American Wake Steps

—- 8 bar intro

1. Alliyah and Anna – Solo step, cut 2,3,etc. (only right foot) (8 bars)

2. Group Ceili —- Seige of Ennis – Big group ensemble (32 bars)

IN THIS VIDEO they are dancing it with Jig steps, and we are dancing it as a reel, so at the end of their 7’s, they do a “rising step”.  We will do “back 3’s.

3. Michael and Shannon, plus two other couples (?) Two hand dance (8 bars pus 2 extra bars)

4 skips forward, then 6 skips in ceili spin. (we will jazz this up a little)

=========== (break in music, McCleery family gets set)

4. McCleery Family (minus Molly) Maybe 2 other sets of 4? (32 bars) 4 beats to start

VIDEO: Seige of Carrick

5. Molly and Daniel – Hop and heel, Hop and heel, exchange 7’s,back 7’s, Hop and heel and hop and heel. (need some bodhran or other instrument in here?) (8 bars)

6. Junior Ladies – Point cross tuck/ hop 2,3/over 2,3/ Step step turn turn/(facing front at angle) point and back and point and back/ Hop 2,3, step, Front kick.  Repeat starting left foot. 16 bars

Music changes

7. Ladies – Kick tuck and slide, change slide and back 2,3.  Turn 7’s- hop 2,3,4,5,6,7. Hop to the front to the side to the back.  Repeat left foot.  16 bars

8. Martin and Molly – Easy jig step? We can figure that out next time.  8 bars

9. Gents – 4 steps forward, baby step 1,2,/ out in out in, stomp back rally hop back, stomp back rally hop back, baby step 1,2, out in out in.  Repeat starting with left foot 16 bars (a rally is push/pull)

10. Alliyah and Anna – Stationary jig step.  Can be danced upstage while…..(8 bars)

(All others getting in position for chain)

11. Chain step for 8 bars, Ceili swing for 8 till end.

This is the basic outline, we may change some things when we try it for blocking or other reasons.


You all have been so good about picking up steps, I forget that you are new to Irish dance!  Here is some general info about Irish dance.

  • Unlike ballet, in irish dance solo steps, we do not have a lot of terms for steps.  So I have outlined what I speak when teaching the step.  You may want to change it to your own words.
  • The section where we have groups coming forward to show off a step is called a Step-about.  It is very common for dancers to step out and show off their step.  In our show, I have groups doing the same step because if we were each truly doing a solo step, there would not be time for the play.
  • When dancing a solo, your hands and arms are held at your sides.  Not stiff like boards, but comfortably at your sides.  This tradition has many legends, but most probably it was so that dancers in small spaces were not cuffing each other.
  • We usually dance 16 bars of a step, we start a step with 8 bars on the right foot, then repeat the same step, starting with the left foot.  For choreography I have changed that to only 8 bars in a few places, to fit into the music.
  • After each section, the featured dancers will move to the sides as others come forward.  You will clap, cheer, have fun watching the others.  It’s a party, and the Irish are a vocal group! (unless Tom tells us to quiet down!!!)
  • Don’t worry if you don’t get a step right away.  We will have time to go over it many times, until everyone is confident.  And if you do not wish to dance, just let me or Tom or Denise know, and we can make changes.  It is a party scene, and certainly we can have people watching, clapping and just generally enjoying the fun.