Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Power of the Irish Dance Solo Dress

So here's a question:

If you are able to remember, can you recall what you thought of the Irish dance solo dress the first time you saw it?

Positive? Negative? Blown away?

Me, I was blown away.

"Really?? How can anyone dance in that? How much fabric did it take to make? How many jewels are on that dress?"

And finally,

"How much did that cost?"

Little by little, I've come to realize how FABULOUS the solo dress is.

They certainly have evolved from what Irish dancers used to wear:

I found this article from the New York Times about the Irish dance modernized look. The interviewee, author John Cullinane, explained the solo dress in an interesting way:
For girls’ costumes, there were certain things that constituted the early Irish dancing costume: the shawl, the use of the Tara brooch as an Irish national emblem, a lot of Celtic embroidery and Celtic lace. Now you look at some of the contemporary creations. They are fashion creations — lovely colorful designs, etc. — and not a scrap of identity to say that they’re Irish. Also, the costumes nowadays are designed to facilitate a very elevated kind of dancing. The dancers appear to float about three feet off the floor. That wasn’t the case in my time, in the 1960s. So the dancing style has changed enormously, and so too then has the costume.
It's interesting that perhaps the costumes we wear have changed in order to incorporate the new and different dance moves we progressively learn.

Have you noticed this? How so?

It's always a new Irish dancer's dream to work up to the level it takes to get a solo dress. I love how the dresses can be completely personalized to represent the personality of the dancer. 

I've never owned a solo dress. But this year I finally get to buy one so I'm on the look out for my dream dress. 

Here are some of all-time favorite dresses I have found on Pinterest!

(Click on each picture to pin it on Pinterest if you want)

I LOVE the twist on this next dress!

I adore the simplicity of this one.

And this picture is absolutely adorable!

But here is my all-time favorite dress! I want this in my size, on my body, right now! I don't care what it costs!
(Famous last words)

And just for fun, take a look at this old set dance recorded in 1963 and compare our style of wardrobe and dance moves to the man dancing. :)

Fun fact: The man dancing is the same author I quoted above.

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