In Glasgow, Scotland, nearly 15,000 dancers and supporters gathered at the Royal Concert Hall for the 2018 World Irish Dancing Championships.

Step Right Up: 2018 World Irish Dancing Championships

In Glasgow, Scotland, nearly 15,000 dancers and supporters gathered at the Royal Concert Hall for the 2018 World Irish Dancing Championships. Competitors start at as young as eight years old, and participate either individually in step dancing, or as a team in céilí or set dancing. Here a team gets ready to compete in the 8-11 year old céilí event. Elaborate dresses, wigs, and makeup have become a regular part of Irish dancing costumes. Jane Barlow - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images Competitors start at as young as eight years old, and participate either individually in step dancing, or as a team in céilí or set dancing. Here a team gets ready to compete in the 8-11 year old céilí event. Elaborate dresses, wigs, and makeup have become a regular part of Irish dancing costumes. In set dance, fancy footwork is key. Like step dance, the focus is on the fast-paced intricate stepping patterns paired with leaps. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images In set dance, fancy footwork is key. Like step dance, the focus is on the fast-paced intricate stepping patterns paired with leaps. Céilí, however, focuses more on the formations of the dancers. Fast moving and highly coordinated, a team can consist of up to sixteen dancers at once. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Céilí, however, focuses more on the formations of the dancers. Fast moving and highly coordinated, a team can consist of up to sixteen dancers at once. Notice their feet -- Irish dance is done almost entirely on the toes. It takes incredible strength for dancers to bear their weight and control their movement on just their toes. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Notice their feet -- Irish dance is done almost entirely on the toes. It takes incredible strength for dancers to bear their weight and control their movement on just their toes. And get some real air, too! Jane Barlow - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images And get some real air, too! The World Irish Dancing Championship has been the premier global event for 48 years. The Irish folk dancing that inspired it, however, first started in the 1700s. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images The World Irish Dancing Championship has been the premier global event for 48 years. The Irish folk dancing that inspired it, however, first started in the 1700s. Dancers around the world keep up the tradition, maintaining the legacy of Irish dance and bringing it into the modern era. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Dancers around the world keep up the tradition, maintaining the legacy of Irish dance and bringing it into the modern era.