It's that time of year again, when the press suddenly has a fascination with Irish dancing. This article from the Contra Costa Times.
Irish dance more than mere fun
By Cameron Sullivan
At a Saturday class in late February, students of the McGrath School of Irish Dance demonstrated the athleticism of Irish dance. Under the instruction of McGrath School owner Valerie Deam, who grew up in Waterford, Ireland, the dozen or so girls danced reels around the Dublin studio in soft shoes, or "ghillies," as they practiced a dance for a St. Patrick's Day performance with the Diablo Symphony. Their sculpted calf muscles bulged, and the girls, who in this advanced class were mostly teenagers, worked up a sweat.
Minutes later, now in hard shoes that created a thunderous roar in the room, the girls practiced a dance they would perform the following week at a Pac-10 women's basketball half-time performance at Stanford.