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Irish Dance in SF Bay Area
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Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Irish Dance in SF Bay Area

The obligatory St. Patrick's Day stories on Irish culture feature an article on Irish dance. Form the Contra Costa Times.

Irish dancers' feet keep the beat
By Jackie Burrell

Like leprechauns, they'll appear seemingly out of nowhere this St. Patrick's Day weekend to prance across stages and down the streets.

Decked out in $2,000 dresses, ornate wigs and shoes that, when properly applied to wood, create a snapping beat that could wake the dead, Irish step dancers will once again mesmerize the crowds with their fast-stepping feet and precision formations.

For the casual observer, Irish step dancing is something we watch on the parade route each spring. But for participants, the centuries-old dance tradition is a year-round artistic obsession supported by an entire subculture with its own arcane language, protocols and elaborate clothing.


Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

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.


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