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Inis Cairde School of Irish Dance

St. Pat's Choreography 2018

Parade Jigs 2018

The two jigs that we will perform in the parade this year are the jig lead and 1st step, both moving forwards rather than in a circle. 

Parade Jigs

Big Treble Reel

The Big Treble Reel has been our grand finale at the parade since 2004.

This year it includes dancers from Int I (light shoes), Int II, Adv Grades and Championships (all in hard shoes).

For a diagram of the opening lineup, two-hands and step assignments, please click here.

Here is a video from Wednesday's practice, 3/14/18:

Here is the "Caroline" version of the left side of the a cappella step:

And here are two versions of the entire dance in performance, one from the 2016 St. Patrick's Day Parade, and one from the 2011 Raleigh International Festival:

Big Treble Reel

Donny Golden's Treble Reel 2H

Before Riverdance ever reached the US, and well-known teacher from NY named Donny Golden and one of his top dancers, Cara Butler, toured for years with the Chieftains, coming onstage periodically throughout the show to perform Irish dancing all over the world. Cara's sister Jean, also one of Donny's students, would go on to star in the original Riverdance.

In the early 2000 was lucky enough to take several master classes with Donny, and at one of them he taught us all the same 2H that he and Cara had performed so many times onstage.

I in turn of course came home to NC and taught it to all of my students, a few years later ultimately choreographing an entire show piece around it, which is now known as the Big Treble Reel.

This 2H can be performed in several different configurations, all of which are written out in the following document. 

Thanks, Donny, for a dance that generations of Inis Cairde dancers have enjoyed!

The entire dance, as well as all variations, are written out here: 

Donny Golden Treble Reel 2H

Fun fact #1: As luck would have it, shortly after I met Donny that summer, the Chieftains actually wound up playing in Raleigh later that year. Donny invited me and a handful of my dancers to perform with him and Cara at the show, can you imagine? It was an incredible experience, and one I'll never forget. Pictures exist in the office; ask me to see them some time ;) 

Fun fact #2: Years ago I had a mother and son duo travel to the Nations Capitol Feis to compete together in the Parent-Child competition. Donny Golden just happened to be the judge that day, and they were thrilled to perform his 2H for him at the feis! He called them up to the table to talk to them and tell them he was very flattered. 

Here's a video of our practicing the 2H in the Thursday teams class as a dance for multiple 2H pairs, hence the splitting to a front line and back line. This is a format we use for shows all the time:

Just for fun, here's a video of Donny's students performing with the Chieftains in 2016. See if you can find anything famliar in their treble reel routine:

Treble Reel 2H



A Cappella

A Cappella is a dance with a minimum of 5 parts set up as follows:

1   2   3   4   5

Parts 1 and 5 are essentially the same, and parts 2 and 4 are essentially the same. The dance can be done with any number of dances provided it looks symmetrical from the front.

For the words to all three sections, updated 3,14,18, click here

Section 1, Treble Jig

Section 2, Hornpipe

Section 3, Treble Reel

A Cappella

Good Time Choreography

We started off the semester working through a really fun reel choreography that can be done with as few as one 2H or as many 2H's as space permits. I hope we'll get to do this quite a bit at upcoming shows!

The dancers and I all had a great time putting this together, and I know they really enjoyed adding personality to the whole thing. It has been a LOT of laughs; the hour is great fun.

Basically this 2H routine is a way to introduce glorified reels down the line so that they really don't look like reels down the line. To date we have the opening choreography, which was done so that it will work just like the treble reel 2H, where it can be done with two dancers, or multiple pairs of dancers in a way that makes it look like a large group dance.

Here is the version we will be doing on Saturday afternoon:

Here's last week's rendition:

Here's the original from the fall, which was a littl bit longer. We'll see how far we can get for the parade:

Good Time Choeography

Treble Jig 3H Choreography

Our treble jig choreography is intended to be an intro and an ending for a camouflaged "jigs down the line."


It's created to be extremely flexible for shows in that it can be done with as few as three people, or as many as know it at a given show. Basically, it's a treble jig three-hand that fits into a group dance the same way the treble reel two-hand does.


Dancers at a given show who don't know the choreography would be assigned solo steps after the three-hand, and then those who know the finishing step would stay onstage and do it all together. 

Here's a video of the opening 3H sequence:

And here is a video of the finishing step, which is 16 bars (and identical to the beginning, only in a different formation:

Treble Jig 3H Choreography


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