The Info List - Ghillies (dance)

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are specially designed shoes used for several types of dance. They are soft shoes, similar to ballet shoes. They are used by women in Irish dance, by men in Scottish country dance, and by men and women in Highland dance. Ghillies
are also sometimes known by a variety of other names that include: light shoes, pomps, pumps, and soft shoes.


1 Appearance and materials 2 Scottish ghillies 3 Irish ghillies 4 Comparison with ballet shoes 5 Other uses 6 External links

Appearance and materials[edit] Ghillies
are soft shoes, almost always made of a supple leather that forms to the foot. They use laces which criss-cross the top of the foot and are tied together similar to a sneaker. Most dancers use laces (required in competitions), although some ghillies do utilize elastic. Some dancers will also wrap the laces/elastics around the soles of the feet. The soles usually stretch across the entire bottom of the shoe (full-soled) and are made from leather. Some ghillies, however, are split-soled, with a leather sole under the heel and under the ball of the foot. Ghillies
are most commonly black, although other colours (such as red, green, and white) are manufactured. White ghillies can be dyed a variety of colours to be used for costumes specially choreographed dances such as blue, red, pink and others. Scottish ghillies[edit] Scottish ghillies are used by men and women for Highland dancing, and by men for Scottish country dancing. They are almost always black, although they often feature coloured stitching and eyelets. Highland ghillies, for Highland dances, generally need to fit snugly but also need to be able to get on the foot around thick socks or hose; for National dances they fit snugly as they are worn with thin socks or stockings. They are generally worn very tight in order to get a good point. Irish ghillies[edit] Irish ghillies are used by women in Irish dancing, whereas men wear reel shoes. Unlike Scottish ghillies, the Irish version rarely feature coloured stitching, and they use loops in the leather, as opposed to eyelets, for the laces. Irish ghillies are available in a solid tan leather sole and a split sole. Comparison with ballet shoes[edit] Like ballet shoes, ghillies are generally made from leather, and have similar soles. Many dancers who start in Highland or Irish dancing will first use ballet shoes, as the cost is considerably lower. The most easily recognizable difference between ballet shoes and ghillies is that ghillies use laces to fasten them to the foot, whereas ballet shoes generally use an elastic across the ankle. Also the laces are very long, and are wrapped around the ankle and foot before tied. Other differences are that ghillies do not have a string/elastic around the edge of the shoe to tighten them, and the soles of ghillies are not usually stitched on, but glued on. Other uses[edit]

Ghillies, or ghillie brogues, are also a type of shoe with laces along the instep and no tongue, especially those used for Scottish country dancing. Although now worn for dancing and social events, ghillies originated as a shoe that would dry quickly due to the lack of a tongue, and not get stuck in the mud because of their laces above the ankle. In a perhaps more recent and certainly competing shoe-related use, Ghillie has also been used to describe laced shoes where rings or loops that project over the tongue are attached to the upper as an alternative to the use of eyelets punctured in the upper; this style is often seen on athletic shoes. Ghillies
can also be used for other forms of dance, such as lyrical.

External links[edit]

New Scotland Country Dance Society

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Irish dance



Step dance Sean-nós dance (in the United States) Festival dance


Ceili dance Set dance Rinnce Fada


2 2 and 4 4 dances

Reel Hornpipe

6 8 dances

Single and double jig Treble jig Haste to the Wedding

9 8 dances

Slip jig

12 8 dances


Mixed time

South Galway Set Clare Lancers Set


An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha

Conradh na Gaeilge

An Comhdháil na Múinteoirí le Rincí Gaelacha World Irish Dance Association Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann


Crossroads dance Feis Oireachtas Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne Céilí

Shows and groups

Riverdance Lord of the Dance Dancing on Dangerous Ground Feet of Flames The Keltic Dreams

Professional dancers

Cara Butler Jean Butler Tiana Coudray Dean Crouch Joanne Doyle Colin Dunne Michael Flatley Bernadette Flynn Dan Furey Breandán de Gallaí Graham Killoughery Tony Lundon Kevin McCormack Róisín Mullins Daire Nolan Gillian Norris


Public Dance Halls Act 1935 Soft shoes Hard shoes Jig
(2011 film)

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Men's dress shoes

Blucher Brogues Brothel creepers Derby Monks Oxfords Slip-ons (Loafers) Spectator shoes (Co-respondent shoes) Venetian-style shoes Winklepickers Wholecuts

Women's dress shoes

Ballet flats Court shoes High-heeled footwear Mary Janes Mojari Mules Peep-toe shoes Saddle shoes Slingbacks Slip-ons (Loafers) Venetian-style shoes Winklepickers

Other shoes

Driving moccasins Flip-flops Galoshes Platform shoes Sandals Self-tying shoes Slides Slippers Veldskoens

Wooden footwear

Bakya British clogs Cantabrian albarcas Clogs Getas Klompen Namaksin Padukas Pattens Sabot Träskor

Military footwear

Ammunition boots Bunny boots Combat boots Jackboots Jump boots Jungle boots Tanker boots Trench boots

Sport-related footwear

Athletic shoes Ballet shoes Boat shoes Climbing shoes Cross country running shoes Cycling shoes Football boots Ghillies Hiking boots Ice skates Inline skates Jika-tabi Kung fu shoe Minimalist shoes Motorcycle boots Mountaineering boots Plimsolls Racing flats Riding boots Roller shoes Roller skates Safari boots Skate shoes Ski boots Sneakers Swimfins Water shoes Wrestling shoes

Fashion boots

Chelsea boots (Beatle boots) Chukka boots Go-go boots Knee-high boots Over-the-knee boots Platform boots Thigh-high boots Ugg boots

Work boots

Australian work boots Cowboy boots Engineer boots Hip boots Rigger boots Steel-toe boots Waders

Other boots

Jodhpur boots Wellington boots

Traditional footwear

Abacas Abarkas Alpargatas Avarcas Balghas Bast shoes Clogs Espadrilles Galesh Giveh Haferlschuh Hnyat-phanats Huarache (shoe) Hwas Jorabs Moccasins Mojaris Mukluks Opanaks Peshawari chappals Snowshoes Valenkis Warajis Kolhapuri chappals

Historical footwear

Areni-1 shoes Buskins Caligae Chopines Crakow (Poulaine) Hessians Pampooties Pirate boots Sabatons


Bespoke shoes Blake construction Goodyear welt


Anklets Bobby socks Dress socks Footwraps Knee highs Toe socks Tabi