What is the difference between Irish Dancing and Sean-Nós Dancing?

Irish Dancing is the style of dance made famous by stage shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Irish dancing is a highly cardiovascular form of dance, with lots of jumps and high kicks. There are two types of Irish dancing: soft shoe dancing (also called light dancing) and hard shoe dancing (also called heavy dancing).

Here’s an example of light dancing and here’s an example of heavy dancing.

Sean-Nós Dancing is a relaxed, free-form style of Irish percussive dancing. It is not as cardiovascular as Irish dancing, and is more similar to tap dance.

Here’s an example of sean-nós dancing

Where can I buy Irish Dancing shoes?

Students may wear socks when starting out with Irish dancing, but it’s always best to have the correct form of footwear. Irish Dancing shoes can be bought at Dance World. We do both light and heavy dancing in all Irish dancing classes:

Go to Danceworld's shoe selection

You should also check Facebook Marketplace, DoneDeal.ie, and Adverts.ie for second-hand Irish Dancing shoes.

What shoes should I wear for Sean-Nós Dancing?

Sean-nós dancers should wear shoes with a hard sole and low heel, e.g. brogues, ‘work shoes’ or low-heeled boots, as opposed to athletic shoes or flats.

Please do not wear tap shoes or Irish dancing shoes, as these are not suitable for sean-nós dancing.

Do I have to pay for the full course, or do you offer drop-in classes?

Because classes are quite popular and tend to sell out quickly, priority will be given to people who book the full course. However, if the class is not sold out, it will be possible to book a drop- in class. Please contact hello@irishdancedublin.com for more information.

How can I book classes?

Classes must be booked online here

Should I register for Beginner’s Irish Dancing or Intermediate/Advanced Irish Dancing?

The Beginner’s class is suitable for people who are complete Beginners, or for people who have only danced in the light shoes in the past. If you have done a good bit of dancing in heavies – e.g., if you know St. Patrick’s Day or the Blackbird – then the Intermediate/Advanced class would be more suitable.

Are classes for adults?

Yes, classes are for adults only. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Do you teach children’s classes?

No, I do not teach children’s classes. If you contact www.clrg.ie , they can connect you with teachers who run children’s classes in your neighbourhood.

Is there parking at the class venues?

Please see here for information about parking at Dance Ireland:

Dance Ireland Location

There is a free carpark at Our Lady of Dolours Parish Hall in Glasnevin.