Traditional and Old-Style Irish Dance
January Semester dates coming soon!
Jackie founded, directs, and teaches O'Riley Irish Dance, a one-of-a-kind non-competitive Irish dance program for kids and teens, now in it's 10th year. The classes emphasize dancing as a joyful, social activity rather than a competitive one. Although each class addresses developing rhythm, timing, and technique, first and foremost the emphasis is on musicality: understanding the connection between music and dance, developing a listening ear, and trying to keep the music in the dancing. In the advanced level, students collaborate with live musicians. Students learn a mix of traditional step dancing, sean-nós dance, and set dancing, as well as some soft shoe and ceili dancing. Most importantly, Jackie is trying to pass onto her dancers not just the steps themselves, but the joy and vitality of carrying on this living tradition.
Classes are held at:
2019 Spring Class Schedule
SATURDAYS - Dance Complex (Cambridge)
Sept 7 - Dec 14, no class Oct 12, Nov 30
12:15-1:15: Continuing Irish Dance – $216 (This class starts Sept 14, not Sept 7).
1:15-2:30: Continuing Irish Dance II – $247
WEDNESDAYS – CanAm Club (Watertown)
Sept 4 - Dec 18, no class Oct 2, Nov 27 and one other day TBD
5:00-6:15: Continuing Irish Dance II - $247
5:30-7:00: Intermediate/Advanced Irish Dance - $260
THURSDAYS – West Medford Community Ctr. (Medford)
Sept 5 - Dec 12, no class Oct 31, Nov 28
3:45-4:30: Beginner Irish Dance – $208
4:30-5:30: Continuing Irish Dance - $234
2020 End-of-Year Performance and Celebration - May 10, 2020
A Sunday morning in May - TBD
Two shows: 10:15am and 11:45am
Performance Group/Junior Performance Group
The O'Riley Irish Dance Performance Group was started as a project to challenge the more experienced dancers to develop a different skill set, including working with live music, developing improvisation skills, and helping to create choreography. It also has provided them an outlet to share their hard work and passion with others. The result has been a tight-knit group that has developed an intuitive rapport with each other on-stage and off. Memorable performances to date include dancing with the Barra-MacNeils at the Chevalier Theater in Medford, MA 2015, dancing and as part of a Kieran Jordan production titled "Little Gifts" in Cambridge, MA, 2016, and self-produced shows including "The Next Step" in 2017 and "In Harmony" in 2018!
This year, 2019, our performance group is taking part in the Marion Arts Center "ArtWeek", with a half hour stage show, and then an interactive family ceili, where we'll be teaching and facilitating social dances for the audience.
The wonderful Hannah DeRusha has been instrumental in carrying on and developing the programming for our younger students. Hannah is a lifelong Irish dancer, and has extensive experience performing, competing, and teaching both children and adults. She holds a Master's degree in early childhood education and currently teaches school in Winchester. This is her fifth year teaching with O'Riley Irish Dance!
Shoe Exchange Program
To help offset the costs of buying new shoes for ever-growing young feet, I’ve started a shoe exchange program. For those that wish to donate their old dancing shoes, I will hold onto them and make them available to others to "rent". Dancers wishing to rent them will pay a one-time very small donation and use the shoes until they grow out of them. The money collected is used on something fun for the dancers – live music in class, our holiday party, etc.