Your Top 10 Irish Set Dances 2015 – 2017

I thought it was time to have a look at all the votes over the last three years (2,602), just to make sure that there is some consistency and a proper pattern to the results, not just a random set of numbers. You can find annual poll results from 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Happy to say there is definitely a pattern: a beautiful set of numbers, if you’ll pardon the pun. In fact, the 80/20 principle is very evident, with almost exactly 80% of the total vote over 3 years for just 20 sets, out of 230+ possible sets.

Which is just as well because I’m not much of a numbers gal myself – dyslexic with them most of the time. But, I can count to 8, which is mostly what you need to be able to do to dance a set.

RANK SET 2015-2017 vote total
% of vote total
1 Ballyvourney Jig 241 10%
2 Clare Plain 201 8%
3 Clare Lancers 174 7%
4 Connemara 170 7%
5 Cashel 130 5%
6 Merchant 126 5%
7 Claddagh 102 4%
8 Moycullen 101 4%
9 Antrim Square 95 4%
10 Corofin Plain 93 4%
11 Caledonian 83 3%
12 West Kerry 82 3%
13 Sliabh Luachra 72 3%
14 Kilfenora Plain 66 3%
15 Borlin 63 2%
16 Labasheeda 56 2%
17 Newport 52 2%
18 Paris 46 2%
18 Aran 35 1%
20 Mazurka 33 1%
    2021 78%

Thanks again to everyone who has voted, and to all those who have a passionate interest in our lovely dances. We’ll do it all again next year.

Best wishes,
Nora Stewart
Easy Irish Dance/ Irish Bliss blog

 

 

 

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Vote For Your Top 10 Irish Set Dances 2017

Aah, it’s been a while since my last post but I thought it would be nice to engage and see if dancers across the globe are interested in making their favourite sets known, like we did in 2015 and 2016.

I am just doing this for the craic – there are no prizes or accolades for the winning sets- just like there’s no prizes for set dancing:- we do it for the fun of it.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Pick your top 10 –  Tick up to 10 sets you love dancing the most you can add up to 10 additional sets at the bottom if your favourites are not listed. PLEASE ADD THEM ALL INTO THE ONE BOX – OTHER- with a comma between each set name.
  • Your favorite NEW set? I suggest you add these into the COMMENTS box below if you especially want to highlight that, and I will include a listing in the final results.
  • Vote once – You can only vote once, so choose carefully.
  • Closes – This poll is open for 1 week until around midnight Sunday 7th January 2018.
  • Final results – full results will be published on Monday 8th January 2018.  You can also see how it’s going by returning to this post and clicking on VIEW RESULTS at the bottom of the sets list.
  • Privacy – no private information is collected in this survey- completely anonymous.
  • Can’t see the poll below? Switch from private browsing in your internet browser may help. (Sorry, can’t do much about that for those worried about privacy.)
  • PLEASE SHARE this poll. Thank-you!

Happy dancing!

Nora Stewart
Easy Irish Dance/ Irish Bliss Blog

Your Top 5 Sets for 2016

Thank-you everyone for your 669 votes over a 2 week period…and the winners are:

RANK SET NAME
VOTES
1 Merchant 52
2 Ballyvourney Jig 47
3 Clare Lancers 44
4 Connemara  (aka Connemara Reel ) 34
5 Clare Plain (Reel) 33
6 Cashel 26
7 Caledonian 22
8 West Kerry 20
9= Antrim Square 18
9= Aran 18
9= Claddagh 18
9= Moycullen 18
10= Borlin 14
10= Clare Orange and Green 14
10= Corofin Plain 14
10= Kilfenora Plain 14
11 Croisloch 13
12= Caragh Lake Jig 12
12= Paris 12
12= Sliabh Luachra (aka North Cork Polka ) 12
13= Labasheeda 11
13= Metal Bridge 11
14= Newport 10
14= Rinkinstown 10
15 Camp 8
16 North Kerry 7
17= Black Valley Square Jig 6
17= Boyne 6
17= Connemara Jig (aka Freres Nantes) 6
17= Derrada 6
17= Hurry the Jug 6
17= South Sligo Lancers 6
18= Auban 5
18= Ballycommon 5
18= Sliabh gCua 5
19= Armagh 4
19= Corballa 4
19= Kildownet Half 4
19= South Galway Reel(aka South Galway Half & South Galway Half ) 4
19= South Kerry 4
20= Ballyduff 3
20= Borlin Jenny 3
20= Clare Plain Polka 3
20= Dublin 3
20= Glencree 3
20= Mazurka 3
20= Melleray Lancers 3
20= Roscommon Lancers 3
20= Sliabh Fraoch 3

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Irish Dance History: A Contrary Tale: Part 2

Irish dance history is difficult to pin down for many reasons, most likely because the culture was primarily oral – passed down through stories, songs and dances- with very little being written down.

Indeed, there are no less than four versions of the greatly loved Caledonian Set from Clare, and despite differences between districts, it appears that most dancers had difficulty recalling all aspects of that dance clearly.* (I will write more about why the Caledonian Set is the most perfect of all sets  sneak preview below with some absolutely fabulous dancing:)

Indeed, Fintan Vallely in his book The Companion to Irish Traditional Music proposes that tunes, songs and dances that lasted the test of time were mostly those that were written down, and it appears that much of that was done, ironically, by the English.

In 1775, the Dr. Rev.Campbell wrote:

“I was at a dance in Cashel (Co. Tipperary) and the Irish boys and girls are passionately fond of dancing and they dance beautifully.

We frog-blooded English dance as if the practice was not congenial to us, but here in Ireland, they dance as if dancing was the one and only business in life. **

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