|Prodijig, winners of Sky1's "Got to Dance," claim the No. 1 spot on our list.|
Last year's most popular Irish dance videos were innovative and surprising, and just when we thought Irish dance couldn't get that much more exciting, 2012 packed a wallop with dubstep-inspired step dancing, "Got to Dance" champs and One Direction treble reels.
Based solely on pageviews attributed to individual Irish dancing videos uploaded to YouTube in the last year, these are the top 12 Irish dance videos of 2012:
1. Prodijig's finals performance on "Got to Dance"
Prodijig earned a mere honorable mention on the 2011 list, mainly because the video from the group's "Got to Dance" tryout had been uploaded right at the very end of the year when other videos had months to amass video views. The band of former Riverdancers with robotic precision ended up winning gold in the televised dance show, so it's no mystery how these fierce dancers skyrocketed to the top of this list.
Congratulations, Prodijig, on winning "Got to Dance" and the No. 1 slot on our list!
2. Irish dance routine to One Direction's "Na Na Na"
Directioners -- that, I hear, is how One Direction fans refer to themselves -- are a force all their own, strong enough to make or break a viral video, apparently. These five Irish dancers from Michigan choreographed a routine to the popular boy band's song "Na Na Na." Each girl is dressed as a member of the English-Irish band.
3. TapTronic's "Crave You" remix
Seemingly out of nowhere, TapTronic blew the roof off Irish dance as we knew it with this video. With high production quality, perfectly poignant music selection (dubstep having reached its pop culture peak in 2012) and insanely intricate choreography on two sets of super-speedy feet, Irish dancers -- and, well, EVERYONE ELSE -- could not look away.
4. Irish dancing to Michael Jackson
This little dancer won our hearts and our pageviews with an adorable dance to a Michael Jackson medley. The dancer, described in the YouTube video's about section as being just 8 years old, mesmerized shoppers at a Derry mall.
5. Prodijig's semi-finals performance on "Got to Dance"
That's two videos in the top five most watched Irish dance videos on YouTube for Prodijig! A cherry on top for the dancers already claiming the coveted No. 1 position on the list.
6. VirtuREEL Irish Dancing
Discover Ireland, the same organization that sponsored the Sneaky Steppers' St. Patrick's Day flashmob (last year's No. 1 video on the list), introduced this trippy Irish dance project that got commuters in Sydney's Central Station kicking up their heels.
7. BBC's Step McGovern Irish dancing on air
Represent for Irish dancing journalists, Steph! You're in good company. This is the video that earned nearly 200,000 views. The video above is a higher quality version of the video with fewer views.
8. Conan visits Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center
Irish-American late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien brought his camera crew to Chicago where he learned a step or two from the Trinity Irish dancers. Antics ensued -- but nothing as cringe-worthy as the face-kick endured by the Irish dancer with whom O'Brien danced during the stage performance.
9. Toronto St. Patrick's Day Flashmob
Discover Ireland saw so much success with the 2011 St. Patrick's Day flashmob that they tweaked the format for the following year. This flashmob features singers and dancers taking over the Toronto streets.
10. RTE News' coverage of the All-Irelands
It's not often that camera crews get to film at Irish dance competitions, but this news story (along with documentaries "Jig" and "Big Jig") offer an inside look at our sport's most prestigious championships.
11. TapTronic's "Cracks" remix
The second original video uploaded to YouTube by this innovative dance duo garnered more than 50,000 views. After the success of TapTronic's "Crave You" remix, the guys actually had to add a note at the beginning of this video assuring viewers that the footwork had not been sped up to maker the dancers appear to be moving faster.
12. Student vs. dean dance-off
An enthusiastic student with happy feet lept around his school, getting in teachers' faces and dancing his lights out. All but one educated stood stunned by his fancy footwork. The school's dan calmly waited for the boy to back away, and the dean broke out what looks to be a few rough steps of an Irish reel. OWNED.
Honorable mention: World Irish dancing champions Suzanne Coyle and Michael Holland
Multiple amateur videographers captured this magic moment, when newly minted world champs danced together on stage. Because one singular video did not earn sufficient views to make the top-12 list but the combined views of all uploaded videos did, it's only fair that this particular event is recognized.
The top-12 list above was compiled based on views for videos found on YouTube using search terms "Irish dance" and "Irish dancing." I intentionally omitted videos of fake/mock Irish dancing. Did I miss any videos that may have deserved a spot on the list? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.