Slow slip jig – Festival style Irish dance workshop with Kate Spanos
Note: This workshop will take place in Boston, MA.
Join us for a special workshop in Festival style Irish step dance! We will work on some of the movements and techniques that are typical of this style’s “slow” slip jig and learn a short piece of choreography.
Festival style Irish dance is from the Belfast area of Northern Ireland and was developed by Patricia Mulholland (or “Miss Mulholland”) in the 1950s to draw the focus of Irish dance away from the “pageantry” of feis style and more towards individuality. The costumes are simpler and dancers do not wear wigs; their slip jigs and set dances are much slower than their feis style counterparts, and dancers pay particular attention to the “light/shade” parts of the music. Grace, elegance, and control are key features of Festival style, and one of its distinctive motifs is the “burl” or turn/spin.
Kate Spanos is a dancer and dance scholar from Washington, DC with a PhD in Dance and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland and an MA in Traditional Irish Dance Performance from the University of Limerick. She learned Festival style from Ruth Long of the Royal Tara Dance Academy in Carrickfergus and Larne while studying at UL. Throughout the pandemic, she participated in virtual study of Festival style with Lauren Smyth from County Down (@laurensmythacademy). For more about Kate, visit www.thekatespanos.com.
Attire: Soft shoes, socks, or light/non-stick sneakers
For more about Festival style, check out Angeline King’s “Irish Dancing: The Festival Story.”
Kate dancing “Aoibhell: The Faerie Queene” set dance (choreographed by Ruth Long, composed by Francis Ward):