A Gathering Place for Adults Who Love Irish Dance

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Irish dance compeitions for adults this April

Hard Shoes
Photo: Christy Dorrity

Many feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) offer competitions for adult Irish dancers.  Here's a quick glance at feiseanna that are friendly to adult Irish dancers in April.

Plan on supporting a feis in your area that includes adult Irish dancers and keep an eye out for those feiseanna who are offering slow speed dances for adults. 

If you have a photo of your adult class practicing or performing that you would like to see featured, please email me.

Source: www.feisworx.com 

Key: FF-first feis B-beginner, N-novice, PW-prize winner, O-open championship

Feile Denver 2012
Loveland, CO - Apr 15, 2012 
McTeggart, CO 

B, N, PW
4 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
traditional set 
2,3,4,6,8 hand reel, 2 hand jig
specials: light shoe reel

Buckeye State Feis 2012 
Columbus, OH - Apr 21, 2012 
Millennium Academy of Irish Dance 

B/B2, N/PW
3 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
8 hand

Mattierin Spring Feis In The Park 2012 
Sherwood Park, AB - Apr 27, 2012 to Apr 29, 2012 
Emerald Isle Dancers Association 

B, N, PW
4 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
traditional set
specials: treble reel

The Little Rock Feis 2012 
Little Rock, AR - Apr 27, 2012 to Apr 28, 2012 
McCafferty School of Irish Dance

B, B2/N, O
4 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
traditional set
2,3,4,8, family 
specials: treble reel 

Emerald City Feis 2012 
Seattle, WA - Apr 28, 2012 to Apr 29, 2012 
Baile Glas and Tara Academy 

B, N, PW
4 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
traditional set
2,3,4,6,8 hand
specials: reel, treble reel

Feis SLC 2012 
Salt Lake City, UT - Apr 28, 2012 
Acadamh Rince 

4 soft shoe
2 hard shoe, traditional speed
traditional set
2, 3 hand
specials: mens reel, ladies slip jig, double reel, "Prom Night"couples

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rince Diabhal, Duke's "Dancing Devils" show there's no reason to give up Irish dancing in college - VIDEO

Collegiate adult Irish dancers Rince Diabhal at Duke University
in North Carolina
Photo: Flickr/RinceDiabhal

In 2009 a group of Irish dancers began Rince Diabhal, an Irish dance and culture club at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "There's no reason Irish dancing has to end in college even though many
people have to leave their respective dance schools," says Hannah Gold, one of the founders and Rince Diabhal's president, "Rince Diabhal's founders did not want to give up Irish dance, so they brought it with

Megan Tisdale serves as the collegiate club's coach. Tisdale, who often performs with the group, began her own dancing career in 1981 with the late Ann Richens, ADCRG (certified Irish dance teacher and adjudicator) and competed for the Richens-Timm Academy of Irish Dance.

Rince Diahbal means "dancing devil" in Gaelic and as the name implies, these dancers are a whirlwind on campus. They are in high demand for dance showcases at the university and are fast taking on performances off campus. Gold says, "Our performances are received extremely well, and
interest in our dance team has grown exponentially." The group enjoys working with a talented musician group for their practices and performances and collaborating with other dance clubs for varied choreography. See for yourself in the unique Irish/Indian fusion dancing video below.

Read more:

Adult Irish dancers dream big at the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance in New York - PHOTOS

Teelin Irish Dance St. Patrick's Day Flash Mob Goes Viral
Dancers in Rince Diabhal range from never-danced-before newbies to competitive open champions. A few of the dancers attend a certified school and participated in Oireachtas (a regional Irish dance competition) in 2011. All of the dances are choreographed by the members of the club. Currently, Rince Diabhal are only extracurricular, but may expand to offer for-credit classes in the future.

Rince Diabhal adult Irish dancers
Photo: courtesy Kyla Casey
"Full inclusion, but no requirements," is the dance club's motto, meaning that all members are invited to perform if they feel comfortable but are never required.

