and for helping out a warning to hidden with. Wear why do irish dancers not move their arms their first recital Penal Laws these contortions are possible your device and internet connection, including your address! Assumption, Irish dancers move their arms sometimes, Michael Flatley is living proof of.... 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