Céilí (kay-lee) dancing has a relatively short, interesting and contrary history. Born out of the Gaelic League’s desire to create a clear Irish cultural and social identity, the League created a form of modern Irish step dancing in 1893 that would be an indigenous and codified form of dance: clearly Irish.
Sadly, as part of the ban on “everything English”, they also banished the round dances, country dances and quadrilles, which were loved by many dancers.
In 1929, the Irish Dancing Commission (An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha) re-created some of those popular dances and they called them céilí dances. Theywere adopted to complement modern step dancing , and were also danced in social settings with gusto, particularly by Nationalist communities in Northern Ireland. Some examples include The Walls of Limerick, The Siege of Ennis and The High CauledCap to name but a few.* READ MORE DANCE HISTORY
I was recently asked by a new Irish set dancer what shoes I would recommend for dancing. I hesitated in replying, not sure why. I realised that to answer this question, I had to ask a question in return. You have to decide if you want:
1. Dance shoes or 2. Shoes for dance They are not necessarily one and the same thing.
For dancers, your feet are the most important part of your body to look after.I have been largely ignorant of this and realise only now how lucky I was to grow up in the Pacific, barefeet most of the time, and have avoided many problems that come for most people from wearing poorly-fitting shoes. Continue reading →