Dance

2017 Dance School Bios

Since the introduction of Riverdance about two decades ago, interest in Irish dance has exploded. The wide variety of Irish dance schools we have in Minnesota teach nearly 1,000 kids and adults how to dance jigs, reels, hornpipes and much more. At least five adult groups regularly perform year-round throughout the state.

At the Irish Fair of Minnesota, we like to showcase all these schools, groups and dancers. From toddlers learning their first steps to accomplished dancers pounding out explosive rhythms with their feet, you can see performances throughout the fair in the Dance Tent.

2017 Dance School Participants:

Casey Academy of Irish Dance

Casey Academy of Irish Dance is a small performance dance school located in the Twin Cities. We strive to combine a contemporary style with a traditional art form, Irish step dancing. As a family inspired school we want everyone to have the opportunity to be enriched with Irish culture. We offer discounted classes for siblings and did we mention boys dance free? For more information you can go to the website listed above or email emily.caseyhare@gmail.com www.caseyirishdance.com

Corda Mor Irish Dance

Corda Mor is celebrating 11 years dancing and performing at the Irish Fair! Corda Mor recently opened their own dance studio in Edina, where dancers can come to train for competitions, performances, or just for fun. Corda Mor means “great heart” and that’s something you see in the dancers, teachers, and families in the Corda Mor community; they look forward to sharing that “great heart” with you right now! www.cordamor.com

Eilis Academy at Escalate

Eilis (Ay-lish) Acacdemy was founded in 2012 at Escalate Dance studio in Maple Grove. It has since grown to 50 dancers age 4 on up with dancers performing and competing at all levels. Directed by Liz Hines, who is credentialed through An Coimisiun in Dublin Ireland, Eilis Academy hopes to inspire joy of dance in their dancers while instilling the discipline and determination required to succeed in the sport! Their dancers are so excited to return to Irish Fair for their 4th year. www.escalatedance.com

Green Fire

Green Fire Irish Dancers was founded by Edward Koehne 14 years ago with the help of artistic director Elaine Murray. It includes performers of all ages dancing together. Instead of competition Green Fire is based on cooperation and friendship. facebook.com/pages/Green-Fire-Irish-Dancers

Knocknagow Irish Dancers

Knocknagow Irish Dancers are based in Minneapolis/St.Paul area of Minnesota. Active in the Twin Cities since 1985, Knocknagow dances traditional Ceili and Set dances. Many of their dancers have background in Irish step dancing and have studied Sean Nos. Both styles are incorporated into their performaces and choreographies. www.knocknagowirishdancers.com

Mactír Academy of Irish Dance

Mactír Academy of Irish Dance (meaning Wolf Academy of Irish Dance) offers both competitive and performance based classes with a focus on precision, teamwork, and grace. Mactír strives to be the premiere team-based competition school in Minnesota, where dancers and families choose their own journey. Whether that is going to a couple feiseanna (competitions) a year, performing with local and international bands, or competing in the Irish Dance World Championships. Our dancers celebrate this exquisite art form in a variety of settings and spread the joy of Irish Dance to everyone they meet. This will be Mactír Academy’s third year performing at Irish Fair and the dancers cannot wait to be a part of the nation’s largest free Irish festival! www.mactiririshdance.com

Mooncoin Ceili Dancers

The excitement of Irish dance is mainly in the legs and feet, with quick, graceful movements or vigorous battering steps carrying dancers though the complex, often geometrically patterned dances. Irish ceili and set dance are forms of dance that have traditionally been practiced socially. These are the dances that have brought people together for celebrations of all kinds throughout Irish history. Mooncoin Ceili Dancers honor these traditional dances, while infusing them with a modern performance spirit. We also create new dances in the ceili and set styles, demonstrating that all traditions are living, growing, constantly evolving entities that bring many and varied meanings into the lives of those who share them. www.mooncoinceili.com

Mulhern School of Irish Dance

The Mulhern School of Irish Dance offers lessons in Eden Prairie, MN and in the Chicago area. The school was established in 2001 by sisters Eileen Mulhern O'Kane and Coleen Mulhern Malloy, both accomplished dancers themselves who have trained with Irish dancing legends Pat Roche, Dennis & Margie Dennehey, and Michael Flatley. Mulhern expanded their school from Chicago up to the Twin Cities four years ago and trains both recreational and competitive dancers - Introductory Beginners up through Championship level including ceili team dancing. The school has earned Regional, National, and Great Britain Championship titles, and many World, All Ireland, All Scotland and British Nationals medals. This is Mulhern's third year participating at Irish Fair and we are delighted to be a part of this wonderful celebration of Irish culture, music and dance. We bring a range in level of dancers today, our 4 year olds up to 18 year olds, from beginners and first time performers to World Qualified dancers. www.mulhernschoolofirishdance.com

North Star Irish Dancers

North Star Irish dance is an Irish dance program offered through Deanne's Dance Studio in Minnetonka and Division Street dance in Northfield. Many of the dancers practice multiple dance styles and enjoy having the opportunity to join the Irish dance community too! The program is open to ages 5 through... older!

