what’s new

Announcing — Footnotes!

February 23, 2023 — I’m thrilled to announce the release of Footnotes, my new online platform for Irish Step Dancing! Footnotes is a living archive and a video library of my steps. It is available by monthly or annual subscription and can be streamed on any device. Check it out at footnotes.kieranjordan.com!

This is a project I have wanted to do — and students have asked me to do — for a long time. When my bricks-and-mortar studio closed during the pandemic in December 2021, it felt like the right time to start building this, in order to document my steps and teaching style, and to create an online instructional resource that is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime! There are 50 videos in this initial collection, and that is just the beginning of all the steps I hope to record.

Please view the trailer, enjoy the 7-day free trial, and subscribe to join my student community!

New Logo

February 1, 2022 — I’m so happy to share my new logo for Kieran Jordan Dance ~ Movement ~ Healing Arts! In addition to dance, I am now offering more somatic movement experiences, plus hands-on healing sessions in Polarity Therapy. So it feels great to have a new look to reflect that!

The new logo features a version of the triple spiral — one of the most ancient Irish symbols (it is found on the entrance stone at Newgrange). The three spirals are said to represent many ideas, including the unity of body, mind, and spirit — which is also one of the main tenets of Polarity Therapy. The dancer reachers into that universal source and also steps outside of it, sharing movement, creativity and human touch with the world!

I designed and sketched (very badly!) these ideas over the winter holidays while I was icing my injured ankle and recovering from COVID. This little art project and the meaning behind it gave me hope for brighter possibilities to emerge. Then my husband Vincent Crotty painted it so beautifully, and our long-time web designer Robin Friedman pulled it all together with the lettering and layout.

My expanded work with the body is a direct extension of my own personal growth, challenges, and healing work over the years. Thanks to YOU — my faithful students, collaborators and friends — for staying with me on the journey.

Funk & Folk Podcast

September 2021 — It was an pleasure to speak with my friend and colleague, Catherine Young, for her Funk & Folk Podcast — Connecting Cultures Through Dance. Catherine, in collaboration with Siamsa Tire, in Tralee, County Kerry, have curated a podcast series to accompany their Funk & Folk workshops (in which I taught sean-nós dance a few months ago). In our conversation, we discussed the similar approaches in sean-nós dance and contemporary dance, my background as an Irish American step dancer, and the power of dance to change the world! This inaugural series includes an episode with each of these five dance artists.

Sekou Heru – House dance
Noora Baker – Palestinian Dabke dance
Sonia Sabri Company – Indian Kathak
Kieran Jordan – Sean nós/old style Irish
Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) – Afro-Haitian dance

You can listen to all the episodes here!


New Documentary: The Dance Furey Dance Group and a Circle of Squares

My new documentary premiered as part of the 2021 Leitrim Dance Festival in Ireland! The Dan Furey Dance Group and a Circle of Squares traces the history of the Dan Furey Dance Group — and the teaching and travels of Céline and Michael Tubridy — to our Irish dance community in Boston, and around the world. Most importantly, this film highlights the friendships and social connections that can happen through music and dance — inspiring us through the best of times, and sustaining through the worst (like the COVID-19 pandemic). This film is a personal story, as well as a global one, and a reflection of our current experience.


View on Youtube: film trailer and full film

Read the review from The Irish Echo

Read the feature story in Boston Irish


Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

My long-time student, Rebecca McGowan, and I are the grateful recipients of a 2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Traditional Arts Apprenticeship. This two-year grant supports one-on-one teaching and learning in the traditional arts. Our project allows me to share my lifelong repertoire of Irish set dances with Rebecca — stretching back to dances I competed with as a child, right up to my own contemporary compositions. Thanks to this funding, Rebecca and I have been able to meet in person throughout the pandemic to focus on this unique collection of dances. We shared our work in progress at an informal showing at the Dance Complex in Cambridge on October 29, 2021.

Film Collaboration with Julia Loida

Musician, composer, and producer Julian Loida has created a short film, My Gentle Harp, to honor the memory of his Irish grandmother. This is a very personal piece for Julian and his family, yet it reflects universal themes which inspired me as I created, blending music and storytelling with contemporary dance. Perhaps some of these themes — news of a death in the family, separation from loved ones, Irish American identity, and a sense of pride and purpose in that — might resonate with you too. In 2020, with so many COVID restrictions and performance cancellations, I welcomed this chance for new collaboration. After many dance-making sessions alone in my studio, plus drafts and revisions with Julian on Zoom, we came together with video artist Louise Bichan to film at the Milton Club in Milton, Massachusetts — an old-world space that seemed to reflect the time and character of the piece. The film was released on March 4, 2021, the five-year anniversary of Julian’s grandmother’s death.

