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How did Irish dancing start?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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10y ago

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Irish dancing began with the Druids who danced during their religious rituals. This dance was then combined with Celtic dance styles as they migrated to the area.

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10y ago
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12y ago

It started when irish people wanted to do a dance that did not take up much space, hence the still arms. They used to do it on the back of a door.

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Q: How did Irish dancing start?
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Why do Irish dancers dance with their arms at their sides?

According to legend, when Ireland was under complete British control, Irish culture was discouraged by the English in charge. Dancing, which was incredibly important to the Irish, was allegedly outlawed by conquering Normans in the 12th century. According to a popular legend, the natives refused to give up their dance, and adapted their dances by keeping their arms still so that whenever the English would look in the Irish people's windows, all they would see was a person with their hands to their sides, but their feet and legs were moving, under the protection of the the windows to conceal their "outlawed dancing." However, this is nothing more than an urban legend and the real history of Irish dancing is much more complicated.Irish dances evolved for many different reasons, one of them being the outside influence of British dances, but not because it was declared illegal. One conquering Brit, Sir Henry Sydney wrote to Queen Elizabeth I in1569 of the Irish jigs he witnessed young girls performing for him upon his arrival: "They are very beautiful, magnificently dressed and first-class dancers."One reason their arms are still in jigs and other similar dances is because the focus was meant to be given to the feet. Often, dancing competitions (which are still common in Ireland today,) would state in the rules that one cannot move their upper body, because the complex footwork is what is being judged and the judges should not "be unfairly influenced by elaborate hand and arm movement."In truth, the history of Irish dancing is among an evolution of a complex nation which was often influenced by outsiders, the church, invaders and yet , to this day, maintains some of the most unique dancing culture in the world. So, no... hiding from the British is not exactly why they keep their arms still.Sources:Irish Dancing Commission - Origins and Evolutions By Dr. John CullinaneWebsite at the link belowHaving an Irish Dance-a-holic Grandma


What is Nina from the 1800's?

NINA signs were are form of discrimination against Irish Catholics. They were posted in London and meant 'No Irish Need Apply'


Where did the scot Irish and the Germans settle?

They mostly arrived in the US in Philly and then spread out through Virginia and after that they started moving into North Carolina. For a good summary on Scots-Irish history, click on the link below.


Are the Irish and Scottish Anglo-Saxon?

The Irish and Scottish are Celtic, not Anglo-Saxon. They are linguistically and culturally Celtic but are related to the Anglo-Saxons because they all derive from the same Indo European people. The Irish and Scottish have a heavy Genetic relation to Anglo-saxons due to the settlements in Ireland and Scotland


What does Hie mean?

To rush along; move quickly. (Irish)

Related questions

Where in Ireland did Irish dancing start?

In Cork


When did Irish dancing start and where?

it started in Ireland, most young kids didn't have tv's so they played with their friends, and that is how Irish dancing began and originated


What year did Irish Dancing start?

I know all about Irish Dancing because i do it and i researched it for a topic at school. Irish Dancing obviosily originated from Ireland and started when the Celts came. That was about 300 AD


When to start Irish dancing?

the school i go to starts teaching Irish dance at 5 to12 years of age


What are the kind of Irish dancing?

Tap,Irish dancing and Ballet


Is Irish dancing an Irish tradition?

It is a tradition of the Irish and is like a handshke in irish irish dancing is and was a way of life for irish people


What is the origin of Irish dancing?

Ireland is the country of origin for Irish Dancing.


Is set dancing and Irish dancing the same thing?

Yes because a Setdance is a dance you do in Irish Dancing


Which countries is Irish dancing performed?

Irish Dancing is performed and practiced everywhere!


Why did Irish dancing start?

Too much beer and not enough restrooms. It's a joke, of course...


Where did Irish dancing start?

I would think it started in Ireland. But I'm not entirely sure.


Why did tap dancing start?

Tap is a blend of Irish step dancing and African gumboot dancing. It began when the two minority groups were highly oppressed and they blended their dance forms. The steps of the Irish combined with the rhythm and style of the African Americans created tap.