Photo courtesy Gabriella Wood
One of the greatest things about Irish dancing in this day and age is the great assortment of fabulous Irish dance videos of some of the best and brightest in the Irish dance world.  Where it used to be that one would need to see the "greats" in person, or at the very least hear tell about a performance, now, we can make use of the internet and watch the "greats" or "near greats" on video.

My son, Cameron, and many other boys around the world are gearing up for the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships in Chicago, Illinois which will happen in less than 2 months. Every time Cameron hits a lull in his training routine and needs a jump-start to encourage him to do even better and train a little harder, he goes to his favorite videos of Irish dancers to inspire him.

Here are some of our very favorites for inspiring male Irish dancers. The Moms to Reel Boys group of mommas also contributed. Thank-you, ladies!

The current favorite for every Irish dancing boy or young man I know is this video by Tap Tronic.

This was video was recommended to the group by a teen male Irish dancer from Colorado, Jeremy Martin. He said it was one of his favorites, and it's easy to see why. Mick Donegan and the "High Kings". I love the fast footwork with the bodhran drum!

A favorite - All the first place Champion boys and men from the Midland Regional Irish Dancing Championships Great Britain in their 2011 Parade of Champions. All of the Irish dance champion boys and men are doing hard shoe which is unique as many Parade of Champions are done in Irish dance soft shoes/ reel shoes.

The current Senior Men's World Irish Dance Champion is Michael Holland from Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance from the Mid-America region of North America. This video is of him doing a set dance called "The Hunt".

From the Irish television show, Jig Gig, Bróga Beoga's first performance in the 2010 Jig Gig final.

Although this video is 3years old, it is still amazing. Fred Nguyen of Western Canada is currently ranked third in the world for men 17-18 years of age in Irish dance.

Last, but definitely not least, is the Parade of Champions clip from the 2011 North American Irish Dance Championships which took place in Nashville, Tennessee last July.  It is always good to see who were the first place champions from last year.  In a Parade of Champions, the winner of each age division typically dances one step (sixteen bars) of their reel.

I look forward to seeing - in person - all of the Irish dance boys and men compete at the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships. There are some truly talented young men in Irish dance, and it is such a wonderful thing to be able to watch their videos from comfort of home. The videos provide the encouragement and inspiration for my son to practice a little harder.

If you have a favorite Irish dancer or video of a male Irish dancer that has been missed, please comment below to tell us about the video.

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