Irish Dancing Step by StepOlive Hurley
Categories: Instructional / How To Videos
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First let me say I am NOT Irish, nor am I a Celtic dancer. I just admired Riverdance and similar shows and always thought you could get decent exercise trying to do it. You do work up a sweat with these.
In Vol. 1, The participants (all children, but this is no kiddie workout. Hurley doesn't talk down or make it cutesy), wear soft shoes, similar to ballet slipper but soft-soled sneakers should suffice. Hurley teaches the easy real, easy jig, easy slip-jig, easy single-jig and "The Walls of Limerick". The last one is a set-dance (like a square dance) so solo vidiots won't get much out of it but it's fun to watch.
In Vol. II the students wear hard shoes (probably tap shoes would suffice if you have them). You could also use street shoes but. of course, you won't get the sound and thus may not know if you are getting the step right. But if the sound doesn't matter to you, go ahead with regular shoes. Again, you learn five dances (don't have the box at the moment so I can't remember them exactly). This one is designed for those familiar with Irish dance but the only difficulty for me was that sometimes Hurley did not slowly repeat a sequence on the left side. (All Irish dance steps are performed on both the right and left sides, I understand.)
It took me many sessions to get the steps down. I didn't mind, it was fun.
There is a volume III but I don't have it because it is more set (or square) dances and it would be of no use to me.
As these are not exercise tapes per se, I can't really tell you how much of a workout I got. Let me just say, I was working up a sweat, slightly breathless and eager to go downstairs and try again each day. If you want a break from aerobics routines, try this or Irish Dancing Made Easy by Seamus Kerrigan (for which I am also submitting a review).
Hurley is an all-Ireland Champion dancer who now teaches. My guess is she is in her 40s or so. She is easy to follow and pleasant to listen to.