Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre's Irish Dance works with ages 8 and up, all abilities, all cultures, all nationalities. Our goal is to share the variety of different Irish traditions, dances, and music styles. Each dancer is given the encouragement to grow in their personal style and strength, while growing together as a group. AYBT Irish dancers form strong connections with each other, as they share ideas, create, and dance together.
AYBT Irish dancers are encouraged to participate in dance outs, Irish music sessions, Irish cultural events, and specially offered class events. In this way, the dancers and their families, may learn many things that can only be experienced at such events. It also gives the dancers an opportunity to bring their steps outside the studio and share their joy with a wider audience.
Introduction to Irish Dance
4-6 Week Summer Program
Foundational skills are introduced in sean nos, ceili, and social dancing. Reel, hornpipe, and social dance tunes are used in class. Live musician accompaniment is present whenever possible, in order for dancers to experience the connection between the musician and the dancer, both in sean nos and ceili dancing.
Irish 1 (Beginning Irish)
This class uses the material learned in the Introduction to Irish Dance and builds on that foundation. Those same foundational skills are briefly reviewed in the first few classes. Dancers continue to learn to perform in a variety of ways to reels and hornpipes. Sean Nos, Ceili, and Social Dancing are explored in greater depth. As the instruction progresses, greater emphasis is placed on Sean Nos and Ceili dancing, accompanied by reels/hornpipes.
Irish 2 (Intermediate Irish)
Dancers who have completed Irish 1 progress in their journey into the lively world of Jigs. Single, double/light, treble, and slip jigs are all explored in this class. Sean Nos, Ceili, and Social Dance studies continue along this new path of dance tune styles. As the instruction progresses, solo/duet/trio styles may be introduced.
Irish 3 (Advanced Irish)
Dancers who have completed both Irish 1 and Irish 2 bring all of their skills, artistry, and creativity to the studio. Set Dancing studies begin in earnest, in the place of the previous classes Social Dance emphasis. Sean Nos and Ceili styles are explored in depth. Dancers are encouraged to place their personal style choices into their sean nos dancing in earnest.