There are two types of Irish Dancing – Festival and Feis. Festival dancing tends to feature more slow, controlled movements, whereas Feis dancing puts more emphasis on speed and power.
Festival dancing is mainly practiced in Northern Ireland, and although we specialise in Feis dancing at the ADTA, we think it is important for our dancers to learn about both forms.
Irish crosses over with several other genres in terms of technique. Like ballet, Irish focuses heavily on turnout and full extension through the legs and feet, with an emphasis on good posture. Rhythm is an integral part of both tap and Irish, with rhythm combinations becoming more complex as the dancer progresses. Dancers remain on the balls of their feet for many Greek movements, and Irish dancers rarely put their heels down.