Learn more and watch the film here.

Update April 2022 — My Gentle Harp won Best Dance Film (Shorts) at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival!

Lyme: A Journey Through Illness and Healing

As many people in my dance and music world know, I got extremely sick in July of 2017, and it took about 10 months to get a correct diagnosis of Lyme Disease and co-infections. I’m still dealing with the symptoms and challenges of this illness — it has changed my life dramatically. Many of you have followed my updates about this on Facebook and GoFundMe. Thank you for all the encouragement, love, and support!

I have been trying to put some of my story into a dance, and I performed this live at BCMFest (the Boston Celtic Music Festival) in Cambridge on January 19, 2019. It’s an 18-minute dance solo, called “Lyme: A Journey Through Illness and Healing.” It’s storytelling through music and movement — with all original choreography — and I suppose you could say it is “work-in-progress,” as my healing is still in progress.

My goals in taking on this project were to regain some of my dance strength and stamina, to focus my mind on something positive, and to reconnect with the work I love, while continuing with the long and involved treatment of this disease.

In making this work from October to January, I was deeply reminded of the transformative power of art. The creative process required me to relive the trauma of getting sick — to step right down into the pain of it — and then find a non-verbal way to express it. Over time, by showing up at the studio, brainstorming ideas, trying out music, improvising, and composing, I found that I was able to take some of the pain out of the experience (by taking power over it?), by MAKING something of it. I could feel my body getting physically stronger, as challenging sections of the dance started to feel easier over time. And it was empowering to realize that my BODY — the very same one that felt sick and broken — could be the vessel for this form of artistic communication and transformation.

By the time the piece was rehearsed and ready, I just wanted to have FUN on stage. But it’s not all jigs and reels — some of it involves very raw and personal ways of moving. Being able to share that vulnerability with an audience, and to feel the attention in the room, was the greatest privilege. And revisiting aspects of performance that I know and love so well — the grid of the stage lights above me, live music surrounding me, my own public offering of breath and percussive sound — felt like coming home. Thank you to Christine Hedden and Matt Heaton for collaborating with me on the music, and to all the friends who were able to be there on the day.

Read more about it on the BCMFest Blog and watch the full performance here.

2018 Artist Fellowship

Thank you to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for awarding me a 2018 Artist Fellowship! Congratulations to the other amazing grant recipients, including my long-time music collaborator Paddy League and my dance student Emerald Rae! I’m honored to be working as a traditional artist in Massachusetts, and so grateful for this recognition and support.

Read all about it here from the MCC.

Irish Music Stories Podcast

I enjoyed talking with Shannon Heaton for her Irish Music Stories podcast! Shannon’s podcast is beautifully produced, with thoughtful interviews with Irish music and dance artists from all over the world. Her Episode 8 called “Miss McLeod’s Reel at 113” includes interviews with me, Liam Ó Scanláin, the Glencastle Irish Dancers, and musician Jimmy Keane, and explores how Irish dance connects with traditional music today. It also features music from the CD I produced called Cover the Buckle.

Enjoy the podcast here!

New Collaboration with Symphony Nova

March 2017 — Announcing a new collaboration between Kieran Jordan Dance and the classical chamber orchestra Symphony Nova! I met Larry Isaacson, director of Symphony Nova, about two years ago on an Amtrak train, as we were both coming home from New York to Boston. We shared some ideas and conversation, and that’s how this all started. For this project, I’ve choreographed five new dances pieces to music by the 17th century Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan — creating steps to Irish music compositions that are not often thought of as “dance tunes.”

I worked with Symphony Nova arranger David Dziardziel on ideas, tempos, and arrangements, and rehearsals among musicians and dancers got underway. I am grateful to my dancers Hannah DeRusha, Madeleine Frasca, and Rebecca McGowan for joining me in this creative process. We were thrilled to perform our new work on a snowy night, Friday, March 10th, 2017, at Arts at the Armory in Somerville, with live chamber orchestra!

View our performance of “O’Carolan’s Concerto” here.

KJD Studio Featured In The Improper Bostonian

Thanks to The Improper Bostonian for this amazing feature about the new studio in their Spring Arts Preview!

Read the full article here!

