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The Lyrics of Oscail an Doras

Website Reviews

About Ciara

OK so it's not Irish dance. . . .

The Ramblings

Ciara's Dancing Pics

My Webfeis Dancer

Win the Oscail an Doras Website Medals!

Awards OAD Has Won

Getting Your New or Used Solo Dress To Fit Just Right

To Do With Hardshoes

Essays on Irish Dance

Overview of Your First Feis

Sign Guestbook
Read Guestbook



Three-quarters of the sites on this page come directly from guestbook entries where people left me their website addresses. So a sure way to get your site here is to sign the Guestbook! I sometimes also do random bookmarking of Irish Dance sites online which have not appeared in the Guestbook, so even if you don't sign my guestbook you may still end up in here, but it's not certain.

Sites will periodically undergo a "re-reviewing" process in which I update my review to suit site updates. Seeing as I am working on new reviews AND re-reviews at the same time, expect them to be kinda out-of-whack sometimes. Please don't feel neglected at not having had a new review in a while! E-mail me about it and I will make a note and put you down for the next re-review I do :)

Many of these sites have won "Website Medals" from Oscail an Doras. Aside from having the full-sized medals on their webpages, I have added smaller versions of the medals (along with the month and year that the sites won them) to the descriptions of the award-winning sites on this page. If you would like to learn how your site can win a Medal, please refer to the link in the menu to your left.

Dance Again
Author: Lisa

This is THE essential resource for the Irish dancer who is looking for a solo dress on a budget. Believe me, if you're looking, you'll find something here. The site itself is simple but neat and it's extremely easy to browse through. All of the information is clearly laid-out (there's no getting confused here!) It's not necessarily new-I'm not sure exactly when it was first created-but it's got a very friendly feel that makes visiting the site a pleasure every single time. Besides having a comprehensive list of solo dresses that are for sale, there are also listings of dance schools around the world, dance supply vendors, a classifieds, and even a list of dressmakers. So if you don't want a dress used, buy it new! Again, this site is a great resource for the Irish dancer looking for a used solo dress. It's also great for a good browse at all the beautiful dresses! [8 December 2001]

For Love of the Dance
Author: Moira

You can't get more passionate than this site! Created by the energetic Moira, this site is a collection of bright-colored text, exclamation points, and many MANY pictures of Irish dancers! The pages are artfully done-the Class Diary is one of my favorites as far as layout goes-and her enthusiasm just bursts through the screen at you from every turn! I love browsing through her picture gallery because I love having a gander at some good dancing pics, and she's got plenty! I'd have to say the picture gallery is definitely my favorite part of the site. If you'd like a fun, colorful browse then this is the site for you! [8 December 2001]

Ireland's Dance
Author: Jess K.

The most professional-looking Irish dance site on the 'Net! Jess has gone beyond the for-fun websites most of us do and has gone hog-wild! Some of the best pages on this site include the in-depth history of Irish dance, including an essay Jess wrote about why she thinks Irish dancers dance with their arms down, some great Irish dance craft ideas, as well as a large index of Irish dance sites according to category (which different sites can have themselves added to!) The design of this site is absolutely fantastic! I would definitely say that, as far as factual/Historical information about Irish dance, this is the place to be! It's also just one of those sites you visit in your off-time because it's fun and full of so much interesting stuff in one place. [8 December 2001]

Dancing at the Crossroads
Author: Eowyn

If you're a guy and you're wondering why the heck you should even consider taking up Irish dance, look no further than this site! Eowyn has compiled a most amusing Top 10 list of the reasons why a boy should start Irish dance! This site incorporates all the basic information an Irish dance site usually does (shoes/dresses/dances/curling hair/dance links) as well as the inevitable Webfeis dancer (yea!) Eowyn's got some work to do with getting some more content on here but for a starter she's doing a fine job! Definitely swing by here for that Top 10 list. It's a doozy! [8 December 2001]

Reel Around the World
Author: Sylvie

This site has some great dance photos on it, mainly at the top of each page, very dramatic in black and white! Everything is beautifully laid-out and organized well with some good information to chew on. Get a basic overciew of Irish dancing, learn about show make-up, Irish dance music from the music theorist's point of view, go to the official sites of all the major Irish dance shows, and more! There's even a page under development for people who are interested in learning the dance but don't have a teacher-check back often for developments there! The "For the Irish Dancer" is especially helpful for dancers with its in-depth view of some of the ins-and-outs of being a dancer with tips on doing toe stands, performance tips, and much more! [8 December 2001]

