Dancing at the crossroads used to be young people's opportunity to meet and enjoy themselves on mild summer evenings in the countryside in Ireland -- until this practice was banned by law, the Public Dance Halls Act in 1935. Now a key metaphor in Irish cultural and political life, 'dancing at the crossroads' also crystallizes the argument of this book: Irish dance, from Riverdance (the commercial show) and competitive dancing to dance theatre, conveys that Ireland is to be found in a crossroads situation with a firm base in a distinctly Irish tradition which is also becoming a prominent part of European modernity. Helena Wulff is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. Publications include Twenty Girls (Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1988), Ballet across Borders (Berg, 1998), Youth Cultures (co-edited with Vered Amit-Talai, Routledge, 1995), New Technologies at Work (co-edited with Christina Garsten, Berg, 2003). Her research focusses on dance, visual culture, and Ireland.