Throughout the centuries, Irish dance has changed with the times and culture. The influence of people, wars, economy government, and population impacted these changes. But despite the modifications, Irish music and dance has adapted and survived beautifully.
Irish dance has a rich history beginning back in Pagan times where dances were performed as rituals to honor the sun god. Dances were adapted with the arrival of the Celtic people, then Christians, the Normans, English Royalty, and others. The purpose for Irish dance is multifold. Dances were used in a variety of situations including worship, celebration, mourning, and entertainment. Dance was used to greet, to show respect, to amuse, to astound, and to educate.
Without the distraction of the electronic devices that amuse the masses today, Irish people of the past often used dance and music as one of the forms of relaxation after working all day. Entertaining themselves while passing down the tradition of this lively art form, Irish dances were woven into the culture of the Irish people as they were shared in families throughout Ireland.