Daisy's Irish Dance
Author: Dana

Those unfamiliar with the designing process of solo dresses may not realize all the hard work, dead ends, and constant redesigning that these costumes go through! I think Dana's site does a great job of illustrating this through her "Dana's Solo Dress" page. In it, she provides illustrations of the different stages the designs for her solo dress went through. The changes in design from start to finish are startling! The viewer can clearly see the necessity of constant revisal in this process, epsecially seeing as you (or your parents!) are going to be paying a LOT of money for the dress in question. Dana's "History" of Irish Dance page is also very well put together, including a brief history of the evolution of set dances to a brief overview of several aspects of Irish dancing. [25 October 2001]

Author: Theresa

I think one of the coolest pages in this site is the animations page. Theresa has taken pictures of Trinity Dance Company dancers and turned them into very stunning - though not very clearly illustrated if you're trying to figure out how to do a step! - animations. What makes this website great is the Training section. Theresa has excellent guides for endurance, softshoe, and hardshoe training. I've never tried them myself but their subject matter is basically muscle-building to improve your dancing and, from what I can see of the exercises, are extremely worthwhile! Theresa is in Open herself, so I'm guessing she knows a thing or two about endurance and strength! If you're looking to improve your dancing, this site is a must. [25 October 2001]

Adopt A Dancer
Author: Kat

Obviously this site is a hub for those wishing to "adopt" a famous Irish dancer but there is so much more! Kat has gathered loads of useful information for the dancer. The "Shoe Help" page is definitive and I highly recommend that everyone go check it out! Everything you've ever wanted to know from elastics, buckles, and what to do if your ankle strap falls off, it's all there. I was also extremely amused by the 'anatomy of an irish dancer' picture on the "Irish Dance Attire" page. This site abounds in its interactive activities ranging from "Guess That Dance" to a captioning contest. It's so easy to go there and have fun at the same time! As for little criticisms, the Rules page for Adoptions could use a little going over seeing as the text runs right over the border, making it a strain to read. My very favorite part of the site is the "Things Slightly Odd. . ." page. [25 October 2001]

Lucky Girl Irish Dance
Author: Elena
Original Review: 9 May 2001

Elena's site has undergone a major revamp, and what a site it has blossomed into! (no pun intended on the whole rose/shamrock theme of this site!) Let me say that this site is GORGEOUS and its layout is very well thought-out. You'll never tire of the professional-quality graphics as well as the bright banter that fills every page. Elena's site is the ONLY Irish dance website I know of with a "solo dress maker" on the 'Net! There's not much to the solo dress maker YET but I'm sure as it develops, it will become a necessary asset to Online Dancers planning their dresses! Dealing further with the content area of this site, Elena has everything you could ever possibly want to know about the dance, including the most descriptive and helpful description of Irish dance levels and competition that I have ever seen. This is one of the most high calibre sites I know of on the Internet today. Believe me, if you want to REALLY learn about Irish dance beyond the generic "here's how you curl your hair + dance journal + a few links" sites, this is your site! [17 October 2001]
September 2001

Ag Eitilt
Author: Erin
Original Review: 7 October 2001

I discovered a very intriguing page on Erin's site in visting it for the hundreth time. Sure she's got the Tips page that most sites have but, if you have such a page on your site, ask yourself: do you have a Summer Tips page? Well, Erin of Ag Eitilt does! Aside from the great Tips section, her page about costumes is the most useful I have ever seen on the subject and will most likely remain so for a long time. If you want to learn more about Irish dance costumes or have just received your first solo dress, this is definitely a site you want to visit! The site itself is extremely well-organized and the color scheme is molto bene! As always, the "Poems and Polls" page is a must see when visiting this site! [17 October 2001]

Find That Dancer
Authors: Stephanie and Jennifer
Original Review: 9 May 2001

Steph and Jenn do a wonderful job of taking graphics we have seen far too many times and mixing them together in a refreshing mix of Celtic and Irish dance! All in all the site is a breath of fresh eire to the Online Irish Dancing Community! I love the driving force behind the site, aptly named Find That Dancer. While you're enjoying the highly-amusing photos of these two goofs enjoying dance class or the Nationals, you're also keeping an eye peeled for the photo on the front page that you've got to find! I spent a really long time seeking the other day but no luck yet! It's a good ploy to keep people - like me! - coming back for more! I am confident that you will enjoy this site as much as I have. [17 October 2001]
November 2001

Irish Dancers Kick Butt!
Author: Aubree

The front page of this site is kinda noisy but the graphic of the dancer's skirt and pointed foot that goes from negative to color when you hover your mouse over it is very sweet! Aubree does drawings of Irish dancers from photos and lemme tell you she is awesome! The "random Irish dance ideas" has a very interesting political cartoon on it about Irish dancing that you want to check out. Of course this site doesn't only deal with Irish dancing. The webmistress is also a fiddler in a band! She's got a very interesting page about how she started and how the band had its roots, along with some great links to some famous fiddlers' sites. You'll have a good time at this site so GO! [7 October 2001]

