History of the Irish Jig

By | April 9, 2021


The jig is a composite goal dance, either 6/8 or 9/8, which became part of Irish folk culture in the eighteenth century. Jig is unique only to Reel in popularity with Irish dancers.


The jig was originally started in England in the 16th century before spreading to other parts of Britain, including Ireland and Scotland.

Name Origin

The term ‘Jig’ comes from the French word ‘Gigue’ and the Italian word ‘Giga’, both of which mean ‘to jump’.


There are four different types of Irish jigs: Slip (9/8), Light (6/8), Single (6/8) and Treble Jig (6/8).


The original English jig was performed for 2/4 time, but only gained international popularity when the dance was moved to a 6/8 and / or 9/8 feel by the Irish.

Fun facts h2> Irish jigs were often danced in a competitive way, where the winning dancer was the one who could dance the liveliest Jig for the longest time. With the recent success of dance groups such as Celtic Fire and Riverdance, the world has fallen in love with traditional Irish music and dance steps. While many of the modern troupes perform elaborate stage shows, Irish dance can trace its roots back to social dances such as Jig. While the Irish did not invent the jig, they have become synonymous with dance and its very energetic presentation.