Like most Irish Dance enthusiasts, we were motivated by the shows “Lord of the Dance” and “Riverdance” to start learning Irish Dance.
For almost a year, we attended an Irish Dance class in a dancing school here in Vienna. However, because of the teacher’s lack of qualification in Irish Dance, we decided to go to Ireland to work with a professional TCRG (teacher registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha – the Irish Dancing Commission), so we could learn Irish Dance properly - in its original, authentic form.
Since October 2000, we have mainly been taught by our teachers Olive Hurley and Aeobheann Gillen, both in Ireland and Austria. We have acquired additional skills by participating in workshops held by other TCRGs or famous dancers from various shows, such as:
- Terry Heckman TCRG
- Dan Armstrong TCRG, ADCRG
- Daire Nolan Lord of the Dance
- Cian Nolan Lord of the Dance
- Colin Dunne Riverdance
- Joan & Lucia Rafter Riverdance
- Catherine Gallagher Riverdance
- Caroline Fahy Lord of the Dance
- Ronan Mc Cormack Riverdance
- Anne-Marie Cunningham Riverdance
- Stephen Scariff Lord of the Dance
- David Moore TCRG
One of the highlights of our new career in Irish Dancing was definitely our journey to the World Irish Dancing Championships in Scotland in March 2002. In Glasgow, we spent about 10 hours in the performance hall everyday for 11 days, to see dancers of all age groups - male and female - perform all kinds of Figure Dances, Ceili Dances, Dance Dramas, Reels, Jigs, Hornpipes, and Set Dances.
We soon discovered that on the ‘Emerald Isle’, Irish Dance is a popular form of competitive dancing for children, who start dancing at the early age of 4.
It’s absolutely amazing how advanced in Irish Dancing even 9 and 10-year-olds are in Ireland.
So we asked ourselves the question:
„Why is there no such thing in Austria?“
After many of our performances (for example at balls and celebrations) we were asked the same question: “Where can I learn to dance like this?”. So, in April 2002, we made a decision – we would open our own dance club, the “Irish Dance Center Vienna”, in order to teach Irish Dancing to many other dancers and to those who want to become dancers – especially children and young people.
In September 2002, we opened our club, starting out with one class for children and one for adults. As the saying goes, all beginnings are difficult, and that was true in our case, too – at first, we only taught 3 children and 6 adults.
Now, more than 5 years later, we have as many as 100 dance students.
Together with our most advanced students, we developed our highly successful school performance “Irish Dance & Music”. Accompanied by the band “Blackbush”, we presented our programme on stage in December 2004, 2005 + June 2007. In December 2009 we performed together with the band "Shaskeen", who will also run with us the next show in February 2011.
In international competitions – called “Feisanna” – our students are among the best of Europe and have won an impresssive number of medals.
In April 2009 the IDCV was represented by four dancers (Melanie, Andrea, Lisa and Viki) at the World Championships in Philadelphia
In November 2010, for the first time ever, 7 of 9 dancers qualified at the Oireachtas Rinci na Ehorpa for the World Championships in Dublin.
These results and the rising number of our students prove that mastering a broad repertoire of basic skills is essential to learning Irish Dance, and also wanted and expected by our members. After all, a solid basis is the key to a successful dancing career.
As registered members of An Coimisiùn le Rinci Gaelacha it is our duty to teach according to the Commission’s traditional rules.