In honor of St. Patrick’s Day…. this month’s step is the CELTIC TIME STEP!   I pulled this one off the Riverdance video years ago and pull it out every year ’bout this time!

If you have younger tappers you can just do combinations with Shuffle + Hop + Step which is known as an IRISH.

Here’s an Irish Combo:

Basic Irish 4x

Front Irish 4x

Back Irish 4x

Turning Irish 4x

If you want to look more authentic while performing your Irish Steps begin by standing in 5th position.  Hold your head high and proud with your shoulders slightly back!  Irish dance competitions were originally battles between one village and another with the Dance Master being one of the most treasured and flamboyant members of society!  (Imagine that!)

Clench your hands, then relax them slightly. Your thumb should be on the inside of your fists. Place your thumb against your palm and cover your thumb with the rest of your fingers then, pull your arms in to your sides with straight elbows.  The inside of your wrists are turned in toward your body. Prepare by pointing your front foot forward directly in front of your base leg (tendu).  Then…lift those knees high whenever possible.  It is said to “pull the sounds to your heart!”.

It also helps to curl your hair into ringlets and put on a fabulous Irish Dance Dress.
An organized Irish dance competition is called a feis (pronounced “fesh”) which means “festival” and strictly speaking would also have competitions in music and crafts. Féile (/ˈfeɪlə/) is a more correct term for the dance competition, but the terms may be used interchangeably.  So….have a feis or a feile at the end of class and serve a green treat.  (at our St. Pat’s parade they throw green bagels!)


8&    Shuffle R

1        Hop L

2&    Shuffle R

3e     Shuffle R

&       Step R

a       Drop R Heel

4      Toe Dig LXbk

&      Step L

5&    Shuffle R

6       Hop L

&      Toe Dig RXbk

7       Drop L Heel

&      Step R


About Riverdance:

The music for Riverdance was originally composed by Bill Whelan and Donal Lunny and was part of a 3 part suite entitled “Timedance”. It was performed with ballet dancers and was a huge success as part of the Eurovision Song Contenst in 1994.

The Riverdance recording was #1 for 18 weeks on the Irish singles chart.

A video of the performance was released under the title “Riverdance for Rwanda” with all proceeds going to the aid of those involved in the Rwandan Genocide.

The early success of the project lead husband and wife production team John McColgan and Moya Doherty to expand the production and Whelan’s music into a full stage show.  It opened to sold out crowds in Dublin on February 9th, 1995 and ran for five weeks.  It’s performance in May of that year for the Royal Gala had a TV audience of 20 million!

The music video of the production quickly to the #1 spot on the music video chart and remains the highest selling music video in the UK.

After much acclaim, Riverdance came to Radio City Music Hall for a 8 week sold out run in March of 1996.   The show moved to the Gershwin Theater on Broadway for a year in 2000.

After 15 years of touring with dance celebrities such as Michael Flatley, Jean Butler, Joseph Moriarty, Pat Roddy, Eileen Martin and Colin Dunne, the original show had it’s farewell tour.

Riverdance is still performed in smaller venues with smaller casts all over the world and continues to inspire an intense interest in Irish Dance, Music and culture.

Here’s some You Tube video of Riverdance!


By the way…if you like this Time Step and would like more….Go the the TEACHING TOOLS drop down on the Home page and check out the Time Step Dictionary Volume One and Two or the TIME STEP FLASH TAP CARDS!


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