Morgan Bullocks, a lover of Irish dances, was accused of cultural appropriation after her video of Irish dancing went viral. Irish Dance, as the name suggests, is a traditional dance that originated from Ireland. It includes both performance and social opportunities. Irish dance also encompasses a wide variety of styles from group, pair, and solo dances. There is a certain picture of predominantly white spaces that comes to the mind of a typical Irish dancer whenever you think of Irish dancing.
Why She Fell in Love with Irish Dancing
Morgan Bullocks is a 21- year old Irish dancer from Richmond, Virginia. She recently went viral for her dancing on TikTok. Morgan was a little girl when she saw Irish dancing for the very first time. She remembered how energetic it was and the colorful dresses, it was mesmerizing. Her mother was a little skeptical at first, but she let her give it a shot. Irish dancing after that became a huge part of her life. She started going to classes a few times a week and attended dance competitions.
Morgan was the only African-American girl in all her classes. She was hard to miss, despite the use of tanner as a common thing. It was, therefore, hard to miss someone who is African-American. However, she never considered it an issue, it was something that she took note of, but it was not something she was uncomfortable about having grown up in a predominantly white area.
Cultural Appropriation Going Viral
Shortly after posting her video, she went viral with her Irish dancing. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. However, there were those few who thought that what she was doing was culturally inappropriate. This is because she did not fit the picture of a typical Irish dancer that most people are used too. The appropriation was because she is not Irish, and most of all, she is not white; therefore, they felt she shouldn’t be performing the dance. Appropriation of culture means taking something from another culture, claiming it has your own without recognizing where it comes from. It could be further from what she is doing, but people need to recognize that there is a significant difference between appreciation and appropriation.
“I think people use the term appropriation without knowing what it means,” says Morgan.
Overwhelming Support and Positivity
Morgan’s parents, Yoland and Ray, have always been supportive of her. They are also proud of how she is handling her online fame.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s hard even to fathom or imagine that this is happening,” Morgan’s father, Ray said.
The mother is particularly happy and proud of the way she is handling everything calmly and maturely.
“She is 20, she is, therefore, a woman, and so she is handling these things on her own pretty much,” Morgan’s mother, Yolanda said.
Hours later, after the video went viral, Morgan was invited on to a very popular Irish radio show. At the radio show, she was surprised by Padraic Moyles, the lead dancer of Riverdance. Padraic Moyles invited Morgan to Vienna, Virginia, to perform in Riverdance. She was excited, and her heart dropped on such a request. Padraic added that she did a really amazing job.
“Riverdance was like my end goal for me with dancing, therefore having such an opportunity to perform with Riverdance is amazing,” Morgans said.
Padraic further thanked her for having the guts in many ways to put herself out there. He further added that she is unique in terms of what she showed on her videos. Morgan feels honored to be a young black Irish dancer.
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