The Irish Dancers of Singapore


The Irish dancers in Singapore all go to the same school, led by one female instructor, and mostly are students from the Singapore American School. What is so fascinating about this small group is their identity; while there are several non-American background members, the majority are Singaporean-born students with American parents. This means they look like you and me, but they speak "Singlish." My friend, an Irish dancer from the Netherlands, joined this group to keep practicing while studying abroad in Singapore. Through her, I was able to observe and meet the local team.

What community need did I learn about?:

I learned about the need for an audience in a city that is not built for Irish dancers. While Irish dancing is already more obscure than other dancing groups, it is even more obscure to Singaporeans. This group has a hard time finding acceptance in the city-state because it is not traditionally Asian and does not fit into the cultural dance scene. Even when they were invited to perform at Chingay parade, they were only permitted to dance in the pre-parade, which was outside of the arena and not inside the actual event.

Why does the community have this need?:

The community has the need to gain more interest and followers because the existence of an Irish dance team in Singapore is a relatively new idea and brave in its cross-culturalism.