5-Minute Dance Party | Folk You

Flick and flick

and heel stamp!

Hey everybody! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you think I could possibly forget about you on the one day of the year I refuse to wear the color green?

The truth is, I spend half the year thinking about what funny/strange/absurd short film I can show you on St. Pat’s!

This year, I decided to go with the dangerously funny Irish step-dancing duo Up and Over It one more time. Just like last year, Up and Over It decided to share a brand new video just before March 17th, but we decided to go with last year’s St. Pat’s Day release.

What’s lovely about this film is that it feels antithetical to all of the stereotypes of the Irish dancing experience, even for people like me who spent two decades inside the Irish stepdancing world. It’s sunny and melancholy and funny and spare. I do hope you enjoy it.

Here’s one of the inside jokes: Irish stepdancing is not folk dancing. (Hence, the “folk you.” Folk dancing choreographies and steps do not change whatsoever—what people danced in the 19th century is what they dance today. The goal in folk dance is to preserve dance forms exactly as they were.

But in Irish dancing, the steps are always being created or made more difficult, and the choreographies themselves belong to individual dancers or dance schools. Everything is new all of the time, even when certain rules about form are not changeable whatsoever, e.g. feet are still crossed, turnout has become even more strict, and you don’t ever land with bent knees.) The best comparison I can give you is solo ice skating competitors—they’re always trying to push past what’s already been done to something no one has ever seen before.

This short film goes out to all my friends who have been dancing for audiences all over every city in the world since 6 a.m. St. Patrick’s Day morning (and who will probably be dancing on some tiny stage somewhere until midnight tonight.) May all of your performance venues have large restrooms in which you can change your clothes, and may every floor on which you dance today be wood and not concrete.