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Why Irish Dancing is SO AWESOME!

Irish dancing is a unique dance form because it encompasses two very different types of dancing – light shoe and heavy shoe.  Each is somewhat comparable to ballet and tap dancing, respectively.  TCG’s Irish Dancing Program offers both light shoe and heavy shoe classes for ages 3-14.

Irish dancing is a cultural and fun-filled experience that provides children with an untouchable artistic and athletic foundation.  Stemming from the Irish’s vibrant cultural heritage, Irish dance has been enjoying mass appeal since the 1990’s.  You don’t have to be Irish to Irish dance!  For both boys and girls, Irish dance is a mentally challenging and physically demanding sport and art.  While Irish dancing is more well-known in its competitive form, TCG has opted for a non-competitive approach.  We believe the recreational nature of our program allows children to enjoy and appreciate the athletic and artistic duality of this unique dance form without the distractions and pressures of competition.  However, since the focus of our program is entirely on the dancing itself, our classes provide an excellent foundation for further study in Irish dance or other dance forms, sports, and music.

Continuously jumping and constantly lifting your legs builds incredible leg strength, balance, and coordination.  The constant lifting also builds leg flexibility.  If you have ever seen Irish dancing, you probably know that much of the dancing requires dancers’ arms to be held still against their sides.  This often results in the misconception that Irish dancers do not use their arms and have weak upper bodies as a result.  This is not the case.  Holding your arms against your sides with proper poise and posture trains great mental discipline, physical control, and arm and core strength.  Also, while solo Irish dancing predominantly has dancers’ arms at their sides, group Irish dancing constantly uses arm movement, thus requiring an entire range of arm and upper body strength and flexibility.  TCG’s program introduces students to both solo and group Irish dancing, so students can expect a full body workout!

While a powerful physical workout, Irish dancing is also just that – dancing.  It is as much a workout for the brain as for the body.   Every lesson begins with a structured warm-up that focuses on proper technique.  The consistency of this warm-up routine allows students to see and be encouraged by their own improvement over time, as the movements become more familiar and more natural.  Students then learn not only basic movements, but also how to make those movements flow with style and grace.  Movements are then put into simple patterns, which challenge students’ minds to think and process in new ways, so much so that making progress with patterns at dance class is often seen to parallel with progress in students’ school work.  And of course, Irish dancing is distinguished by its energetic and beautiful music.  Students learn to match the dancing movements and patterns to the beat of the music, so rhythm and timing are an inherent part of every lesson.

 

So let’s review…

1) We’ve got wonderful coaches who are passionate about Irish dancing.
2) Irish dance is unique, cultural, and fun.
3) Our program is non-competitive, so students get a dance-focused education.
4) Our program provides an excellent foundation for dance, sports, and music.
5) Irish dancing is a full-body workout!
6) Students learn in a structured and consistent manner.
7) Irish dance is mentally stimulating.
8) Music is inseparable from Irish dancing, so students gain musical education.

Would you like to talk more about why Irish dancing is right for your child?  Our dance director, Miss Christina, is more than happy to meet with you to talk it through!   You can send her an email at irish.dance@childrensgym.com or give her a call at 503-249-JUMP (5867).