Culkin Adult Irish Dancers
Author: Culkin Adult Irish Dancers

This site is absolutely fabulous! The layout is beautiful and organized and all the graphics are extremely tasteful. Whoever designed this site really knew what they were doing! That plus all the pictures really makes me want to see this group in action! I have to say I love the Photo Gallery the most on this site. The dancers look like they're having so much fun! The best part of the site is that it is about adult Irish dancers. One doesn't see enough of those out there and this is definitely a tribute to all that exist. Culkin Dancers, I wish you all the best of the luck in the world! [7 October 2001]

Author: Ashe

Of the Graphic Kingdom, Ashe is Queen! I'm not quite sure how she came up with all these Irish dancing graphics, but I know it took some serious time and effort on her part! The overall impression that strikes the visitor upon coming to this site is all the work that must have been put into it. She's got dozens and dozens of different pages, even sites-within-sites! One of my favorite pages on Diochra is the "Ye Olde Artifacts" with pictures of old feis medals and a scan of the cover of her antique copy of A Handbook of Irish Dances. I also love the picture gallery! "My jig and a little bit more. . . ." So silly! There is, of course, the ever-popular Webfeis and the lesser-known Inis which are both intriguing and FUN! I'm often at Diochra several times a day when I'm online and there's no one to chat with (and also just because I really like the site!) It's really fun to wander through the site without really having any point because there's so much content that I always seem to find something I've never seen before to occupy my mind! If you haven't been to this site then you're missing one of the Meccas of Irish Dancing Online! [16 September 2001]
November 2001

Author: Kerri

My favorite part of this site is the oft-repeated line "keep dancing, even if the music stops." That is so appropriate for dancers of all kinds!!! As for Kerri's site, there isn't much in the way of content and what content she does have is the kind you usually find on Irish Dance pages (curling and dancing tips, what is a feis, etc.) but I do like her Feis Sportsmanship page. How often do you really think about things like this? Maybe you think of them all the time, but you should go read this even if you do (or think you do!) My other favorite part of the site is the site's actual title. It is extremely original! [1 September 2001]

The Hornpiper's Tune: Irish Step Dance
Author: Tammy

The layout of Tammy's site is consistent, simple, and extremely pretty (the best is the title at the top with the green musical score!) The best and most original page on her site is the How To Do A Butterfly page. For someone who has never learned how to do a butterfly (me!) this page is excellent! The step-by-step pictures are fabulous too. How did she DO that? I can't do a Butterfly any better now than before I saw this page, but if you know how to do one then this could possibly help you improve your execution! You should definitely visit this page (especially since Tammy was kind enough to give my site her web award!! Thank you babe!) [1 September 2001]
October 2001

Hardshoe Heaven
Author: Katey

Katey's site is low on content but high on humor! She's got an interesting crosshair thingy that moves around with your mouse on the site that can interfere somewhat with browsing the site. The name of the site, Hardshoe Heaven, is unique and extremely cute! It made me laugh when I first visited the site. There is a LOTD page under construction and there is an "encounter" page about how she and her friend (Joanna of the below-reviewed Irish Dreams website) met Katie McMahon at the local Irish Festival. I like that part of the website the best because you can really see her energy and enthusiasm coming through the page at you! You wouldn't think typed words could do that, but she makes them! This site is basically an "under construction" deal at the moment, but it's worth a stop during your Web joyride! [30 August 2001]
November 2001

*Irish Dreams*
Author: Joanna

"Joey" - or BK as I call her - has turned her old site into this splendid Irish Dancing resource! Now, at this moment in time, she's just starting out so the content area is sparse but she has a great thing going! The color-scheme is a constant on the front page, being dominated by purple, and I must say the manipulation of the left menu is unique! (You're going to have to go to see what I'm talking about!) BK uses a lot of applets on this site, so sometimes they are temperamental and won't work (consequently resulting in a loss of site content) but the coolest part of the site are her collages that she made of the bad girl of Irish Dance, Gillian Norris. There is one extremely pretty one that I like a lot! I expect some great things to come from this site! [3 August 2001]
August 2001

Tall and straight...This is how we dance
Author: Catherine

WHAT A SPLASH PAGE! I am absolutely with envy! This is the most beautiful, most organized web site dedicated to Irish dancing that I have ever SEEN! Extremely dramatic. There isn't much textual content, but Catherine makes up for that with her pleasing layout and calm sense of Style. She's the same age as me which is really spiffy to see! The pictures page has been superbly put together - it has some fantastic piccies of amateur Irish dancers in actions! GO TO THIS SITE! Cheers, Cath! [2 August 2001]
September 2001

Tuatha De Danaan
Author: Erin O.

