Irish Dancing Clubs & College Life!

As seen in Irish Dancing Magazine's Aug/Sept 2019 issue. 

 

Leaving your childhood passion behind is bittersweet for many students heading off to university. In fact, most Irish Dancers decide to hang up their dance shoes when heading to college, but do they actually need to? Did you know the art of Irish Dance is alive and well on college campuses? IDM's Julia Topper PhD investigates the college dance scene. Check it out!

 As an incoming freshman at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Delaney Coppola wanted to continue Irish Dancing. “Irish Dancing had been such a big part of my life—all day, every day. Whenever I had free time, it was filled with Irish Dance, which I loved.” Delaney, now a rising senior, had spent most of her life dancing with the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance in Maryland.

As we sat together with her fellow club member and Culkin dancer Katherine Lalos, she told me about how her dance school had helped to form who she was growing up: her friends, her work ethic, and her sense of belonging to a community. She wanted to bring all of this to her college.

It took quite a bit of work to get a club started—seventy-five signatures on a petition, a constitution, budget, and club plan had to be written and approved by the university, but Delaney worked with her co-president Stephanie Crispell to get the Saint Joseph’s University Irish Dance Team up and running successfully.They started with ten people who regularly attended and have nearly doubled that number in the two years of the group’s existence, performing in events around campus and the city.

The club has even started their own showcase, joining forces with an a cappella group for their first performance, and a hip-hop group for the second. The showcases have been very successful for the club, as Katherine noted, “Seeing how much all the other students love Irish dance club is so cool. . .Everyone wants to come. Everyone in the crowd is calling out names, cheering so loud, it’s just so cool.” .......

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The Best Gifts of 2019 for Irish Dancers!

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