Irish dance fusion groups

A litte background before the meat of this post: I was a gymnast almost all my life.  In this time, my favorite event was usually floor exercise.  I was lucky in what gymnasts call "optional" years to have a floor choreographer who put as much emphasis on the actual dancing in my routine as the required elements and tumbling passes.  This concept of having a floor routine full of mostly dance moves with three or so tumbling passes is something that's been around since Nadia Comaneci scored the first perfect 10 in the Olympics in the 70s.  Unfortunately for gymnastics fans today, floor exercises are so jam packed with tumbling and other elements in order to up the difficulty score that you hardly see any of this dancing artistry.

What this all boils down to is that I have been interested in other dance styles since I started competing as a gymnast.  My eclectic mix of dance studies ranges from ballet barre technique for strengthening muscles, to some contemporary-type mix for my floor routine.  Now my style is focused on Irish.

Tying this all together is the fact that Irish dancing isn't just about the traditional dance form nowadays.  Just like in other dance styles, Irish dancers are constantly pushing the envelope in what can be defined as Irish dancing.  Take Hammerstep and the Sneaky Steppers for instance.  Aside from the ever-popular sneaks and flash mobs, this group collaborates with tap and hip hop dancers, beatboxers, DJs electric fiddle, and comedy to break the mold of traditional Irish dancing.  Just check out what they did this past St. Patrick's day!

Another one of my all time favorite groups is Up & Over It featuring ex-Riverdancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding.  They are most popular for their hand dancing sensation that swept the nation, but what I like most is the aspect of fun they put into their videos, and to be honest who doesn't love a little rap about Irish dance?  Aside from the rapping, they seriously are mixing in other contemporary styles along with creative video editing by Johnny Reed.  Their newest video is particularly amusing to me because I almost, almost started ballet instead of Irish dancing.  Instead, I took a semester-long ballet course in college, and well, just watch the video.

And last but certainly not least is a relatively new group called Prodijig, 2012 winners of the UK's show Got to Dance.  This group literally exploded onto the scene with their audition video to Kanye West's "Power."  Prodijig combines hip hop elements with precision hardshoe technique that creates a jaw dropping performance.  Of all the groups, Prodijig can clearly be defined as an Irish dance group, as their choreography (for now) is comprised of mostly Irish elements.  I can't wait to see how this group develops and what new material they come up with!

Have you seen any other cool Irish dance fusion groups lately?  How would you push the envelope of Irish dance choerography?

Goals: PT exercises, low impact cardio activities
Days till Os: 193


  1. Anonymous21.5.12

    Taptronic!! I would be very surprised if you haven't seen this by now, but it's incredible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jlJH65KR14

    1. Yes, of course, they are fab as well. I saw their video a few weeks ago, but I figured I'd start with three fusion groups for now!


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