1 Point Those Toes
Seems simple but you have no idea how easy this little tip is to forget. Irish dancers who win consistently do this every time they lift their feet. Now there are some exceptions to this first rule but if you’re not sure it always better to be safe and Point those toes.
2 Stay Tall As Possible
When Irish dancing its important to try to stay on your toes both in Hard and Soft shoes. Try to imagine that you are trying to stretch up to look as tall as possible. One teacher I used to know used to tell us that she was going to put a pebble in our shoes at the heel every time you put your heel down you could feel it. (now she never did but it worked lol)
3 Walk On The Yellow No Parking Line
Try to imagine the yellow no parking line, and you must stay on it with every step, lift and leap. This will keep your movements tight and straight ahead rather than drifting to the sides.
4 Feet Out
“Feet out” and “toes out” are common phrases dancers hear from their teachers in class, but as a beginner this feels so unnatural to start with. New dancers will often pick up bad techniques can end up dancing with their feet straight ahead or even turned in slightly. Try practicing in front of a mirror to help train your feet. But take your time and do not force it as this can cause injuries.
5 Perfect Your Crossover
Without doubt the hardest thing to master. It seems easy when getting told but trying to keep one knee in front of the other whilst dancing is incredibly difficult. Try to squeeze your thighs together and make a diamond between your crossed ankles as its hard not to cross your knees when your feet are that crossed, practice in front of the mirror until you get it.
6 Keep Your Arms Straight
This is perhaps the most distinct feature of Irish dance and the one that everyone tries to imitate when at a party. Keep your arms down straight and behind your back all the time.
7 Keep Your Shoulders Back
Modern day life of sitting at school or work all day playing on your phones or working at the computer has made life a bit hard on Irish dancers, as shoulders are rounded, and heads are hung low. Many Irish dancers try to over fix this issue by nearly touching their shoulder blades together whilst sticking out their chests out and arching their backs. But try keeping that pose for a few hours of dancing, good luck. Just try to keep your shoulders back and your arms straight to maintain good posture.
8 Stop Staring At The Floor
This one might just be me. But nearly all dancers know to keep their heads up and straight, but I never realized that I like some others tend to look down at the floor with my eyes. Train yourself to keep looking straight ahead at your audience as this makes you look more confident in your performance.
It’s the most basic thing before you even get out on the stage, but you will still see people just rush in and hit the stage without warming up. Warming up before even just a practice is so important both for your flexibility and to prevent injuries. Stretching properly will not only help strengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility but helps with the flow to make your dance seem more graceful.
10 Enjoy Yourself
Now when your have finished a hard practice and your muscles are burning and your feet are on fire you may think why am I even doing this? But try to remember why you started its supposed to be fun. I personally have made some lifelong friends through competitions and the practice sessions. We have a bond of brotherhood (or sisterhood) through the hours of work and pain we have all suffered through, but we wouldn’t have changed a single thing, and I would recommend going to a local Irish dance class to anyone regardless or age sex or ability to just give it a go even if it’s for just for a fun exercise routine, and who knows you might just love it.