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Irish Sean Nós Dancing

Irish Sean Nós Dancing Flat DOWN style

Solo dancing of individual steps; often an intimate performance working closely with musicians; feet flat and close to the floor, gliding style or sometimes danced on the balls or front of the feet, always relaxed and loose body, hips and arms.

Sean nós (say sha-nose) literally means “old style”, and this beautiful gentle style is danced by individuals to their own steps, and their own rhythm – most often traditionally by men. The steps are not defined rather they are suggested, copied and picked up by others as they learn and they are not sequenced into recognisable structured dances, as is the case all the other styles of dance outlined here.
These lovely steps have been integrated over time into Irish set dancing, that can give Irish sets a unique look and sound when compared with other dance based on Quadrilles – English country dancing, Scottish country dancing, renaissance dancing.

Sean nos steps have also influenced many styles such as tap dancing, clogging, flatfooting, buck dancing French-Canadian foot percussion and Cape Breton step dancing, which would be the closest to Irish sean nós.

Sean nós dancing is generally found in the more remote and isolated parts of Ireland, some of which are areas where the spoken language is Gaelige (Irish) and is traditionally performed in intimate settings of a small group of people and one or two musicians.

You can read more on the Irish Bliss blog about the origins of Irish sean nos



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