Kieran Jordan Dance Studio Opens In Hyde Park

I’m so excited to announce that as of January 1, 2017, I have opened a new studio space of my own in Hyde Park, Boston! This is a dedicated home for Irish dance and other forms of movement — a place for people to gather, learn, share, and create. Newly-renovated by me and my husband Vincent Crotty (including his two hand-painted signs!), this intimate and inspiring space is the perfect home for KJD classes and rehearsals, as well as pop-up gallery exhibits, small concerts, events, and more! Also available for rentals to other creatives! It’s a perfect venue for photo and video shoots, private lessons, fitness, wellness, and healing arts. Stay tuned to my website and follow my new studio page on Facebook. I can’t wait to welcome you to my cozy and beautiful space!

Photo by Holly Rike

Cover the Buckle CD Is Here!

Cover the Buckle CD coverAfter two years of collaboration on this project, I am so pleased to release Cover the Buckle: A Collection of Irish Set Dances for Listening and Dancing. This is a new CD that I’ve produced of traditional solo set dance music, for dances like “St. Patrick’s Day,” “The Blackbird,” “The Priest and His Boots,” “Maggie Pickins,” and more. The tunes are played by Seán Clohessy on fiddle and Sean McComiskey on accordion, with accompaniment by Josh Dukes on guitar and bouzouki and Matt Mulqueen on piano, and the sound of my dancing feet on a few tracks as well. The music is bright and energizing, full of rhythm and full of life. I know you will want to dance to it!

Read the reviews in The Irish Echo and Irish Music Magazine
Download feature article in Irish Music Magazine
Learn more, download, or buy the CD here!

Kieran Jordan Dance Presents Little Gifts

Kieran Jordan Dance was named Company-In-Residence at Green Street Studios in September, 2015. The six-month residency offered us rehearsal space and the opportunity to create and produce a new show — Little Gifts — A Celebration of Irish Dance Steps and Tunes, which culminated with two sold-out performances on March 11 and 12, 2016.

A highly-collaborative production, Little Gifts featured engaging and expressive choreography, with all live music by the Vox Hunters (Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi) and John Coyne, and original set designs by Vincent Crotty. Dancers included long-time company members Jackie O’Riley, Rebecca McGowan, Kristen Kelly, and Hannah Pelton, plus Amanda Carey, Lauren Milord, and Samantha Jones. Crotty also presented his own Little Gifts as a full exhibition of oil paintings, which were on display during intermission and after the shows.

As The Boston Globe described, “the show eschews the spectacle of many large-scale productions in favor of an intimate evening of solos and small ensemble pieces highlighting the simplicity and immediacy of Irish dance.” Dance, music, visual art, and audience song and dance segments were woven together into a seamless and sensory-rich experience, that captured the warmth, energy, and beautiful imagery of Ireland.

Photo by Niko Alexandrou

Musical Feet Volume 2: The Next Step Is Now Available

Musical Feet Vol 2 The Next Step

December 2015 — I am delighted to launch Musical Feet Volume 2: The Next Step — a sean-nós dance instructional video for dancers at all levels! The Next Step focuses on sean-nós jigs, with steps that develop from beginner rhythms and movements into advanced choreography. With streaming, download, and DVD options, students have maximum flexibility to learn at their own pace and in their own space! The video includes a clear and well-organized breakdown of steps, close-up camera angles on the footwork, and live music by Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi, two of the finest young traditional musicians in New England.

Read testimonials, watch a preview, and see purchase options for Musical Feet Volume 2: The Next Step

2015 Silver Key Award

On October 14, 2015, my husband Vincent Crotty and I received the Charitable Irish Society’s Silver Key Award for our contributions to the Irish community in Boston. Established in 1737, the Charitable Irish Society is the oldest Irish society in North America. Each year, the Silver Key Award recognizes individuals who continue the Society’s mission of fostering Irish hospitality, services, and culture. What an honor for us!

Vincent, a visual artist from Kanturk, County Cork, was honored for his teaching and his contributions of paintings to fundraising events for the Irish Pastoral Center, Irish International Immigration Center and many other organizations. Kieran was recognized for her non-competitive Irish dance programs, which share Irish history and culture with communities throughout Greater Boston. A third award recipient, Margaret Stapleton, originally from County Tipperary, was recognized for her philanthropy and long-term commitment to helping the homeless in Boston. The award presentations were made by Sandra L. Moody, Keeper of the Silver Key, at the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel.

Willie Clancy Summer School 2015

Willie Clancy summer schoolThis summer, I will be heading to Ireland to teach and perform at the 43rd Annual Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, County Clare! I am so excited to be part of this festival and to be working with my long-time dance friends Kevin Doyle and Aidan Vaughan.

Kevin, Aidan, and I will teach three afternoon workshops called “Side by Side” — dancing the connections between old-style Irish step dancing, sean-nós battering steps, and tap, and the choreography we can create from these styles. In addition, Kevin and I will give an illustrated lecture/demo called “Far from Home but Close to the Floor: the Irish Roots of American Tap Dance.” We will also perform together in the Thursday night dance recital and Saturday night finale concert.

