Forum: Highland / Highland - Jig

Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By KathleenO
On Sun Apr 25, 2004 01:17 PM

im an irish dancer and i herd that highland does a dance called the Irish Jig and u people mimki the irish....?!?!wht up whis that?!?!?!?!

10 Replies to Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!

re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!! (karma: 1)
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2004 01:43 PM
Yes, Highland dancers like Irish dancers.
Unless they're mean. Then we don't like them. =)

Despite the fact that Highland dancers mimic angry Irishwasherwomen in doing the Irish Jig, it's actually very similar to our Treble Jig (I'm an Irish dancer as well). It starts with a lead; includes a variety of treble-like movements, toe movements (but not toewalks or toestands), and assorted steps that resemble those from our TJ; and it's danced to the same rhythm / timing.

(This is true of other dances as well: the Highland reel includes a movement similar to our 123s, the Scottish Lilt is a close relative to our Slip Jig, and even the Hornpipe - although in HD it's MUCH faster - bears some semblance where the rhythm / timing is concerned. I can dance bits and pieces of my Irish hornpipe to the Sailor's Hornpipe.)

Anyway, the Irish Jig is all in good fun, although I personally hate it. =)
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By highlandchic
On Sun Apr 25, 2004 01:54 PM
I think most Irish Dancers when they first hear this dance is in fun, some are offended but usually not once they see it, and usually find it funny. The dance has been around for YEARS so it wasnt anything personal from any of us, :D
Excellent answer by the way Senior Lady
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By highlandlassie
On Sun Apr 25, 2004 08:34 PM
It's posts like this that really go to show why a message board like this is so great! Now, rather than thinking that we are mean, our Irish dancing friend will know that our Jig is not meant in disrespect, and can pass that on to her other Irish buddies! :) I also agree, great answer Senior Lady! :)
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By KathleenO
On Mon Apr 26, 2004 07:46 PM
thanx! well gland i got that setteled....o, and can you tell me about the differences of Highland and Irish? u know the dresses, dances, ect...the important stuff! hehehehehehehe the mad irish washer woman! thats funny!
Hey!
By highland_wawa
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 07:56 AM
Hello!

My favourite dance out of all highland dances i Know is definitley the IRISH JIG! I just seem to enjoy it so much! My dance teachers never really told me the background behind the dance when i first started..i just realy found out last year. It is a whole different perspective when you find out about the background sooo much later!
See y'all

~Kayla
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By highlandlassie
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 02:03 PM
There are quite a few differences between Irish and Highland. 1) Our only "hardshoe" type dance is our Irish Jig. The shoes are not like Irish hardshoes, though. They look like highland shoes but green or red and have a wooden part on the ball and the heel. Some have metal "clickers" that jingle when we dance. All our other dances are in "softshoes", although our ghillies are slightly different than Irish ones.
2) We make use of our arms, they are never at our sides when we are dancing. We have five main positions, and sometimes we move flowingly between positions, sometimes sharply. Our hands, when not on our waist in fists (1st position), look kind of like deer antlers. Our thumb touches the first joint of our middle finger and the rest of the fingers are raised like antlers.
3) Our costumes are fairly simple compared to Irish ones. However, we have four different ones. I explained all about our costumes on a different post. If you can't find it and want me to explain it again, just PM me and I'll be happy to.
4) Our knees MUST be turned out to the side as much as possible. It's kind of like ballet with the turnout. From what I've seen in Irish, more of the turnout emphasis is on the feet not the legs - but I could be wrong! :)
5) Our hair is pulled back and completely out of the face. Usually it is in a bun, sometimes a french braid. With some of the more ladylike dances we may have it half-up, but never for championship dances.
6) We are not allowed anything like glitter, etc. I've seen some of the make-up on the Irish sites, and it would not be allowed in Highland. I guess it comes down to the fact that Highland was originally for men, so it's more simple in that area. But I do think that the make-up in Irish suits the costumes. It just wouldn't suit Highland outfits, which are very simple (no sequines, shiny fabrics, etc.).

That's all I can think of right now. I hope it answers your question! :)
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!! (karma: 4)
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 03:41 PM
Very big post ahead ... ahem. :D

The easiest way to differenciate between Irish and Highland is to take 2 dancers in costumes and stick them side by the side. The Irish dancer will have big hair. It might be her own hair, or it might be a wig. (Or it might be TWO wigs - I'm not kidding.) In any case, it will be BIG. She will also have a colourful dress with appliqués and/or embroidery, stiff panels, and in a variety of fabrics such as glitterball or silk. Her dress will be accessorised with a matching cape, a matching headpiece, and - for the sake of humility - matching knickers. (There's nothing quite like flashing the adjudicator your lime green bloomers in the middle of a high kick. The closer you are to the table, the better!) The Highland dancer will usually have her hair in a bun, and it might be worn high up on the head. She'll be wearing either 1) a kilt with matching tartan hose (or white knee-highs in some cases), or 2) a sailor outfit in white or navy with a hat, or 3) a national dress (blouse, bodice, and skirt), or 4) a jig dress (red or green with matching shoes and a white apron).

