Trinity Irish Dancers: Tonight Show Johnny Carson 1990

A special Trinity Irish Dancers St. Patrick’s Day treat for #TBT!

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas at Trinity Academy of Irish Dance

We’ve had a busy few weeks at Trinity Academy of Irish Dance.  With the various outdoor festivals and holiday celebrations, our performance troupes have been all over Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee spreading the holly and the jolly!  Some of our favorite events that have become traditions here at Trinity include Christmas for the Vets  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which takes place at Zablocki Veterans Hospital, the Chicago Irish Christmas Market , and the Christmas Toy Parade with the Firefighters Union Local 2.  In addition to some of our holiday standards, we had the opportunity this year to partner with the United Way Chicago , as well as the Christkindlmarket in both Chicago and Oakbrook. Our holiday performances are not over either!  We’re super excited to be part of Chi-Town Rising on New Year’s Eve this year!  Take a scroll through our holiday pictures and be sure to check back after the New Year for our pictures from the all new New Year’s event in Chicago, Chi-Town Rising.

Arts Education Has A Positive Influence On Academic Achievement

The City of New York announced  23 Million Dollar plan to boost Arts Education into their public school system.  Experts have stated for quite a long time that arts education leads to better rounded students, and according to the New York Daily News,

has a positive influence on students in terms of academic achievement and future employment.”

Trinity Academy of Irish Dance’s unique teaching philosophy centers on the empowerment of each child, with lessons focused on self-confidence and choice, allowing each child to decide their own level of participation in Irish dance. Students are never required to compete, but are always allowed the opportunity. Instructors use a distinct, noncompetitive teaching method that focuses on the beauty of the dance form as well as cultural and life lessons along the way. Trinity Academy of Irish Dance’s performance troupe  takes the philosophies of what is taught in dance classes, and celebrates the love of dance and the thrill of public entertainment.  The Trinity Academy of Irish Dance can be seen in a staggering four hundred shows a year, from community enrichment shows to parades, television shows and sports performances.

Trinity Academy of Irish Dance students are also  mentored by the dancers within the professional touring Trinity Irish Dance Company.  These professional dancers enrich our younger dancers portfolio with guest appearances in touring shows, as well as a unique tiered program that allows the Academy dancers to work their way up into professional troupe performances.  Having these more seasoned dancers, who themselves have competed with and trained through Trinity Academy of Irish Dance themselves, allows our dancers exposure to a well-rounded education unique to Trinity in the Irish Dance world.

We have always supported arts education in the classroom, and we are thrilled to hear that New York City is leading an example for other cities to follow.

 

How #IrishDance helped McGregor be a better #MMA fighter & McIlroy a better #golfer

Conor McGregor and Rory McIlroy are both well-known in the world of MMA fighting and Golfing respectively.  They both are at the top of the sport amassing thousands of wins and world-wide adulation.  In a January article published on 18Pounds the pair spoke at length about how Irish dancing helped shaped them into the fighters they are now.  This wasn’t a joking, passing comment either.  The pair both have all-time records for hip mobility as well as balance from the Center for Sport Performance in California.

Professor Galpin at the Center for Sport Performance argued that “given how the side-step is famously the basis for all traditional Irish dance styles, it was no shock that McGregor’s fluidity of lateral movement in the cage is on a par with that of any of the world’s best professional fighters, regardless of discipline.”

Do you have a son who is involved in Jiu Jitsu, Karate, BJJ, or Judo, in hopes of one day fighting in MMA? Or perhaps your son enjoys a round of golf on the weekends and wants to improve his drive.   Why not introduce Irish dancing into your son’s repertoire? Irish dance not only will help with increased stamina and core development, but as McGregor and McIlroy discussed–develops hip strength and mobility and that strong core is essential to having good balance.  Trinity Academy of Irish Dance has a unique program just for boys called Men of Trinity.  Boys are out-numbered by girls in Irish dance world-wide, but they are in integral part of Trinity’s program and we want them to have the best experience possible. We offer an additional bi-monthly class just for our male dancers.

Christmas Toy Parade with Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2

One of Trinity Academy of Irish Dance’s favorite Christmas events is the 17th Annual Christmas Toy Parade put on by the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.  This past weekend Trinity, along with members of the Chicago Firefighters and local businesses, participated in the annual event which collects toys for Catholic Charities.  These toys are distributed to needy families throughout Chicagoland.   Check out a few of the pictures below.  Congratulations to the Chicago Fire Department and Union Local 2 for another successful year!

