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February 21, 2012

Irish VS Scottish Dance

I've not talked about my years of dance on this blog yet.
Considering it consumed my life from age 7-22, I found myself surprised that I hadn't though of sharing it before.

For 16 years I was a Highland Dancer.

Yep.
Scottish Highland Dance.

Let me give you the spiel that I gave the high schoolers at the workshop in January.

Have you ever seen Riverdance?
Lord of the Dance?
Feet of Flames?
Celtic Tiger?
Well, that's Irish Dance (and Michael Flatley).
Not Highland.

Think of it this way.
Irish dance kinda resembles mainstream Tap.
Hard shoes.
Clicking heels.

Highland dance, in the same way, resembles mainstream Ballet.
Positions.
Arms.
Movement.

Let me give you a demonstration.
Bear with me, the videos are scarce and a little long.
Each video is of 2011's champions.
One Highland champ.
Two Irish champs.

Scottish Highland Dance:
2011 (6th consecutive) Adult World Champion
David Wilton, from Scotland.

Irish Dance:
2011 Senior Men's Champion
Morgan Comer, from Ireland.
(Red shirt, 17th to dance if you want to watch it that far.)


2011 Senior Women's Champion
Emily Penner, from Ontario.
 (Black top and orange skirt, last girl to dance.)


Get the difference?

I don't know much about Irish dance.

Highland Dance is very regimented and precise.
The basic dances are military based.
Fling, Sword.
The Seann Triubhas (seen trews) is based off the 1745 repeal the kilt ban and 'shedding the trousers' England forced them to wear... David is dancing the Seann Triubhas in the video.

The rest? Courting and character dances
Flirtation late medieval highland style.

The Celtic world is a pretty intense one, no matter which dance form you prefer.

Did you learn anything today?

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