Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Since the broadcast of the world renown shows Riverdance and The Lord of the Dance Irish dancing has become much more popular around the world. Unfortunately over the years the traditional part of it has faded away. Competitions among dancers have become very political. Dancers are now judged on their appearance rather than their dance technique. The traditional outfit of the dancer has turned into a provocative image. Judging of the competitions has changed over the years as well. Now the question that is often arisen is did the right dancer win for the right reasons. Sportsmanship once seen among dancers has disappeared into real negative attitudes.

Traditionally simple costumes were worn, usually made of velvet. They were hand embroidered with traditional Celtic designs that come from the book of celves in Ireland. Certain socks called poodle socks were worn on the dancers feet. It wasn't until 1893 when the costume started to become more decorative with mini rhinestones lining the neckline, and a bit of crochet done on the collar and sleeves.

From there was just the start of the what seems to be the appearance now.

The whole traditional appearance of an Irish dancer has vanished. The once simple dress is no longer seen. Velvets were replaced with other fabrics such as gabardines, silks, and different types of laces. Instead of one solid color used on the dress bright color and metallic began to appear black tight and nighlans replaced the socks and the dresses became much shorter. Wigs, fake eyelashes, body glitter, glittery hair spray, makeup and jeweled crowns are just some of the new styles seen at competitions. So, by the time the dancer is fully dressed in her much shorter elaborate dress it's a little tougher for the judges to concentrate on just the...