O’Shea Irish Dance is my Irish dance school. It is part of the Celtic Junction building. O’Shea teaches Irish dance for kindergarteners to adults.
The dance company moved to the Celtic Junction two years ago. It has three studios. O’Shea participates in the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Landmark Center, the Irish Fair at Harriet Island in August, and Minnesota feishes (dance contests). They also go to the championships.
There are many types of Irish dances. They include slip jigs, single jigs, treble jigs, and hornpipes. There’s another dance that has a name, but at O’Shea we just call it a jig. Irish dancers also do reels, but reels are actually Scottish.
Jigs and reels are done in soft shoes, which are black and look a little like ballet shoes. Treble jigs and hornpipes are done in hard shoes—black shoes with buckles that are similar to tap shoes. For performances, we wear blue dresses with blue bloomers. Bloomers are like underwear, except you wear them like they are shorts.
There is also ceili dancing. Ceili dancing is a dance done with a partner. Usually when you dance, your hands and arms are down at your side. In ceili dancing, your arms are up and you hold your partner’s hand.
O’Shea Irish Dance teaches all of these dances. Once you are in the advanced classes, it’s amazing what you can do. Performing with O’Shea is a lot of fun. I love doing Irish dance. There are many other reasons O’Shea is one of my most favorite places in Saint Paul!
Fiona McKen is a seventh grade student in Saint Paul, MN.