When you think of dancing in Texas something like square dancing probably comes to mind. However, traditional Irish step dancing is alive and well in Texas.
Texas is actually home to one of the oldest, actually the second oldest, Irish festivals in America.
The North Texas Irish Festival is the largest Irish festival in the southwest and has been produced annually by the Southwest Celtic Music Association since 1983. The festival aims to bring awareness to Celt cultural heritage and includes traditional Irish music and of course Irish step dancing.
According to Wikipedia, Irish step dancing is believed to have originated in the mid-1800s. There are many who dedicated themselves to Irish step dancing and train hard to keep that tradition alive.
Irish step dancing is characterized by dancers who keep their upper body stiff while hopping and kicking their legs high while making quick and precise movements with their feet.
Irish step dance competitions are held all over the world and are referred to as Feiseanna. A Feis is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival where dancers dress in elaborate custom-made costly costumes to perform in.
Both males and females partake in Irish step dance, but the Irish step dance community is predominately female. So, most of those elaborate costumes that are made are dresses.
However, there are males who are phenomenal Irish step dancers.
A great example of that is Riverdance, a theatrical show that premiered in 1995 and features Irish music and dance performed by both men and women. A group of young men and women from the Maguire Academy of Irish Dance performed Riverdance at the 2014 North Texas Irish Festival.
And it was absolutely phenomenal! So phenomenal that a video clip of their performance got more than 2.5 million views on YouTube.
The performance begins with a teenage girl who beautiful hops and skips about on stage. She takes a bow and walks off stage as a teenage boy dressed in black followers her. His moves are absolutely impressive and completely wow the crowd who cheer for him.
It’s not long before the girl returns to the stage and the two of them hold hands and majestically perform.
Then a few more teenage girls join them as they all stomp on the floor in unison. They are then joined by even more male and female dancers. It is quite the sight to see. You can check out the video below.
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Source: Kelcey Sartin