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What Exactly Is An Irish Dance Master Anyway?




Irish dancing and its instruction haven’t always been as they are today.  And further to that, have you ever wondered why we call our Diddlyi Team “Dance Masters”?  With Ashley Smith’s new workshop unveiling just around the corner, we wanted share a bit more about the history behind all of this.

As far back as the early 1700s in Ireland, Irish dance was taught by Dancing Masters. These teachers were mostly men and they traveled with musicians (piper or fiddler) in tow throughout their specified regions in Ireland teaching dance at every skill level. Dancing Masters were known to have big and lively personalities with a fashion sense to follow suit – we’re talking fine hats, boots, and coats. Sure, why not? However, the Dancing Masters’ showmanship definitely did not take away from how seriously they took dance. In fact, Dancing Masters refined and formalized much of Irish dance – including set dances, upper body placement, footwork, etc. – and were mostly very well respected wherever they traveled.

We see the Diddlyi Team like a modern day band of Dancing Masters. Our team members have that charisma of the Dancing Masters of the past and are also extremely passionate and serious about Irish dancing in a way that cannot be rivaled.  And not only is our team masters of their craft but they also travel physically and by way of the internet all over the world sharing their talent and expertise.  So that, friends, is why we call our team, Nicola, Paula, Shane, Ashley, Ciara and Scott, Dance Masters.

To learn more about Diddlyi’s Dance Masters, check out these links:

Be Inspired By Nicola Byrne 
Be Inspired by Paula Goulding
Be Inspired by Shane McAvinchey
Be Inspired by Ashley Smith
Be Inspired by Ciara Sexton
Be Inspired by Scott Doherty

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