Saint Joseph’s University’s Irish Dance Club aims to teach, practice, and perform Irish step dancing. The club is made up of students who came together based on their common appreciation for Irish dance. They want to share their passion for it with others.
Irish dance meetings are held weekly, and a typical meeting includes teaching, choreographing, and practicing the fundamentals of Irish dance. They try to make their dances easy to pick-up so new members can step right in. The club consists of 20 dancers, with a wide range going from beginners to world competitors, and from seniors to freshmen.
Junior member of the club Kelly Flynn says “this is one of my favorite groups of people on campus. Coming into SJU I had never Irish danced before, but I was living amongst girls that were in the club. They convinced me to come to a few practices and I ended up loving it.”
Freshman member Megan Conville decided to join the club out of her experience and love for Irish dance. “I’ve been an Irish dancer for 13 years now, and it’s something I’m really passionate about so I was super excited to hear that we had an Irish dancing club here.” Megan joined since “it seemed a really good opportunity to meet people who are also interested in Irish step dancing and heritage like me.”
To share their love of both the craft of dance itself and their own Irish traditions, the club hosts performances around campus and Philadelphia. They performed at the Irish Heritage Party, at the Fillmore Philadelphia, last March.
One of their highest accolades includes placing fourth overall out of 13 Irish step clubs last November at the 5th annual Villanova Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival. The festival features collegiate Irish dancers from all across America. The club represents Saint Josephs’ University at the competition every year.
In the spring, the club also hosts their own showcase where they will be inviting other clubs at Saint Joseph’s University such as the City Belles to come collaborate for a performance.
The group meets Thursday’s from 7:00pm to 8:15pm in the O’Pake recreation center, on the ground floor. Their next performance is at the 6th annual Villanova Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival on Saturday, November 10th. Tickets are on sale at www.villanovatix.com