Irish dance has gone through numerous changes since its inception from tan, wigs, and elaborate costumes to daring to wear pants during a competition. Such was the case in New Jersey where Breanna Broesler broke the mold of traditional Irish dance while competing in Glasgow, Scotland. It was quite a brave mood for the 22 year old, which is not unusual for women in Ireland to challenge social norms of the time. After all, Irish women have been known to take much greater risks. They challenged the authority of the British Empire in 1916.
How I would have loved to see my little girls compete but would like to see it performed more simply, without the wigs, and extravagant dresses. My hats off to Brianna Broesler! when she dared to dance wearing trousers.
Irish music, traditionally, was learned and played by ear. Often this is still the way of it. In years past, it was handed down from teacher to student, father to son or daughter, family to family, without written instruction, sheet music, or anything else but the music itself. It was listened to, experienced, and relished by those within earshot and people played their tunes the same way it was enjoyed by others. Unfortunately, when the Irish suffered intolerable pressure to stop playing their tunes and there was no one to listen to Irish instruments, the music was temporarily lost.