Irish Clap



The Irish Clap is an easy walking mixer described by Fran Riel and Buleah Davis in their 1966 book Happy Dancing, Handbook of Dance Mixers.

The Position

Every other couple facing along and against LOD, holding inside hands with partner, as in the Sicilian Circle.

The Dance

Part I - Forward and Back (2 bars): Forward three steps to opposite (the person in front of you), and clap both hands with them (1, 2, 3, clap). Then back three steps to place, face partner, and clap both hands with them (5, 6, 7, clap).

Part II - Forward and Back with Other Couple (2 bars): Turn to face the couple behind you and repeat Part I with them (1, 2, 3, clap, 5, 6, 7, clap).

Part III - Circle Left (2 bars): Turn to face original opposites and circle left one time, ending in your starting place (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Part IV - Forward and Through (2 bars): Forward three steps to opposite, then high five with right hands (1, 2, 3, high five). Then pass through by right shoulders to face a new opposite, and clap own hands (5, 6, 7, clap).

Repeat from the beginning with new opposites. Note that on each repeat, Part II is done with your previous set of opposites.

The Music

The recommended music is "Irish Washerwoman," or "any good hoedown."


© 2019 Nick Enge

For more, see our two books on dancing:
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge,
and Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge.

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