Dancing has long been a central part of Irish culture. It was the pastime of choice and accompanied pretty much every social event. Dance teachers were well respected members of society who traveled from town to town teaching dance in return for room and board. In 1893 the Gaelic Leauge was established to promote and protect all aspects of Irish culture.It was around this time when the Irish dance competition or feis started to become popular. Until 1995 Irish dance was a little known thing outside of Ireland, England and Scotland. It was then the show Riverdance broke into the scene; introducing the world to Irish dance. Since then Riverdance and Irish dancing have gained popularity all over the world. Now there are Irish dance schools and competitions everywhere in the United states as well as many countries throught the world. The World Championships for irish dance, which is taking place at the end of this month, is welcoming dancers from Canada, USA, Ireland, England, Mexico, Scotland, Wales, Austraila, New Zealand, the Netherlands, South Africa, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Japan.
This is a video of one of my favorite dances from the show, Riverdance.