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Benefits of Irish Dancing

Irish dancing offers many social, mental and health benefits as well as artistic goals and job opportunities.

Common Benefits of Irish Dancing

Increases Physical Skills

Irish Dance helps dancers young and old develop body control and coordination. It creates strong leg muscles and nimble feet. Dancing is also a great aerobic exercise.

Increases Mental Skills

Dancers must listen to their teachers, follow their directions, memorize steps, and dance to a beat. They also have to develop the ability to recognize, understand and fix their mistakes.

Increases Competitive Spirit and Goal-Setting

Feisanna will encourage the dancer’s desire to do well and to dance to the best of their ability, in fields of sometimes over a hundred dancers.

Increases Self-Esteem

It helps to increase the dancer’s confidence and develop a stage presence.

Forms Lasting Friendships

Not only with classmates, but through performing and competing, Irish dancers meet others from all parts of the city, state, country and world.

Promotes Irish Culture

An American revival of Irish identity and tradition began in the 1960s, and widespread interest in Irish Dancing exploded with Riverdance in 1994. While a young dancer may not comprehend this particular benefit while training, this revival continues!

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Jobs Related to Irish Dance

  • Adjudicator — Judges competitions
  • Artistic Director — Decides what shows to put on, casts the roles, often decides the future of the company. For example, Mark Howard of Trinity Irish Dance Company.
  • Choreographer — Creates the dance and helps decide on costumes and scenery
  • Costume Designer/Creator — Designs and/or sews costumes
  • Dance Teacher — Runs daily classes and gives individual coaching
  • Entrepreneur — Great ideas are always waiting to happen
  • Feis Commitee — Organize the competitions
  • General Manager — Arranges tours, salaries, and general business matters
  • Graphic or Web Designer — Logos, brochures, feis booklets, school websites, online communities, oh my! A valuable addition to any marketing officer, and may often also act as marketer.
  • Historian/Writer — John P. Cullinane, anyone?
  • Jewelry Maker — All those brooches!
  • Marketing Officers — Comission posters, leaflets and programs advertsing shows
  • Physiotherapist — Treats dancers’ injuries
  • Shoemaker — Creates hard and/or soft shoes
  • Stage Crew — Responsible for the electrics, such as wiring and special effects, as well as the props
  • Technical Director or Stage Manager — Co-ordinates the lighting staff, orchestra, dancers, and stage crew
  • Wardrobe Master or Mistress — Looks after and takes care of the costumes

6 Ideal Attributes of a Dancer

  • Strength
  • Joint Flexibility
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Coordination
  • Rhythm & Music Comprehension

10 Ideal Characteristics of a Performer

  • Experience and skill in a number of dance forms, epescially the one represented by the choreographer.
  • Interest in the arts and a great desire to dance.
  • Strong, healthy body, with a practical regard for joint action.
  • Broad perceptual field and an open mind.
  • Lots of energy, courage, patience, and strength.
  • The ability to cooperate and get along with others.
  • To take criticism and suggestions easily.
  • To move with conviction and projection.
  • To have time and energy for rehearsals, and a willingness to work.
  • The ability to move with urgency and passion.

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