Sports Not at Bingham

Sports Not at Bingham

Emily Bawden, Editor-in-Chief

Many people don’t know whether to consider dance as a sport or art. Personally, I think it qualifies as a sport. Dancers work harder than athletes do in some cases to achieve their potential. One sport (or type of dance) we don’t have at Bingham is Irish dance.

Irish dance originated in Ireland. It first took form when Celts first settled the island. Dancing to demonstrate their pagan beliefs, Celts would base their dances on different things in nature. It eventually developed and took form throughout the ages. Around the turn of the 19th century, it became a more prominent tradition. Poor Irish farmers and tenants of the wealthy British would dance away their troubles. Gathering around bonfires, they would hold dance competitions, called “ceiles.”

The tradition of Irish dance spread further when the Irish began immigrating because of the potato famine in the late 1800s. It spread to America and became a prominent tradition there as well. The Americans took traditional Irish dance and developed their own forms of it such as tap dance and clogging. Traditional Irish dance still exists today, however.

Today Irish dance competitions, or “feis,” are still held all over. There are three annual ones held here in Utah. One is hosted by Kearns High School.

Irish dance focuses almost entirely on footwork, as step dancers hold their arms to their sides as a symbol of pride and restraint. The most famous example of Irish dance is Michael Flatley’s Riverdance, which has been a world-traveling performance for over two decades.