Jigs are Scottish folk dances characterized by compound metres, with double jigs being the most popular. They can be strung together and danced continuously. The fast-paced dance has found its way into American slang. Jigs can be danced individually or as a team, requiring coordination between partners.
Originating as a Scottish folk dance, jigs are generally characterized by the use of compound metres. For example, a double jig is usually transcribed in 6/8 time signature, while a slip jig is usually transcribed in 9/8 time signature. Scottish versions of this dance come in several types, with the double jig being the most popular. A very popular Irish version is the Irish laundress.
Almost all the masques are built on a basis of two parts of eight bars, each of which is repeated at least once. As is true of nearly all Scottish music, it is not unusual to string two or more jigs together in a game and dance continuously. Dancing is a task that requires a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm. The fast pace of the song makes it a particularly energetic and cheerful dance, which has allowed it to find its way into the American slang vernacular with great ease.
During modern times, many people have used the phrase “jig” when something wonderful has happened in their life and they wish to express the sense of exhilaration they are feeling in that moment. Today, even people who have never seen a jig danced or have any idea of the origins of the phrase clearly understand that this phrase means to be very pleased with a course of events.
It is important to note that jigs can be danced individually or as part of a two-person unit. If the dance is performed as a team, the task will require a great deal of coordination between the two partners, as the fast pace of the music and dance can lead to interesting twists and turns.