Celtic Dance Society taps to traditional beat

Carolina Colon

When one thinks of dancing, forming figure eights, casting off and drawing a square with your partner is not something that may come to mind. But that’s what the Celtic Dance Society hopes to teach its members — traditional Celtic dance steps. 

The club meets Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

The tradition behind this club is of Scottish, Irish and English dances. These traditional dances are known because of their social activeness and performances all around the globe.

The objective of the club is to provide instruction in the dancing of Scottish Country, Irish Ceili and other dances of the British Isles, and to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of Celtic dancing and music.

Celtic dancing has various famous dance steps, including the circle, the square and also the figure eight. The music of this type of dance is primarily from famous Irish singers. 

The club has about 14 members who range from all years in school and majors. Benjamin Kwasa, graduate student in aerospace engineering, has been a member of the club for seven semesters. He explained why he enjoyed being in this club.

“It provides a place for people to share very different backgrounds and also to learn other cultures,“ Kwasa said. “Also, [it] is a great mental and physical exercise. It is very different from anything else. Being an engineer, it is a very nice break.”

Being part of the Midwest Scottish Country dancers, the dance society has been invited to attend different balls all around the Midwest. The club has also been dancing at ISU After Dark events, providing brief lessons for students the night of the event.

The president of the club, Amanda Green, senior in industrial technology, said she would like to see more new members join the club.

“I will like to see more people getting involved in our club, spreading the Scottish dance all around,” Green said. “Don’t be afraid to try it because you can’t dance, you don’t have to be there the whole time.”

Victoria Farwell, second-year veterinary student and also the instructor for the club, takes her study breaks by dancing with her Celtic-appreciating friends. 

“Being my seventh year in the club, it is really relaxing and social,” Farwell said. “You get a workout and break at the same time. It’s wonderful.”

The Celtic Dance Society has been invited this year to attend the Global Gala, a yearly event that promotes diversity here at Iowa State. The 2015 Global Gala is March 28, and the deadline to register performances is Feb. 11. To register, visit the Student Union Board website and visit multicultural awareness.

Farwell said all who are interested are welcome to join the club.

“No prior experience [is needed],” Farwell said, “[The club] is a great way to have fun and workout and also learn about other cultures while dancing.”