We tend not to associate traditional Irish step dance with the country music capital of the world, but the truth is the dance style is popular all over the world these days.
No longer confined to those of Irish heritage in the U.S., you can find Irish step classes all around the country.
That’s partly thanks to the 90’s phenomenon of Riverdance which brought an old style of dance to new masses.
And the step dance isn’t just fun to partake in, it’s also a lot of fun to watch, partly because our minds are pleasantly triggered by synchronized movement.
In that case, it’s no wonder an Irish step dance video has been viewed nearly three-quarters of a million times. It shows the Nashville Irish Step Dancers perform their “Treble Reel” show number.
And it all begins with a small but mighty little dancer.
Performed to traditional Irish music and characterized by a rigid upper body, no arm movements, and detailed footwork that includes dancing in patterns, this style of Irish step dance has become quite popular.
The young dancer is wearing soft shoes because the focus is more on the footwork and pattern rather than the addition of rhythmic percussion that heavier shoes add.
While at first, the older dancers stand by clapping as the youngest member demonstrates her skills solo, they do join in eventually to show off their “Treble Reel.”
The oldest dancers are wearing hard shoes so you can hear as well as see their movements.
If you focus on the way they move around the floor you can see the pattern they’re attempting to make. But the key to the Treble Reel is the little “shuffle, hop, back” that’s similar to something you’d learn in tap dancing.
First, the left foot goes down behind the dancer, tapping out and then back with the right foot, hopping on the left foot, then placing the right foot down behind.
Then, tap out with the left, tap back with the left, hop on the right foot, and place the left foot back down.
You can see the oldest dancer demonstrating the move.
It’s easier than it sounds – but that’s just the beginning and the most basic step. You have to master that before you get into higher kicks or even moving around the floor in patterns.
The dance school deserves quite a bit of credit for incorporating dancers of all ages into one performance – that’s quite a choreographic feat!
We’re no experts on this style, so we can’t tell you precisely what else is being demonstrated, but we’re fascinated by the foot movements in their circle dance.
Each dancer gets her own solo to show off the fastest footwork she’s got.
We’re loving some of the on-toe work going on here – and we think the littlest dancer is too (perhaps she’s hoping to master that one soon).
While there’s no big crowd present (we think this performance was designed for online viewing), these young women deserve a big round of applause for their talent.
As you can see, it takes a lot of athleticism and precision to get these steps right. And the confidence to do a solo while still being able to mesh with a group of dancers is a talent in itself!
Be sure to scroll down below to see the entire performance for yourself.
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