We caught up with Irish Dance Society

We’ve got the lowdown on everything Irish Dance

irish dance pure dance whatsoc

It’s whatsoc Wednesday! This week, we got to know Ellen from Southampton’s Irish Dance Society.
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So what does your society actually do?

The Irish Dance Society holds weekly classes at three different levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Throughout the year we develop skills and technique for Irish Dancing in both light and heavy shoes. This year we are very excited to welcome an official teacher to our classes to ensure our members get the most of out of their year! A big part of Irish dancing is Ceillis (large team dances with lots of partner work and dancing through arches) so we often have one big 2-hour class on a Friday night to get all our members together and have some fun with team dances.

We organise trips to Riverdance and have several exciting workshops lined up for the year ahead with professional Irish dancers. As part of the university dance team we have a competition squad which we hold auditions for in October. This squad travels to competitions to compete in the wild card category, winning first place last year! The squad is such a fun aspect of the society as you all get so close with all your team mates and travel around the country with them.

We have plenty of performance opportunities for the rest of the society as well planned for the year, with show cases at university events, Folksoc ceillis and St. Patrick’s day celebrations. Our biggest performance of the year is the annual university dance show – Pure Dance. It is always a fantastic weekend and loads of fun preparing for, it usually the highlight of the dance year. On top of all the crazy dance stuff we have socials every Friday night after class, varying between hard-core Jesters nights and sober socials to meet everyone’s needs!! Come along and try Irish as we can guarantee everyone will love it!

What is your role in the society?

I am the president of the society.

When and Where can we find you?

We meet every Friday night in the Multi-Purpose Studio in the US building on campus.

Beginners: 5:30-6:30

Intermediate: 6:30-7:30

Advanced: 7:30-8:30

If you want any more info please join our Facebook Group

Do you need any experience or equipment to join?

There is absolutely nothing you need to come to our classes. If you have never danced before just come along in loose clothing, we have shoes you can borrow and everyone in the Beginners class will be in the same boat. If you have done Irish dancing before and do have your own shoes, either light shoes (ghillies) or heavy shoes then bring them along as we only have a limited supply. We are hoping to buy in some heavy shoes for this year as well to allow everyone to get a chance to learn one of the best parts of Irish Dancing

What’s the most fun social your society has ever had?

Our best social was probably after the competition squad won first place at the BUCS dance competition and went to Jesters to celebrate. For the whole society is was probably the pure dance after party as Irish was able to mix with other dance societies and party together, and there was a lot of pole dancing, typical sobar. The PA ball was also a great night with most of Irish going along and getting all dressed up, and of course heading to the edge after is always great.

What’s the best thing about your society?

Everyone in the society is super friendly and easy to talk to, we all get along great and of course our dance style is the best! Next year we are planning more combined classes so that all of the members get even closer!

Does your society have any weird traditions?

We are a pretty new society so no traditions yet – except for being champions at competition!!

Jesters or Sobar?

JESTERS – not even a question. The edge is great too though!