Politicians and celebrities in Ireland have sprung to the defence of a young black girl who was subjected to abuse because she likes Irish dancing. Morgan Bullock is a very accomplished dancer with the Baffa Academy of Irish Dance in Virginia in the United States.She posted some videos of her dancing on the social media platform Tik Tok and while many people said they loved her performances; others were abusive and accused her of cultural appropriation. This is a short sample of Morgan’s dancing skills.
this remix has no business being this hard ?? pic.twitter.com/JZQh0jvtg5
— m (@Morrghan) May 2, 2020
Responding to the criticism, Morgan told RTÉ that she thinks those critics fail to recognise the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation; two very different things.
Morgan is undeterred by the criticism and plans to continue perfecting her Irish dancing skills. She posted this statement on her social media platforms.
“If you think that a black girl Irish dancing is some form of cultural appropriation, then you clearly don’t know much about Irish dance and what is became over the years. There are Irish dance schools all over the world, including Mexico, China, and Africa.
“It has become a very widespread sport in which participants become immersed in the culture, whether or not it is based on ethnicity.
“Irish dance has taken me all over the world. I have been to Ireland multiple times and I was met with so much love and support.”
People throughout Ireland were quick to offer Morgan their support. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar even invited her over to Ireland to dance at next year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) May 5, 2020
Fabulous! Greetings from Dublin, Ireland. Loving your wonderful dancing. Fusion and crossing artistic boundaries ?? absolutely loving it. ?
— Eleanor McEvoy (@eleanormcevoy) May 5, 2020
I seriously hope there are no Irish people here with negative comments. How any Irish person can see this and not be immensely proud that our culture from our wee island has traversed the Globe and is enjoyed by all walks of life, all colours and ethnicities. Maith thú a chara ??
— Oisin ÉIRE (@OisinEIRE) May 4, 2020
Love this, love you, love your creativity! I loved seeing Irish dance used to different music. There’s so much potential there! MORE PLEASE MORE! ??
— Niamh McGrady (@NiamhMcGrady) May 5, 2020
The Musuem of Childhood Ireland
— The Museum of Childhood Ireland Project/MúsaemÓige (@museumofCP) May 5, 2020
Morgan says she was encouraged by the huge level of support.
I can’t thank you all enough for the positive comments that are flooding my mentions right now.
I posted my video for fun, never expecting it to reach so many people! Here’s a little video for those of you who prefer to see a treble jig to real irish music? pic.twitter.com/QZ3KOP6ule
— m (@Morrghan) May 5, 2020