Folk Dance

Through Folk Dance children learn to dance some Irish dances and some folk dances from other traditions. 

It is important to remember that the emphasis should be on enjoyment in the dance and on full involvement by the children rather than mechanically concentrating on the movements involved in the dance.

Music should be carefully selected to allow children to enjoy lively rhythms at a pace which is appropriate for them to perform the dance.

A good guide is that at each class level children should learn to dance at least one folk dance from Ireland and one folk dance from another country

 

The table below shows a summary of folk dances listed in the primary school curriculum

 

Class

Irish

International

Steps (introduced)

Infants

 

 

 

1st and 2nd

  • An Damhsa mór
  • Cuckoo Dance
  • Come to Me

 

side step (Irish)

promenade step

 

skip

3rd and 4th

  • Harvest Time Jig
  •  Ionsaí na hInse

 

  • Shoemaker’s Dance
  • German Clap Dance
  • Hazel Nut Dance

 

swing

rising step

 

gallop

side step (folk)

 

5th and 6th

  • two-hand reel
  • Haymaker’s Jig
  • Rakes of Mallow
  • Staicín Eorna
  • a local set dance

 

  • La Vinca- Italian folk dance
  • French peasant  dance

 

 

 

The approaches and methodologies for PE, outlined in the PE ‘Teacher Guidelines’ on pages 42 -100 are an excellent reference for teachers in organising folk dance lessons.

Outline of a Westphalian folk dance ‘Come to Me’ for first and second Class

Outline of an Irish folk dance ‘An Damhsa Mór’ for first and second or indeed third and fourth class

Outline of an Irish folk dance, ‘The Haymakers Jig’ for fifth and sixth class

In addition the PSSI lessons on Dance for all class levels are an excellent resource for teachers and outline a comprehensive programme of work specific to each class lesson incorporating a variety of approaches and methodologies across the class levels.

 

Click to download further resources beolw, to support you in implementing folk dance

 

Tips for teaching dance: This handout provides practical tips for teachers in relation to teaching folk dance and also a suggested approach for teaching folk dances

Skip to my Lou: The outline and words of ‘Skip to my Lou’, a dance suitable for the Infant classes

The shoemakers Dance: The outline of the steps of the shoemaker’s dance, a Polish folk dance suitable for third and fourth classes

Siege of Ennis/ Ionsaí na hInse The outline of the steps of an Irish folk dance, the Siege of Ennis, suitable for third and fourth classes

La Vinca: The outline of the steps of an Italian folk Dance, La Vinca, suitable for fifth and sixth class

French Peasant Dance: The outline of the steps of the French Peasant dance, suitable for fifth and sixth classes

Rakes of Mallow: The outline of the steps of an Irish folk dance, suitable for fifth and sixth class

Two hand reel: The outline of the steps of an Irish folk dance, suitable for fifth and sixth class

Irish folk dance resource: This handout contains the steps of a variety of Irish and international folk dances with suitable dances for all levels from first to sixth class

 

 

The following music files are available to download (click to play/download):

The music to accompany the folk dance ‘Come to Me’

The music to accompany ‘the Cuckoo Dance’

Geese in the Bog- suitable music to accompany a jig