Erin's site has a beautiful, dreamy layout that is reminiscent of the Faeries her site's title refers to. There is an awesome javascript effect on her links that is magical in its own way. "Irish Dancing: Fact or Myth" remains my favorite page on this site! You just don't see this kinda stuff everywhere on the Web (you may THINK you do, but you don't!) There are some beautiful pictures of Irish dance-related pics at the tops of most of the pages within the site but, unlike you'd expect from a more amateur site, none of them seem out of place. There's a surreal feel to the entire site and, once through, you'll feel as if you have skip23'd your way through a beautiful Irish dancing dream. [4 September 2001]

Binn Boidhehc Righil: Musically Sweet, Beautiful Dance
Author: Christine

Ah, now here’s a girl out to win my heart by naming her Irish dance website in Gaelic! Very nice! The background is in one of my favorite colors and is one of those from Karen Nicolas’ website, which makes it all the better since I love her stuff! (and she taught me how to make transparent images! Karen is the best!) You could say that this site has everything the basic site has, but Christine takes it and does it in a different way than everyone else, therefore making it NOT the same as every other website! That’s why I like it and I know you will too! [16 May 2001]
October 2001

My Irish Dancing Page
Author: Ashlee

Giant shamrock background? I love this page already! She’s also got a 3-D shamrock cursor that moves. Ooooooh! This site is extremely basic but that may be because it is a branching off of her main site. I like the picture of she and her friend too, they look so happy! I hope there is more to come on this Irishdancing site! I know Ashlee would do a fabulous job if she decided to add some more! [16 May 2001]

Lynn’s Irish Dance World
Author: Lynn

This site has a lot of animated gifs everywhere so, like me, you may get a bit dizzy upon first attempting entrance. You simply MUST love the animated stick person Irish dancing at the top of the page though! That made me giggle a little. The best attraction by far of this site is her The Greatest Feis Story! I love reading people’s feis stories and this one is especially enjoyable (even though this one is a little more “out there” than most. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you go and read it!) She’s also got a shamrock cursor set up on the Story page, which is too much fun! [16 May 2001]
August 2001

Dresses, Dancers, and Hardshoes
Author: Heather

As usual, Heather has done a bang-up job with her website! I haven’t been to her site in a while, so seeing the red/black Celtic background was like “wow!” Her matching of background and text colors is extremely well-done. It’s all pretty organized but the best part is, she’s sooo energetic! She really knows her stuff when it comes to Irish dancing and she’d be the first person I’d go to with any questions I had about the sport/art. Rock on, Manny! [15 May 2001]

My Irishdancing Website
Author: Jade

Jade’s site isn’t flashy and done up with fancy graphics, but what she presents is neat, extremely informative, and though small, I like it very much! Her layout is very pleasing to the eye and I think she’s done a very good job! I particularly enjoyed her “All About Me” page because I got to see a picture of her in her dress! I hope that Jade decides to expand upon what she has in her site already so there’s even more to enjoy! [15 May 2001]
September 2001

NZ Irish Dance
Author: Oliver

Upon seeing the front page of this site, I already decided what my favorite part is: there's a picture of a Kiwi!!!!!! How fun! I love the casual organization and atmosphere of the site, it's very engaging. I really like the green star background once you get into the meat of the site. His photo gallery is really fun too! Looking through the picture gallery, I was amused by every single one (in a good way!) The one of the dude in the kilt holding the saxophone is definitely a good one! Fore sheltered Americans like me, it's really awesome to see such a well-made site by a dancer from another country and especially New Zealand since there are so many Irish dancers there. I will recommend this site to everybody! A most fun trip on the 'Net! [15 May 2001]

Irish Dance 101
Author: Caryn

My favorite part of this site is the "Feis Syndrome" page. You can reach that through the Feis Files link. It's extremely humorous! Much like the "You Might Be an Irish Dancer If...." checklist circulating the 'Net! The layout of Caryn's site is extremely simple and, at first sight, you might assume that there isn't much content at all. It may be a little difficult to navigate at first, but you catch on quickly and get to enjoy this young lady's fun humor! I especially love the Irish dancer faery on her front page. Very pretty! [15 May 2001]
October 2001

Author: Louise

When you visit this site, you may turn away saying, "It's just a bunch of links!" and upon first glance, that's all it is. Looking closer, I noticed that this wasn't just a site of links to the usual boring pages about feis tips, etc. There is some very original work here, adding an interesting twist to the normal sight you see on Irish dancing sites! The design is beautiful - using one of Karen Nicolas' popular Celtic motifs - and orderly. The links match the background perfectly! The picture at the top of the splash page and the main page are a wonderful collage of traditional and modern Irish dancing. My notes on this site include the word "FANTASTIC!" written just like that. Oh yeah and underlined. [15 May 2001]
August 2001