(Male Highland dancers generally wear a kilt, although they can wear trousers for the national dances I think. Male Irish dancers almost always wear trousers with a dress shirt and sometimes a cape. Every now and then you'll see a guy in a kilt, but there are very few of those still around.)

If you should wander across two dancers in street clothes, then it becomes a bit harder to tell them apart. But not really. Both Irish and Highland use turnout, but in different ways. Irish dancers nearly always dance with their feet crossed, so the turnout is less noticeable - but it's there. ID teachers are known to shout out: "Cross your feet!", which is a bit misleading because you're not REALLY crossing your feet (unless you're looking to get some plastic knees put in from the injuries you're gonna inflict upon yourself doing it) - you're turning out at the hips and the rest follows. Highland dancing has 5 basic feet/leg positions plus a few more in between (à la 4th opposite 5th and 3rd rear aerial, etc). The turnout is a lot more noticeable, especially in movements such as a pas de basque where you're extending to 2nd. Highland dancers also have 5 arm positions, none of which is 'hands in fists with arms held at the side', and they even have a way to hold their fingers (trigger fingers are IN in Highland: They're supposed to be held like that! But no duck hands - quack!). Arm movements are usually a good way to tell Highland dancers from Irish dancers (unless you're watching a show on TV where the male leads think they're Michael Flatley and flail their arms all over the place).

There are four Highland dances: the fling, sword, seann truibhas, and reel. These are the 4 dances competed at major championships. Alternatively, Irish dancing also 4 championship dances: the reel, slip jig, treble jig, and hornpipe. All Highland dances are performed in light shoes (ghillies, pumps, slippers, etc.), whereas, in Irish, only the reel and slip jig are performed in light shoes. The treble jig and hornpipe and hard shoe (heavy shoes, jig shoes) dances. Highland also has national dances (including the lilt, Flora, Laddie, and Barracks), as well as two character dances (the Irish Jig and the Sailor's Hornpipe). Irish dancing has additional dances too: the light jig and hop jig (two VERY ANNOYING light shoe dances), the treble reel (a reel in heavy shoes; bet you didn't see THAT coming!), and set dances. More about this and that later.

There is nothing in Irish dancing that even remotely ressembles the fling, sword, or seann truibhas; however, Irish reels and Highland reels can be somewhat similar. Both include a basic reel movement - the 123s. (I forget what it's called in HD; is it just reel movement? Progressive reel movement? Anyway ...) In Irish, you do it by hopping and bringing your working foot up to your bum, then stepping forward with it, bringing your other foot behind, and stepping forward with your front foot. It's called as HOP-ONE-TWO-THREE. The HD movement is similar, only you don't kick your bum; instead, you bring your foot to your shin on the hop. This is the easiest movement to confuse: I'm pretty sure there are pictures out there of my doing Irish 3s in a Broadswords. =S HD reels are always danced in a group (although dancers are judged individually) and in light shoes, whereas Irish reels can be danced solo in both light and heavy shoes, as well as in groups. (Reels are my favourite Irish dances, should you care to know.)

The Irish slip jig is a ladies' dance performed to music in 9/8 time. This timing is NOT unique to Irish dancing as some might say, and Highland has a national dance that's quite similar called the Scottish Lilt. (My friend said she's also heard it called the Scottish Jig, which makes perfect sense to me: the Lilt and Slip Jig are basically just sisters who were seperated at birth and raised with different parents.) The music and dance for both forms are lilting and graceful. In Irish, it includes lots of stuff nicked from Ballet. Because Irish dancing doesn't have worldwide choreography, I can't really compare the dances in a way that everyone would understand ... but I can say that the first slip jig I ever learned is VERY MUCH like the lilt I'm dancing now. (Of course, once you move up in Irish, you stop doing the stuff they taught you in beginner, so my slip jig looks nothing like my lilt anymore.)

