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About Irish Dance

Dancing is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the Irish culture. Dances that were once passed down orally and by teaching from parent to teacher to child later became regional dances, being taught by master teachers who traveled from village to village teaching families and villagers.  ​

Irish dancing comes in two forms; solo dancing and figure dancing.  Solo dances are done in both soft and hard shoes.  Soft shoe dances showcase more of a balletic movement, while the strength and technique of the hard shoes produce a more aggressive and substantial sound.  Figure dancing requires more than one dancer and shows a similar resemblance to American square dancing.   Steps are executed with precision and accuracy and show minimal effort.  Figures can be performed in a square, circle, or line formation.  They are commonly found at recreational/social events, or a ceili. (pronounced “kaylee”)  


Thistle dancers have the opportunity to perform both solo and figure dances and take part in both competitions and social events.

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