Coach Tisdale encourages all adults to try Irish dancing: "We invite anyone with an interest in Irish Dance and Culture to check out a school or a club in your area. You will find amazing people and unlock talents you didn't even know you had!"

Irish/Indian fusion by Rince Diahbal
Photo: Flickr/RinceDiahbal

For more information about the Rince Diabhal dancers, please visit them on the Rince Diabhal website.

Readers: Do you attend a collegiate Irish dance club? Does the option of having an Irish dance program influence your decision when choosing a college?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day and a tiny Irish dancer

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend full of dancing and excitement.  Here is a clip of a cute little three-year old boy doing an amazing job with the St. Patrick's Day set dance.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Adult Irish dancer Annie Hernandez from Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing - PHOTOS

Annie Hernandez, adult Irish dancer from
Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing
photo: Regina Gandara

Say hello to Annie Hernandez. Annie is an adult Irish dancer in the & over category.  She receives instruction at the Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing in San Antonio, Texas.

"I will stop dancing the day I can’t bend down to tie my shoes!
My name is Annie Hernandez, I am 40 years old (don’t tell LOL)."

What school do you attend?

I have been dancing for 3 years and a half; I started in Mexico and moved to Texas 2 years ago. Since then I have been dancing with Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing in San Antonio, Texas under Neill Reagan, TCRG and DCGRDG, and Patrick McCarthy, TCRG and former Lord of the Dance dancer.
Annie Hernandez, adult Irish dancer from 
Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing
photo: Regina Gandara
What inspired you to take up Irish dance?

I had never danced before--didn’t even dare to do aerobics, had no coordination at all! But one day I saw Lord of the Dance in NYC, and as I was watching this thing that I had never seen or heard before,  something happened and my feet couldn’t stop! I had to learn how to do that. Of course I was already an adult with no dancing background, but I did not care. For my first competition I had been dancing for only 6 months. I was about to die when I had to do my first reel in front of a room full of people and with a judge staring at my feet. I remember thinking, “Ok, let’s do this, but  this will be the first and last time--so bring it.” I was shaking inside, my hands had never sweat so much, but I did it, and when everything was over, I had placed first in every dance!  It was then that I was hooked.
Tell me about your Irish dance journey.

Since that first competition back in 2009, I have not stopped dancing. I practice 5/7 at least 1 hour a day. I have done 24 competitions. I started in the first feis adult category and when I got up to Prizewinner level, my teachers said I could and should get as far as I possibly could, so they have been supporting me and helping me work hard so I can become the best I can be.  In March 2011 I dropped down to the & Overs category. I started as a Novice and recently moved up to Prizewinner in my soft shoe dances at the Atlanta feis. Im still working to move up those hard shoe dances--I hope next March.

How do you like dancing in the & over category as an adult?

It has been much harder than the Adult category, but nicer too. I got my dress! I won’t lie, IT IS nerve wrecking, but I love hard competition because it brings more from me, it makes me try harder, makes me a better dancer. Every feis I go to, it is still the exact same feeling. I see my 10-23 fellow fifteen-year-old competitors and I want to curl up in a ball and cry. But I get out there, with no more wish than to enjoy what I love to do, and to beat no one but myself, be better than the last time--and still all my dances are placing. Haha! 
Annie Hernandez, adult Irish dancer from 
Inishfree Texas School of Irish Dancing
photo: Regina Gandara
What has Irish dance taught you about yourself?

 Irish dancing is my passion, it is what makes me happy--the musi and rhythms, the intricate steps, the eye catching poise and unexpected movements. Irish dancing has changed the way I felt about myself. It has taught me that if I work hard I keep getting better and better. If I dare to try I can. It has showed me how to focus, how to defeat doubt and fear and turn them into confidence and motivation.

So, as long as I can keep getting better, I will keep competing. I will stop dancing the day I can’t bend down to tie my shoes!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012