The Irish Jig and Treble Jig also have stuff in common, including the timing (6/8) and some of the movements. Again, the first TJ I learned looks a lot like the Irish Jig I dance now in HD (minus the fist-shaking ... and the giggling I can't stop myself from doing). However, I hate both the Irish Jig and the Treble Jig, so I try to dance them as little as possible. I can't really comment on the Highland hornpipe as I don't know it, but the timing is again similar to the Irish hornpipe - but about a million times FASTER. I can do some hornpipe to the HD music, but I have to leave out all the fancy bits because I can't do them that fast.

Irish also has traditional set dances and non-traditional set dances. A traditional set is a dance that has both specific music and specific choreography. They're usually named after the tune they use (example: The Blackbird is danced to a song called the Blackbird! Incidentally, the Blackbird is a code name for Prince Charlie - haha! Random Scottish connections!) Non-traditional sets use specific music, but dancers are free to choreograph their own dances. 99% of sets are in hornpipe or jig timing, although there is one that includes a bit of slip jig. Sets are seperated into a step (performed on the right and left foot) and a set (longer and danced only once).

What else can I talk about? I've already written a novel ... Highland dancers have four competitive levels plus primary (for the little ones 7 and under). Irish dancing levels vary all over the world, because our governing organisations don't care so long as we have a top level we can send to majors. The HD levels are: Primary, Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, and Open. To move up from beginner to novice, you need to have placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd six times at six different competitions and for a minimum of six months. I'm not sure how you move from novice to intermediate, but I think it's quite similar. You stay in intermediate for one year from your first competition at that level. In eastern Canada, the Irish levels are: beginner, advanced beginner, novice, prizewinner, preliminary, and open. Beginner is for dancers who started AFTER September 1st of that competition year, and advanced beginner is for dancers who started BEFORE September 1st. To move up, you need to place each individual dance, so it can sometimes takes ages. The move from novice to prizewinner is especially difficult, because you need 1st, 2nd, or 3rd to move into novice, but need a 1st to move out. So, at every competition, 3 dancers move INTO novice, but only 1 moves OUT. Eek, right? To move into open from prelims, you need two 1st. This can also take forever.

Highland dancing holds major championships for all premier dancers, the biggest of which is called Cowal and is held in August in Scotland. Major championships in ID are opened to all preliminary and open dancers, but teachers are known to send prizewinners and sometimes even novice to the events, and no one cares, unless you're the open champion who was beaten by a novice. :D The worlds are held in Ireland at Easter weekend. The HD world championships have 3 levels: juvenile, junior, and adult. The Irish world championships have a million levels split by gender: 11yrs, 12yrs, 13yrs, 14yrs etc. until 21&O. Consequently, the worlds take about a decade to run. Irish dancers can also enter into the worlds with figure groups (teams) and drama (choreographies representing some sort of Irish history. I'm not clear on it; I've never seen any). I don't think Highland dancers have to qualify for the worlds (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but Irish dancers qualify by entering into a regional competition called the Oireachtas (held in the fall). These competitions are closed, and a top percentage qualify for the worlds. This is because there are about a billion Irish dancers to begin with, and if there were no qualifiers, worlds would be longer than they already are. Other Irish majors include the All-Ireland (a.k.a. mini-worlds), the North American Nationals, and the Great Britain Championships. Australia and New Zealand are the only places to hold closed nationals - all other majors are open. Other HD majors include the Scottish Championships (also held at Cowal), and Interprov (held yearly in Canada).

And that's all I can think of right now. Thankfully.
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 03:45 PM
HAHAHA.
That didn't even FIT into one reply.
I'm such a moron.
:D
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By criosamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 04:39 PM
lol! we luf you anyways! :]

did you get into the Hornpipe in more detail? (this computer is uber-slow, so I didn't continue into the depths of the reply)...
anywho, I sort of learned a step of it at the last company practice I attended... and cool as it is, some of those movements are hard! (I sort of learned the one where you're like pulling the rope down? while you're doing twisty leg things, and then you do those reaching leap things to pull it in? I think? would have gone much better if I could actually reach my hand to my toes for those reaching leap things. ah well, one of the Premier dancers had issues contorting just right for it too, so all is not lost!)

um, yeah, so compared to the Irish hornpipe, there's a lot more acting involved. you get to wear the sailor outfit, and pretty much 'act like a sailor'... they do do a bit of a treble-hop-back type movement which is like ours.
re: Do Highland dancers like Irish Dancers? i mean the "irish jig" !!!
By KathleenO
On Tue Apr 27, 2004 07:39 PM
cool! got to go practice the single jig, reel, light jig! by
o and for thoes irish dancers, u have any tips for me on tec. rurn out, cuts/hops, kicks, ect....

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