Forum: Irish / Irish

What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?
By Highland_dancer7
On Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:17 AM

hi, I am a highland dancer but I want to start Irish but I don't know how different it is compared to highland. thanks in advance :)

4 Replies to What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?

re: What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?
By irishsaoirsemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:48 AM
I think the best way to see the difference is to have a look at Youtube. If you put there " Irish dancing" there are thousands of videos, so you can see how does it look.

In generall- in Irish dancing the legs/ feet are crossed, you move a lot around the place, and you don't use the arms at all, they are beside your body. Also there are " soft shoe dances" where you dance in shoes similar to yours that you use for Highland dancing, and " heavy shoe dances" - the step shoes, (you can make such nice noise with them , hehe)

Its definitely a lot of fun, give it a try if you like. I tried ist once, and couldn't stop since then :)

P.S.: Irish Dancing is not only " Riverdance" and "Lord of the dance" , its much more than that :)
re: What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?
By dance10looks3
On Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:01 PM
Having done both Irish and Highland dancing myself for a number of years, you should be aware that stylistically the 2 are very different, and not always helpful to one another. Specifically, Highland involves a LOT of turn out, with very wide knees, and Irish is a far more crossed over type of dance. It is VERY DIFFICULT to be able to switch between these styles, esp. as a younger dancer (teens etc.). It can be done, but it is very difficult. I actually quit Highland to pursue Irish because at the higher levels of competition it is physically hard to do both well.

Both styles tend to develop your calves and thighs rather extensively, so a LOT of stretching is also important so you don't end up being built like a bottom heavy body builder. Highland dancing (at least the way I learned it, from a very thorough dance instructor) really built up my foot strength and agility and strength in my feet and arches, which has helped me over the years in Irish - I learned more about articulately and using each individual part in great detail in Highland, and it has transferred well to Irish, and is often something a lot of students in Irish never learn.

ALl that being said, I quite enjoyed both. Personally, I found Irish to be a far more dynamic, "living" kind of dance, with continuously changing new developments in choreography and style, whereas Highland is far more traditional and set in its ways, with less room for any kind of improvisation or new choreography. I have seen Highland schools in my city now take on some more contemporary challenges for shows, etc., but the competition type of Highland dancing tends to be far more rote.

COmparing videos on youtube is a great idea if you haven't really seen Irish dance up close.
re: What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?
By dancetoo
On Tue Apr 03, 2012 03:33 PM
My DD does both Highland & Irish dancing. She took up Highland when we thought our only Irish school in our area was going to close. They are certainly different styles but can compliment each other if you are old enough to understand or be aware of the correct position your body should be in. When DD first started Highland,she used to get in trouble at Irish class for having "Highland knees" which meant they were considerably further apart than they should have been! Highland dancing has improved her posture for Irish. While Irish helps her with her turn out.
Be aware that Irish is considerably more expensive with the dresses, tiaras and shoes than the standard Highland Kit. Either way if you love to dance, you will love both styles. The only problem DD has is deciding what to practice first!!
re: What is the difference between highland and Irish dancing?
By Highland_dancer7
On Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:04 PM
Thanks very much.I know many people think that highland and Irish are similar but they are definitely not so thanks very much :D

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2018 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS