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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The New Cardio: Irish Step Dancing

There is more to Irish Step Dancing than curly wigs and pretty costumes. Irish Step Dancing requires the dancer to have incredible cardiovascular endurance, core stability and balance. The article, "Irish Dance is the New Cardio," highlights some important elements of this dance. These dancers must keep their hands at their sides at all times. This element increases the difficulty of performing any movement since the hands cannot assist in the leaps or kicks. An on looker must watch very closely to see an Irish Step Dancers feet since they move their feet at a faster rate than all other dance disciplines.

The more the feet move, the faster the dancers heart rate will increase. Though this style of dancing may not seem like a great workout because of the costumes of the competitive dancers, it is a serious sport. Outside of practicing their dances, these individuals have to strengthen their abdominal muscles as well as their back muscles. A stronger core enables the dancer to kick higher and leap further. If you watched an Irish Step Dancer perform, you would note that they perform the dance on their toes. Simply standing or walking around on your toes becomes increasingly difficult as time passes so these dancers must practice maintaining their balance while on their toes.
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