Modern Irish Step Dancing

Step dancing as a modern form is descended directly from old-style step dancing. There are several different forms of stepdancing in Ireland but the style most familiar to the public at large is the Munster, or southern, form, which has been formalised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha—the Irish Dancing Commission. Modern Irish step dancing is primarily done in competitions, public performances or other formal settings. Popularised in 1994 by the world-famous show Riverdance, it is notable for its rapid leg and foot movements, body and arms being kept largely stationary. The solo stepdance is generally characterised by a controlled and rigid upper body, straight arms and back, and quick, precise movements of feet and legs. The solo dances can either be in "soft shoes" or "hard shoes".

Today, modern Irish step dancers can be seen fusing other forms of percussive dance styles with their own and creating new choreography with contemporary moves to modern music.