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Sweatin’ On: Irish Dance Style

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 by in STR | 0 comments


It was such a treat to have the Irish Dance World Championships (or the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne, for all my Gaelic readers) in Boston last week!  I’ve been teaching stretches and core exercises to the kids of O’Shea Chaplin School of Irish Dance for the past six years.  I love working with them, but I don’t think they always love me.  Some of them groan when I walk in because they know we are going to do a lot of core work.  And some of them think my name is Laura Pilates.  Over the years, though, I think they have developed an appreciation for how the work we do together complements and enhances their dancing.  They are a talented bunch, and I am proud of them.

I attended some of the competitions last week and took note of Irish dance workout style.  I can sum it up in a few words: bling, team spirit, some Lululemon, and more bling.  They bedazzle everything, even socks!  Granted, the bling is part of the costumes worn during competitions and helps them stand out on stage, but I am still fascinated by it.

The two lovely ladies from DanceBLING (best company name ever) told me that Irish dancers really like a lot of color in their workout apparel.  When they started producing pinneys (translation: 80s inspired workout tanks made of mesh-like material), they quickly learned that the brighter and bolder the color, the better.  The same goes for yoga pants (see below).  Most of the workout apparel I spotted had school names and mottos attached to it, which makes sense, as they want to show their school pride.  There were also a lot of tops and pants that said things like “Irish dancers kick butt” (which they totally do).  My favorite slogan was the one put forward by the O’Shea kids a couple of years ago.  They girls wanted t-shirts that said “Bust” across the front and “It Out” on the back.  This did not fly with the teachers.


I absolutely snagged a neon green pinney from DanceBLING and cannot wait to wear it to teach with a brightly colored sports bra underneath and some black leggings.  If you are not feeling as adventurous as me, but want to channel the Irish dance spirit, here are a few bright and flashy items to tempt you:


From left to right:
Spiritual Gangster Hamsa Stripe Burnout Tee, $49,
LVR Organic Fold Over French Terry Leggings, $64,
Roxy True Charmer Hoodie, $45,

That bling came in handy for the ball on Saturday night.  Here I am with the gorgeous and talented Jess Hodge.  And a big congratulations to all of the O’Shea dancers!  O’Shea all the way!


xxoo Sweat the Runway      smallSneaker

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