This collaboration was inspired in part by my 2008 film: Secrets of the Sole: Irish Dance Steps and Stories Featuring Kevin Doyle and Aidan Vaughan

Kieran Jordan Dance Presents The Living Landscape

the living landscapes, original productionThe Living Landscape, a production of Kieran Jordan Dance, is an evening-length dance theatre work celebrating Ireland’s traditional seasonal festivals — Lughnasadh, Samhain, Imbolc, and Bealtaine — through new choreography, live music, and projected images of original paintings. Twice named in the “Critic’s Picks” in The Boston Globe, this show was first produced in 2013 as a collaboration between Kieran Jordan Dance and modern dance company Falling Flight Project. Restaged in 2014 by Kieran Jordan, the show features dancers Amanda Carey, Kristen Kelly, Rebecca McGowan, Kelley O’Carroll, Jackie O’Riley, Hannah Pelton, and Jen Schoonover and musicians Laurel Martin, Mark Roberts, and Cleek Schrey, with lighting by Stephen Petrilli and sets by Vincent Crotty.

Dancer and arts advocate Erica Sigal writes, “Kieran creates an almost magical environment for her dancers and herself — with soft atmospheric lighting, paintings of Irish scenes as backdrops, props that enhance each scene, and gorgeous live music. Her choreography is spirited and fun, sometimes delicate, sometimes lively.”

Photo by Brandon Fitch

Atlantic Steps On Tour and In the News

Following an exciting 2012 American debut — at summer festivals including the Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio, Irishfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Irish Fair of Minnesota — Atlantic Steps completed a highly successful 2013 run at performing arts centers throughout Arizona, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. In 2014, the show gained fans and momentum with sold-out theater engagements in California, Michigan, New Hampshire, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Everything old is new again in the show Atlantic Steps. Sean-nós, the old style of Irish dance that celebrates freedom of movement, unlike the rigid uniformity of competitive step dance, is enjoying a resurgence. Connemara, Ireland, native Brian Cunningham and Cambridge-based dancer Kieran Jordan lead the charge in this stage show.” — Boston Herald

In the way that Riverdance popularized Irish step dancing in a theatrical context, a new show called Atlantic Steps may help spread the excitement about sean-nós.” — The Boston Globe

Do yourself a favor and check out Atlantic Steps. It’s filled with outstanding dancers, great music and the compelling story it tells of this often overlooked style of Irish dancing is absolutely refreshing.” — The Irish Echo

Photo by Niko Alexandrou

Three Ducks and a Goose: A New Set Dance in the Traditional Old Style

Three Ducks and a Goose, book and CDIn November, 2012, Boston-based fiddle player and composer, Brendan Tonra (originally from Gowlan, County Mayo) released a children’s book called Three Ducks and a Goose: An Irish Tale and Tune. With illustrations by Kendra D’Angora, Tonra’s story recounts a happy childhood memory of watching ducks and geese splash around the family farmyard in Ireland. The book includes an audio recording of Tonra’s fiddle composition by the same name, which is a set dance in jig time. Helen Kisiel, the project’s co-producer and Tonra’s long-time piano accompanist, invited Kieran to add foot percussion to “Three Ducks and a Goose.” Kieran choreographed a new set dance to accompany the tune, using her feet to mimic the ducks and goose, while drawing on old style step dancing footwork to create a dance in the genre of the centuries old “traditional sets.” Kieran’s dancing can be heard on the CD, along with a children’s chorus singing the lyrics to “Three Ducks and a Goose,” and the distinctive playing of Brendan Tonra on fiddle and Helen Kisiel on piano.

Three Ducks and a Goose is available here.

Kieran joins Atlantic Steps as Co-Director/Choreographer

I’m thrilled to join Atlantic Steps as Co-Director/Choreographer and a performer for its US debut in 2012-2013! Atlantic Steps is the story of sean-nós dance — one of Ireland’s oldest dance forms — portrayed through music, song, dance, and the Atlantic Ocean inspired energy of the Connemara region. The US tour features a new cast of American dancers, specially-commissioned set designs by Vincent Crotty, and new scenes written collaboratively by me and the show producers. Centered around the joyful and unbridled enthusiasm of Connemara dancer Brian Cunningham, Atlantic Steps continues to move festival and theater audiences to their feet, bringing sean-nós dance to the world stage!

