Monday, August 16, 2010

Irish Dance & Culture

This may seem a bit of a trick question of the when-is-the-4th-of-July ilk, but it must be asked: Irish dance is strongest in which two areas of the world? Answer: (1) Ireland and (2) America’s Midwest, specifically Chicago and Milwaukee. The strongest Irish dance competitors and best performers are from these two parts of the world.  And the strongest Irish dance schools are located there as well. A young Irish dance school—only four years old—is located in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee. Rince Nia Academy of Irish Dance & Culture offers students, ages four through adult, the opportunity to learn Irish dance for competition and performance. “Rince Nia,” pronounced rinka nia, is Irish for dance champion.  Rince Nia will perform at Milwaukee Irish Fest, the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture, with more than 100 entertainment acts at the four-day, 16-stage event, running August 19-22, 2010. The Academy is owned by Sean & Jillian Beglan, both former performers in Riverdance. Sean, who was the lead in Riverdance, was recently interviewed on Lake Effect, produced by the local NPR affiliate, WUWM. The interesting interview provides a mini-bio of Sean, describing his career from his roots in County Caven Ireland to becoming the owner, primary instructor and artistic director of Rince Nia Academy of Irish Dance & Culture, as well as describing the school’s family-oriented, student-centered teaching approach.

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