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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland File: Rebbecca Mclaughlin (7) and Jayne Condren from Derry at the Fleadh Cheoil last year.
fresh faced

No more make up for young Irish dancers (but the wigs can stay)

The new rule will only apply to dancers up to 10 years of age.

IRISH DANCERS AGED under 10 won’t be able to wear make-up during their competitions anymore – but there are no changes to their wearing of wigs.

A message on the Irish Dancing Commission’s site says that the ban will come into force in March.

The changes also include a ban on the use of false eyelashes on young dancers.

Make-up Rules (4.5 in CLRG Rule Book) 4.5.2 Make-up (including false eyelashes) is not permitted for dancers, in either solo or team competitions, up to and including the Under 10 age group. Effective March 1, 2014.

One former Irish dancer told that she welcomed the news.

She said that she believed “every parent knew it was wrong and disagreed with it” but that they “knew they had to play the game and didn’t want their daughter to be the only one on stage without the orange face”.

She described it as “a relief to a lot of parents and teachers now” but said that “nobody” expected the ban.

“It has become progressively worse in the last 10 years,” she said, adding that the globalisation of Irish dance that happened after Riverdance added to the use of “pageant style” make-up and tan.

“The other dancers felt they had to look that good and it spiralled out of control,” was how she described it.

Irish dancers generally tend to wear curly wigs – but there’ s no suggestion they will be banned in the near future.

Arm raising

Another change to the rules is aimed at preventing dancers from wearing ‘carriage aids’ on their arms, to help them keep their arms straight while dancing.

To make sure the dancers aren’t wearing the aids, they will “be required to perform the simple exercise of raising their arms to shoulder level unhindered”.

If they can’t do that due to costume stitching or ‘arm attachments’, they won’t be allowed to perform at the 2014 World Championships.

Read: Irish dance show “to tour China for the next 10 years”>

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