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Irish Dancing On TV

Nina is an adult Irish dancer based in Belgrade, Serbia. For more, connect with her on twitter @GingerLujka.

Have you noticed how often popular TV shows feature something Irish-dance related? People who are not that much into Irish dance find our upper body posture, immobile arms and very fast feet movements both amazing and amusing and as a consequence, Irish dance is a regular parody target in comedy clubs, sitcoms, even award ceremonies. Though it can sometimes be slightly offensive, most of the time the jokes are funny and entertaining. Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as bad advertising, so instead of pouting we can simply sit back and enjoy while TV helps us make Irish dance more and more popular.

Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable TV moments that featured Irish dance:

1. “Third Rock from the Sun”

This episode makes so much sense, actually. Irish dance being unique that one might say it’s from out of this world, it’s only logical that aliens would give it a try.

And, if I may just point one thing out – Dick Solomon’s turnout. I think we might have lost one to Hollywood.

2. “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

This is one of my favorite shows of all time, and Irish music and dance are its topic more often than not.

In this particular episode, after being asked to perform a song in the style of “Riverdance” (whatever that may be) one of the participants was surprised when the girl he was supposed to be singing to got up and actually started to dance. Well, sort of.


3. Greek Irish dance

Stavros Flatley needs no special introduction. He and his son entered a talent show, “Britain’s Got Talent”, probably as a joke, but ended up in the finals and becoming worldwide Internet phenomenon.

Also, junior showed some great potential for Irish dance, don’t you think?

4. The origins of Irish dance – some interesting theories

This video went viral a couple of years ago. Some found it hilarious, others found it slightly offensive. I guess it’s up to everyone to make their own choice whether they like it or not, but one can’t help but admire the wittiness and synchronization these guys showed.

Of course, blame it on the Scots. They’ll never get over the fact that Irish dance is more popular than highland dances.
This very funny video you’ve probably seen before won first place at RTE Dance box competition in 2005.

Admit it; you mark your steps while queuing too!

5. MTV

Even Mike Myers had his go at Lord of the Dance (though accompanied by the actual Irish dancers who did their best not to point their toes, cross nor turn out, but failed). This is a rare footage of him doing an impression of Michael Flatley at the MTV music awards ceremony back in 1997. In those days, Irish dance was a new kid on the block, a recent sensation that nobody was sure whether it was going to last, so Mike wasn’t very subtle ridiculing the show.


6. Kids Programs

I always liked “Sesame Street”, but after watching this I liked it even more!

This episode of “Sesame Street” is really fantastic, as it gives children some real insight into the world of Irish dance. It gives them a peek into the colorful world of wigs and solo dresses and after giving them some basic info about the art form, leaves them wanting to learn more about it.

Angelina Ballerina also tries to learn some jigs in one episode of this popular animated series. Upon her return from holidays in Tippermousy, Angelina’s friend brings some Irish music and the girls decide to learn some basic steps.


7. Shaun the Sheep

Not from an actual episode, but this animation of a flock of sheep doing their version of Riverdance line always brings smile to my face.


8. Igudesman and Joo

Ok, so this is not actually television, but these two gentlemen really deserve to be on the list. They are two classically educated musicians who created a unique combination of comedy and classical music that they perform in front of the audiences around the globe.

I had the privilege to watch these two brilliant musicians perform live, and I must admit I squeaked a bit when I saw them do their Irish dance routine. Later on they expanded it, bringing more dancing violinists to the stage, and making this awesome performance even more awesome!


There are many, many more Irish dance related videos on the Internet – what are your favorites that we didn’t mention here?

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