Winter 2017

Workshops

Kieran presents workshops internationally, for universities, Irish dancing groups, dance studios, and other organizations. She is available to teach the following workshops, or to design one specifically for your program. For more information, contact Kieran.

Sean-nós Irish Dance Workshops

Sean-nós means “old-style” in the Irish language. As a solo, improvised form of dance, the sean-nós style is as varied and unique as every dancer who dances it. A sean-nós dance performance is often informal, playful, and expressive, allowing the dancer to engage in a here-and-now dialogue with the music. Distinct from more modern forms of Irish step dancing, sean-nós dancing feature short rhythmic patterns, subtle movements with footwork kept close-to-the-floor, and a loose, relaxed upper body.

Sean-nós dance nearly died out in the 20th century but is now experiencing a major revival in Ireland and worldwide. Kieran has studied sean-nós dance traditions from Connemara and West Clare, and has become a major figure in teaching and performing it in the US. In 2005, she won Second Place in the Comórtas Chóilín Sheáin Dharach, the sean-nós jig competition in Ros Muc, County Galway. Kieran has produced two DVDs on sean-nós dance — the documentary Secrets of the Sole and the instructional video Musical Feet! — and has taught sean-nós dance workshops in Canada, Germany, Ireland, throughout the US. Students should wear supportive shoes with a smooth hard sole.

Beyond the Feis™ Workshop for Experienced Irish Dancers

Read testimonials from workshop particpants

Testimonials from Kieran’s Workshop Participants

“Everybody was ‘jazzed’ about your workshop. We're going to keep the ball rolling and work on our organic dance selves! I'm very creatively inspired right now, and much of that is thanks to your wonderful energy and talent.”

— Piper Call, Inisheer Irish Dance Company, Florida

“Thank you for a fabulously fun week of class. I appreciated your patience, professionalism, and great focus. I was very sorry to see it end!”

— Patricia Flanagan, Catskills Irish Arts Week

“Thank you for your wonderful workshop. You are an inspiration and a true talent.”

— Cherley Kane, Blas International Summer School, Limerick, Ireland

“The weekend workshops were fantastic! I'd be hard-pressed to pick my favorite one. The performance technique exercises were enormously helpful. The tricky part is incorporating them into my every day dancing… something to strive for! I loved the choreography creation and the percussive dance jam. I could spend a whole weekend just doing those two activities. Looking forward to the next workshop.”

— Dan Binette, Beyond the Feis Workshop, Boston

Beyond the Feis™ is Kieran’s workshop for Irish dancing schools. It is designed to introduce Irish step dancers to aspects of traditional dance and music that extend beyond competition steps and competition culture. The workshop lasts one to two days and can be tailored specifically to meet the needs and interests of a particular dancing school. It is best suited to dancers ages 11 and up. Topics include:

  • The History of Irish Dance
  • Music for Dancers: Understanding Traditional Irish Music and Working With Musicians
  • Safety Dance: Warm-ups, Alignment, Stretching, and Strengthening for Irish Dance
  • Skills for Stage: Enhancing Your Performance Technique
  • Introduction to “Sean-nós” (old style) Irish step dance
  • Introduction to Irish Set Dancing
  • Survey of Related Step Dance Styles (Cape Breton, Appalachian Clogging, Tap)
  • Improvisation in Hard Shoe Dance (Percussive Dance Jam)
  • Choreography and Composition for Irish Dance Performance

For more information, please contact Kieran.