The World of Irish Dance: A Cultural Tradition with a Competitive Edge
A Big Day for Irish Dancers
Friday is Saint Patrick’s Day, and for Irish Dancers, it is one of the biggest days of the year.
Leading the Way
Northern Lights Dance Academy’s Irish dance team comprises 20 dancers led by Gina Dewey.
A Unique Genre
“Irish Dance is a collection of steps. It’s different than any genre because steps are created with a certain technique and all to instrumental Irish music,” explained Gina Dewey, Owner of Northern Lights Dance Academy. “It’s quite different because we have soft and hard shoes. There’s no other genre that combines different shoe types.
Genevieve Hoekwater has been doing Irish jigs since she was four years old.
“The type of dance is definitely stricter than most, but it builds character, and it really, really helps me just grow as a person,” said Genevieve Hoekwater, a dancer at Northern Lights Dance Academy.
Inspired to Dance
Helen Schweidt is another member of the team. She started a few years ago.
“I saw dancers dancing at my school, and I thought it was really cool,” said Helen Schweidt, a dancer at Northern Lights Dance Academy.
Competition and Rules
The team competes nationally and internationally.
“There are a lot of rules and competition that you have to follow,” Hoekwater. “You have to always point your toes, always be on your toes, have straight legs, arms and back, and do your steps to perfect timing.
All team members are some percent Irish, but you don’t have to be to join.
Irish dance is a cultural tradition that has gained popularity around the world. With its unique steps, instruments, and shoe types, it’s a genre unlike any other. For the team at Northern Lights Dance Academy, Irish dance is more than just a hobby – it’s a passion that takes them to competitions both nationally and internationally. And while the rules and technique may be strict, the dancers agree that the discipline only helps them grow as individuals. So, as Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, the Irish dance team at Northern Lights Dance Academy will be ready to celebrate their heritage and showcase their talent.