Dancing in Ireland
has been part of the culture since before recorded recorded history,
the first may have been the Druids, the ring dance which can be
seen to this day echoeing perhaps their religious rituals honouring
the oak tree and the sun.
The type of dance practiced no doubt evolved
with each successive invasion of the country, when the Celts arrived
in Ireland from central Europe some time around 600 BC they would
have brought with then a style of dancing percular to that area,
over a period of time the two styles would have merged,
The Christian era beginning in the early
When the Vikings arrived in Ireland in the
latter part of the ninth century they too brought their own dance
traditions, although it seems they too practiced a ring dance, the
Tangle was performed to a ballad sung by a leader with the rest
of the dancers joining in the chorous, a special; hand grip was
used for this dance each dancer in the ring held his or her thumb.
The name Tangle described when the dancers
formed into a long line, the leader would weave between dancers
tangling the dancers. Another dance performed by the Vikings was
the kissing dance, the dancers formed into two lines men on one
side women on the other.
The basic dance step here is exactly like
the tangle, except you dance one repetition to the left, then one
to the right, so the line doesn't travel. A song is sung first by
the men, followed by the women, until finally the men break ranks
and run towards the women, who scatter. the men try to catch a woman,
who must give them a kiss if they succeed.