History of Dances

The Character Dances

The Irish Jig is a fun, energetic dance in which the dancer shakes her fist, stomps and intentionally appears to be angry. There are many versions of the story behind the dancers' feigned ire; some say she's an Irish washerwoman threatening some young boys who splattered mud on her clean laundry, while others say she's demonstrating how she'll give a piece of her mind when her tardy husband returns from the pub.

The Sailor's Hornpipe is a popular character dance based on the shipboard activities of a historical British sailor -- including climbing the rigging, hauling in ropes, gazing out to sea and perhaps having a wee bit too much grog. Dancers can choose from among a number of approved steps, so when performed in competition, several dancers may be doing different steps at the same time.

link to history of highland dances
link to history of national dances
link to history of character dances
link to choreography