NSID has been performing at Irish Fair for six years - it's one of their favorite events! www.northstaririshdance.com

O’Shea Irish Dance

O'Shea Irish Dance is led by director Cormac O'Sé, original cast member of Riverdance. Cormac toured for six years with Riverdance, performing over 2000 performances, across four continents to over two million people. He can be seen in the original film, Riverdance, The Show and four other video productions. Cormac’s dancers compete successfully at the Regional, National and World Championship levels. His dancers hold 2 Regional Solo titles, 2 Regional Team titles, 2 National Solo titles. Cormac recently propelled his world team to 6th in the world; 2 solo dancers to multiple world medals in the world.

Cormac and Natalie with their O’Shea Dancers have also create three professional stage productions; Get Up Your Irish, Kickin’ It Irish & the Celtic Holiday Hooley to sold-out crowds at Stepping Stone Theater & Chanhassen Dinner Theaters. They are announcing their fourth show - Celtic Beat, to be produced at Stepping Stone in the Spring! www.osheairishdance.com

Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers

The Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers are a performance-based Irish dance school from St. Paul. Founded in 2003 by owner and director Katie Stephens Spangler, Rince na Chroi averages over 100 public performances throughout the year- and the Irish Fair of Minnesota is always a highlight! Rince na Chroi has over 200 dancers of all ages, and they accept students as young as three, up through adults. Their dancers perform year-round at venues and events all over the Twin Cities and the Midwest. Visit their website or find Rince na Chroi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for more information. www.rincenachroi.com

Rince Nua Irish Dance

Rince Nua Irish Dance is an award-winning dance studio in Maple Grove that offers a year-round program for dancers ages 3 through adult. At Rince Nua, dancers explore Irish dance through a wide variety of classroom, performance, and competitive experiences. Owner, Erin Cooney is a certified Instructor (ODCRN) with Cumann Rince Náisiúnta, the National Dance Association based in Dublin, Ireland. As a member school of Cumann Rince Náisiúnta, Rince Nua’s dancers have had the opportunity to achieve greatness, having won top awards in both Team and Solo Competitions at the Regional, National, and World Championship level.

Rince Nua’s semester-based program starts in September and May with new student information sessions held in August and April. www.rincenua.com

Saint Paul Irish Dancers

Founder of St. Paul Irish Dancers, Eileen Dahill, parlayed a 1993 Minnesota Folk Arts grant into establishing St. Paul Irish Dancers. St. Paul Irish Dancers is a hearty Irish Stew of step dancing, figure work, and choreography that has evolved to becoming a Minnesota gateway to Irish culture through dance. In celebrating their 20th year of Irish dance they are proudest of expanding performances regionally in the 5 state area. They are known for their collaborative percussive work with tap and flamingo artists and travel regionally with the Ring of Kerry Band. Some "pit stops" this year have included the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud, the Get Lucky half marathon, St. Paul Irish Dancer's annual show, the Rhythm in the River in Jackson, Minnesota and now at Irish Fair of Minnesota. facebook.com/SaintPaulIrishDancers

Shamrock School of Irish Step Dance

The Shamrock School of Irish Step Dance is one of the longest running schools in the Twin Cities and is a performance and competitive school with many accomplished dancers at all levels. Our school is steeped in Irish culture and tradition as our founder- May Kirmer Buckley was born in Dublin, Ireland and a prominent dancer at the Theater Royle in Dublin’s fair city that moved to the US in 1945 after marry a “a prominent American soldier and a good looking Yankee in a uniform!” A love of Irish Dance and of continuing to foster the perfection and a passion for this sport/art form is what our school is all about. We offer classes from 4 through college ages and are based in Eagan, MN. We love participating in the Irish Fair of Minnesota and welcome new students. www.shamrockirishdance.com