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How to Do a Lead Around in Irish Step Dancing

Learn how to do a lead around in Irish step dancing in this Howcast video with Darrah Carr.


How to dance the lead around in Irish step dancing.

The lead around is the first step of a dance. It can be done in either jig or real time. The lead around is meant to circumscribe the space, to delineate the space, by creating a circle with the dancer's steps. In this example we'll demonstrate a lead around with the skip two three step. You can, of course, insert other steps into the lead around. The important thing is that you maintain a circle in the space.

We'll begin by going to the right side creating a circle of 360 degrees to the right. The dancer points the right foot and begins to articulate a circle in the space with skip two threes, traveling around, remaining on the balls of the feet, creating a 360 degree circle in the space. That pattern is repeated to the left as the dancer creates a 360 degree circle to the left.

When doing a lead around of 180 degrees on the right foot the dancer does eight bars or eight skip two threes. This is two, and three, and four, and five, and six, and seven, and eight. Repeating on the left foot to conclude the lead around with eight bars, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Eight bars for 180 degrees on the right and 180 degrees on the left.

A variation on the lead around is to do 180 degrees with the right foot and then 180 with the left foot to simply create one circle in the same direction. We'll demonstrate that now. Coming around to the front. And continuing on with the left foot 180 degrees each side to conclude the lead around in Irish dance.

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