How I-Rish I Could Dance Like That! Learning Irish Dance Steps

How to Learn Irish Dance Steps
Originating in Ireland, Irish dances are performed with extreme perfection and coordination. Over the years these dances have been modernized as per the latest dance styles and trends. Brush through this article to learn the steps involved in Irish dance.
DancePoise Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Dance is one of the ways of expression and a way of interaction that is performed with various body movements. Right coordination and flexibility are the elements of performing any form of dance. With diverse culture and traditions, today we have many unusual and outstanding dance forms. Among so many wonderful and graceful dance forms, Ireland is known for its absolutely amazing dances that many dancers and even youth desire to master the Irish dancing moves. These dances have been in existence for many years, but became popular in the year 1994. As these intriguing folk Irish dances caught the attention of many dancers, it soon introduced different styles in them performing these dances.

Irish dances are classified as per their performance. There are many Irish dances which are classified under social and performance dance sections. Céilì and set dancing are two forms which come from the Irish social dance section. These dances completely differ from the dances displayed in performance dances. These are among the oldest social Irish dance forms that are in existence since the 19th century. Irish performance dance includes the modern step dance that originates from the old style step dancing. Different and unique variations in Irish step dancing have made this performance dance easy and also popular. Even Irish dance history is amazing and interesting to learn as it enriches the knowledge of these dances.

Irish Dance Positions and Steps

Irish dance mainly constitutes leg movements rather than the hands. While dancing to the steps of an Irish dance, beginners must maintain an erect posture and focus only on the leg movements. The basic position of starting the dance is to stand in attention, with both your hands straight down on either side. Take your right foot and touch the heel of your right foot to your left foot's toes. The right foot should be exactly perpendicular to the left foot. The left knee must be exactly behind the right knee. Once you are set in the right position, it is time to get you started with some dance steps.

Method to Perform Reel Steps

Step 1
Keep your hands close to the body and as the position mentioned above, hop to your right knee and bend it in front of the left knee. Jump back on to your right foot.

Step 2
From the first step go back to the original standing position. Lift your right foot up pointing outwards and move it to the right side. The left foot must follow well behind the right foot. Perform this step seven times and after the seventh step hop on the right knee and bring your left knee behind the right knee. Then step back onto the right foot bringing the left foot behind.

Step 3
Step on the ball of your left foot and stay for two counts. Bringing the right leg back step on the ball of your right foot and count till three. Slightly lift the left foot and repeat the step three times.

Step 4
Hop on and bend the left foot bringing it close to the right knee. Hop back on to the left foot. Point the left foot outward and take seven steps towards the left side. Keep the left foot in the lead and follow with the right foot behind the left foot.

Step 5
Slightly lift your left foot, bending the knee. Jump on the left foot and bring the right foot backward. Bring the left foot back on the ground and maintain the position for two counts.

Step 6
Keep your left foot behind the right foot. Stand on the ball of your left foot and count till three. Slightly lift the right foot and bend the knee. Repeat the step three times.

Method to Perform Jig Steps

Step 1
Jump on the left foot and lift the right leg pointing the right toes outward. Jump back on the left foot and this time bring the right foot behind the left knee. Bring down the right foot behind the left and lean completely on the left foot.

Step 2
Stand on the right foot and bring the left foot to the rear of the right foot. Keep the left foot rooted to the ground while you slightly lift your right foot and put it down on the ground again.

Step 3
In this step, bring the left foot behind the right. Raise the right foot and bring it back on the ground while the left foot remains on the ground.

The above given steps are easy and simple to perform. However, getting the right body coordination and movements can be mastered by thorough practice and dedication. So, take up the above methods and become an expert in performing this dance.
Three women in Irish dance dresses posing
Foot ballet