Read feature story in the Dorchester Reporter

Photo by Kevin Littlefield

2011 CD Release by Triptych: Laura Risk, Kieran Jordan, Paddy League

Triptych CD coverThe debut album from Triptych is now available! With a mix of songs and tunes from Irish, Scottish and French-Canadian traditions, plus some originals, this CD showcases the fluid, improvisational energy of this trio.

The Boston Irish Reporter writes: “There is something innately refreshing about Triptych…. Whereas the trend in Irish/Celtic music is often ‘more is more,’ Triptych opts for a stripped-down sound of fiddle, guitar, and percussive dance — or, if you will, fiddle, guitar and feet — casting the basic components of melody and rhythm into sharp relief.

League’s inventive accompaniment, on bodhran and snare drum as well as guitar, bears the influence of jazz, Latin and world music, while Jordan’s command of improvisational sean-nós, Cape Breton step, and other dance styles makes for a solid complement — she’s a living musical instrument in and of herself. And Risk is such a strong, expressive player that she keeps the melody squarely in the forefront.”

Enjoy audio and video samples at Triptych.

Download the recording at CD Baby or Band Camp.

Teaching News: Kieran Joins BC Faculty and Wins MCC Teaching Grant

In September 2010, Kieran joined the Irish Studies Program at Boston College as part-time faculty. She is delighted to be back at her alma mater, teaching Traditional Irish Dance for undergraduates. Her course includes dance technique and repertoire, as well as Irish dance history, presented through video viewings, readings, and discussions.

Kieran Jordan and fiddler/dancer Emerald Rae were awarded a 2010 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The grant supports one year of lessons and mentoring, for Emerald to learn Kieran’s repertoire and teaching methods in “old style” Irish dance. Their work will culminate with a joint performance/demonstration.

Kieran Releases Musical Feet! Sean-nós Dance Instructional DVD

Musical Feet! instructional video
In Musical Feet!, Kieran teaches the basic footwork of sean-nós (“old style”) Irish step dance, breaking down steps into simple movements that anyone can learn to do. She has created a true progression of steps, from the most basic walking steps to the more intricate shuffling patterns. This comprehensive tutorial is designed for beginners of all ages, and for anyone who wants to learn more about sean-nós Irish dance. Whether you are part of a class or learning on your own, you will appreciate the Kieran’s confident teaching style, warm spirit, and life-long passion for Irish music and dance.

Musical Feet! is available here.

Kieran Receives Golden Bridges Award

Kieran was named as a recipient of a Golden Bridges Award, presented by the Irish Echo and the Boston Irish Reporter newspapers. The award ceremony took place at the Boston World Trade Centre on Thursday, October 8, 2009 and was the culminating event of the “Gateways to Tomorrow” conference, aimed at building bridges between Boston and Northwest Ireland, and recognizing a shared passion for the cultural values of Ireland and the USA.

New DVD — Secrets of the Sole

Secrets of the Sole Irish Dance Steps and StoriesSecrets of the Sole, released in 2008, features the dance steps and stories of Kevin Doyle and Aidan Vaughan. “Kevin has been my close collaborator and step dance partner for many years, and Aidan has been my most influential teacher in sean-nós dance,” Kieran explains. “I wanted to make a video that would celebrate and explain their particular dance styles, capture their live performance energy, and tell the history of Irish dance through their individual life stories.” Written, narrated, and produced by Kieran, Secrets of the Sole includes the fabulous playing of Sean Gannon on accordion and George Keith on fiddle. This creative documentary will appeal to viewers all ages, and to anyone who enjoys the remarkable traditions of Irish music and dance.

Kieran Receives State Art Fellowship

Massachusetts Cultural CouncilKieran has been awarded a 2008 Artist Fellowship by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, in the category of Traditional Arts. Artist Fellowships provide assistance to individual artists “to recognize excellence and creative ability and to support further development of their talents.” This year, 39 fellowships were awarded from a pool of 1,800 applicants. Kieran was recognized for her performance and teaching work in traditional and sean-nós Irish dance.

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Live” DVD Release

Christmas Celtic Sojourn DVDKieran’s dancing and choreography are featured in A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Live, a DVD from the 2006 production of “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn.” Hosted by Brian O’Donovan of WGBH radio, the performance includes music by the Karan Casey Band, Robbie O’Connell Band, Mulcahy Family, Navan, and the O’Donovan Family. Collaborative dance pieces include the spectacular step dancing of Nicholas Yenson and the close-to-the-floor sean-nós steps of Aidan Vaughan.

In the News

Boston Irish Reporter article about Kieran and VincentKieran and her husband Vincent are featured on the cover of the April 2007 Boston Irish Reporter. Read all about it by downloading a pdf version of the two-page article.