Irish dancer Kaitlyn Sardin, 26, is a bit shocked by the negative reactions to her latest viral video, but says that the ignorance she's encountered "will never take away from the love I have for Irish dancing."

Sardin shared a clip on X on March 23 of her original Irish dance fusion choreography that she recently performed at the Snap! Orlando gallery in Florida.

“They were opening three new exhibits, one being Timeless by Mochilla (B+ and Eric Coleman),” Sardin told IrishCentral on Monday.

“I've worked with B+ and Eric Coleman before in Ireland and they thought I would be perfect to perform with them.

"Eric and B+ created a mix of The Kesh Jig by The Bothy Band and Fever by Little Simz.”

Sardin, who began Irish dancing as a child and has multiple World titles, choreographed the fusion routine that’s featured in her now-viral clip.

“Since 2020 I've been doing fusion pieces on my Instagram and we wanted to highlight that for the opening,” she said. (The talented Irish dancer has a huge platform of more than 120k followers across X, Instagram, and TikTok.)

“For me, I love finding the drum rhythm of each song and finding how similar it is to Irish dancing, and over the years, I've noticed that it has a similar rhythm to other styles which is why I started fusing different dances.”

At the time of publication on Monday night, Sardin’s video on X has been viewed 1.4 million times and has drawn more than 1.2 thousand comments.

Gallery opening last night 🥰 @LittleSimz #irishdance

— kait (@scorplanes) March 23, 2024

While the majority of the comments on Sardin's video are complimentary, a glaring few accuse her of "cultural appropriation."

“Cultural appropriation and cultural desecration all in one."

“That’s not Irish dance. Cultural appropriation much??? So offensive."

“Not Irish dancing at all. First you have to be Irish, your not. #GirlGoofy."

Some responses were flat-out racist:

“She should Irish dance her ass back to Africa. Haha. Sorry."

“Try it without the desecrating ghetto s--t."

“A bastardization of irish dancing. When will irish be able to do the same with some African zulu dancing ?”

"Back to Africa please."

"Disgusting. Labor camp asap."

"What kind of ape dancing is this?"

"I was honestly a bit shocked by the reaction, I've gone viral before but never seen that amount of hate," Sardin told IrishCentral on Monday.

"Luckily for me, so many people have been super uplifting and sweet."

Indeed, Sardin's post has received warm praise, which has, thankfully, outnumbered the criticisms and racism.

Niall Ó Donnghaile, the former Lord Mayor of Belfast, said on X: "An amazing damhsa from a very talented young woman!"

Irish Studies at Boston College said Sardin is "taking #irishdance to exciting new places."

Edwina Gluckian, the founder of Áirc Damhsa Culture Club and the artistic director of Leitrim Dance Project, said: "So much positivity and so much negativity all in one tiny video. No one owns Irish dance. But we own our bodies. No one is able to tell you how you should and shouldn’t move your body to music. You can dance whatever way you want in this world."

Gary Dunne said "we'll have to have you perform" at the London Irish Centre, where he's the Creative Director.

Derek Hollingsworth, co-founder and volunteer with Pobal Gaeilge 15, said: "It's an innovative dance routine. Many Irish dance teachers blend styles. This girl has a brilliant talent and should be applauded."

Little Simz, whose music was used in Sardin's choreography, simply said: "Fire!"

"The ignorance did make me quite sad but that will never take away from the love I have for Irish dancing," Sardin told IrishCentral on Monday.

"I'm very thankful for all of the people who have been sending sweet messages over the past day!"

Reacting to the "discourse," Sardin also shared a video of her performing a light jig during the event:

my favorite part about the discourse going around is that I actually performed a light jig right before the music switched

— kait (@scorplanes) March 24, 2024

And on Monday, she compiled a video highlighting just some of her Irish dance accomplishments, including a shout-out from the Irish Embassy in the US and pictures of her with her World Championship trophies.

last one🫶🏽😉

— kait (@scorplanes) March 25, 2024

Sardin began Irish dance lessons as a child in Florida with Myra Watters at the Watters School, and later at the Drake School of Irish Dancing.

"When I was younger, I did ballet first and during one of our recitals, they had Irish dancing for the intermission," Sardin told IrishCentral. "I was instantly hooked, I started a week later and have been doing it for 20 years."

Sardin enjoyed a successful competitive Irish dance career, placing at the top of her competitions at the Southern Regional Oireachtas, as well as receiving solo placements and winning four titles (three in dance drama and one in figure choreography) at the World Irish Dancing Championships, the highest level of competition within the CLRG organization. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kait Taylor (@kaitrock)

Perhaps more impressively, Sardin has been able to parlay her competitive success to professional success. Her recent performance at the gallery opening in Orlando comes not long after she completed a run alongside Jean Butler in the critically acclaimed "What We Hold" show at the Irish Arts Center in New York City, and she was recently voted as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" for 2024.

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A post shared by Kait Taylor (@kaitrock)

Overall, Sardin feels the Irish dance world "has always been super welcoming to me, and my dance teachers always made it a safe place for me growing up."

She adds: "I think the biggest thing that the Irish dance community can do is to continue offering support to those dancers who have experienced racism and to call it out when they can."

You can follow Irish dancer Kaitlyn Sardin on Instagram, TikTok, and X.