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Disclaimer: This is by no means a definitive guide to hardshoe steps and how to execute them. It's only a general guide to some of the basic steps. I'm not an Irish dance expert and we all know that :)

General Information About Hardshoe Dancing
OK so we all know what hardshoe LOOKS like, or should anyway once the technique has been perfected, but we can't DO hardshoe unless we know what the steps are. As my friend Joanna - of the site Irish Dreams - pointed out to me tonight, it's really hard to learn Irish dance steps off the Internet. The main reason for this is the PLETHORA (I love that word! learned it from Mr. L in Chemistry 2! Basically means "a lot" or "bunches and bunches" or "loads!" You get my drift) of terms/phrases for a single step! I do not know all the names for all of the steps but if you know an alternate name for a certain step, e-mail it to me or sign my guestbook with it in there! I would be infinitely grateful!

The Steps!

Treble (Rally)

Basic hardshoe step/move. Tap away from and toward yourself with the front foot

Treble (Shuffle/Rally) Hop Back

Elaboration of the TREBLE. Tap out, tap back, hop on the back foot, and bring the front (tapping) foot behind. If you started with your right foot in front, your left should be in front at the conclusion of this step (and vice versa)


The noisemaker! Just what it sounds like. Pick up your front leg from the knee and stamp really hard with a flat foot (that way you'll use the entire foot and get more sound)

Tip (Brush)

A single tap away from or toward yourself


Hit the toe of the back foot against the floor. Could be called something like a "toe-down" because it's usually made up of these movements: 1) hit toe 2) foot bounces up 3)toe comes back down. You can also have a pair of TOES in a row. That's a tricky step but do-able and would probably be referred to as a "toe-switch-toe" because you have to switch feet in the execution (when I did the step to a treble jig we just called it a "toe-and-toe" but the "switch" was understood)

(Heel) Drum

Advanced hardshoe move. Sometimes it may appear to look like the dancer is "shaking" his/her foot. Basically a movement of the heel and toe, you basically flutter the front foot's heel and toe back and forth. My best description of how to perform this movement is this: 1) brush sideways with the heel of the front foot 2) turn the foot IN and brush the toe sideways 3) brush the heel sideways so that the foot is turned out again. Often performed in a sideways movement, this is also done stationary.

Click (Slice)

Most probably the most well-known hardshoe move to non-dancers. Turnout is essential for the successful execution of this step. Performed with either a hop on the front leg with a lift in the back with the back leg being extended in front and coming down to strike the rising heel of the back leg OR with the front leg being lifted and extended and its heel coming down to meet the rising heel of the back leg after having pushed off the floor with the said back leg. This results in a changing of the feet. <--Could I BE more wordy?


Again, turnout is essential for the successful execution of this move. Lifting the heel in back, swing the front heel up and back to strike it as it's coming down. This also results in a changing of the feet. This step is best first-learned while holding the back of a chair so the whole concentration is focused on getting the two heels to strike each other. Once that is down, it makes doing the step in an actual dance MUCH easier.

Did I forget any steps? Do you know another way of explaining one of the steps I covered? Then E-Mail me!

To Do With Hardshoes