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The History of Irish Dance.



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 fifth century

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.