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Jigging Basics: Step Dance Distilled. VIRTUAL CLASS
February 4, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$85
In the Irish music and dance world, a ‘jig’ describes a tune or a dance in 6/8 timing. In many of the Canadian traditions, a jig is a step-dance, to jig is to dance, and a jigger is a dancer. The origin of the word is the french ‘gigue’ which was a movement in a Baroque suite in early France. This class covers jigs in all senses of the word – step dancing from North America, Irish jigs in 6/8, and the historical elements of these dance forms (such as the gigue in Baroque France).
Last summer, the Minnesota Old Time and Bluegrass Association asked me to teach a workshop that covered some basic skills for dancing to the various traditional tunes from the North Atlantic region (i.e. Ireland, Scotland, North America). I looked at the various dance forms, Irish step dance, old-style Irish dance and sean-nós, Scottish step dance, Cape Breton step dance, Ottawa Valley step dance, Métis jigging, Quebecois jigging, and American flatfooting and clogging. There are a few moves that all of these dance forms share, and while the style and swing of the move might differ based on the tradition, the mechanics are pretty much the same. So we spent 90 minutes learning and practicing some of the most basic ways to move to trad music from simple stepping (walking or marching) within the structure of the tune, to “pitter patter” steps, to shuffles and trebles. Then we applied the moves to tunes from the various traditions. Students left with a few new moves and having tried the basic steps of the Métis Red River Jig, Cape Breton reels and strathspey steps, Appalachian flatfooting steps, the sean-nós Connemara step from the west of Ireland, and Irish jigs in 6/8.