 

 

 

 

Men of Trinity Off and Running with Guest Choreographer Colin Barkell

This past weekend, Trinity Academy of Irish Dance’s Men of Trinity program launched its 2015/2016 Season with rehearsals at both the 3rd Ward Studios and the Elmhurst Studios.  Guest choreographer Colin Barkell flew in to teach new choreography and rehearse with the boys.  Check out some of the pictures from the great MOT weekend! Pictures courtesy of Captured By Kim Photography

 

 

 

 

Trinity Irish Dance Company on NBC’s 1st Look hosted by Audrina Patridge

This past weekend, the Trinity Elmhurst Studios were buzzing with television camera crews, as NBC’s 1st Look (which airs Saturdays after SNL) joined the Trinity Irish Dance Company while they trained for their upcoming 2016 Touring Season.  The Trinity Irish Dance Company will be featured on an upcoming episode of 1st Look, projected to air sometime in January.
1st Look  is the Emmy-winning, lifestyle show that takes you to the country’s hottest destinations for amazing eats, thrilling adventures and crazy fun nightlife hosted by Audrina Patridge of The Hills fame.

We are so excited to be featured on this show, and can’t wait to watch results of their filming.  At this time we do not have an air-date but will update this post once information is solidified. All photos are courtesy of Captured By Kim Photography 

 

 

 

Leapovers on the Great Wall of China

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Sarah Ann leaps the Great Wall

When my husband and I announced to our children that we would spend two months living in China over the summer, my girls had a pressing question. It wasn’t about the food or the language or where they would live. Instead, they asked: “Can you take a picture of us doing leapovers on the Great Wall of China?”

Which just goes to show the place Irish dance has in their minds. They were both sad to miss dance classes while they were
gone, but they didn’t miss dancing. They just found new ways to do it. We started our trip in Istanbul, Turkey for a few days and then on to Seoul, Korea. While walking through a central square with a lighted fountain and music, Rachel (age 15) noted that the music was a reel. Once she figured that out, both she and Sarah Ann (age 10) couldn’t help themselves. Soon, they were jumping and spinning across the square while my 13-year-old son groaned and a crowd gathered to watch.

Rachel leaps the Great Wall in China

Rachel leaps the Great Wall in China

And that was just the beginning. Once we got to China, whenever there was an open area, the girls danced. Now keep in mind that when my four American children, with their light complexions, just walked around doing nothing out of the ordinary at all, they tended to get stares, finger pointing, and very often requests for photos. They felt like celebrities. So, when these blonde-headed girls started doing Irish dance, it drew crowds instantly. My girls did impromptu practice sessions for audiences in Dalian (where we were based), Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing. Three days before we left China, we finally made it to the Great Wall. And there, after about twenty attempts for each girl with my slow point-and-shoot camera, I captured the moment they had been waiting for since the announcement of our trip months ago: the Great Wall leapover.

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Sarah Ann & Rachel teach their host the jig at Bingyu Valley

When I think back on our summer in China, I think of learning to eat slippery noodles with chopsticks, staring out the window as hundreds of miles of beautiful Chinese countryside zoomed by on the bullet train, and of my kids teaching a bus full of Chinese kids how to sing “Let it Go” in English. But I also think of how there must be hundreds of Chinese families all across the country with photos of themselves and my children stuck to their fridge (what do you do with photos of strangers, anyway?). And there must be hundreds of Chinese families with phone videos of two American girls dancing their hearts out, hollering to each other things like “keep your back foot turned out there!” and “you didn’t close the fifth position all the way on that beat!” – and clearly having the time of their lives.

 

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Rachel & Sarah Ann take time from sightseeing in Seol for an Irish dancing break!

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Reasons Why Boys Should Dance Too!

Most forms of dance tend to have an over abundance of female dancers in comparison to their male counterparts and Irish dance is no exception!   While most boys are drawn to other forms of activity like soccer or football, there is something to be said for why boys should dance too!Men of Trinity

#10.  Coordination and Agility –  Dancing works a lot of muscles and muscle groups that benefit other extracurricular sports.

#9.  Better Posture & Strong Core – Everyone benefits from standing tall and not slouching- boys are no exception!  Dance helps to develop those core muscles essential for a straight spine.

#8.  There’s no “I” in team –  Trinity prides itself on teamwork and cooperation… so boys dancing at Trinity learn the value of working together for a common goal and honing the skill that not only will benefit them in other sports but going forward throughout their lives.

#7. Strength –  Irish dance specifically requires stamina and leg strength, both of which are beneficial in other sports.

#6. Focus –  Irish dance requires concentration and focus, which helps dancers be better students and benefits many aspects of their life.

#5  Professional opportunities & adventure –  While not everyone who enters into dance does so with the intent to turn it into a lifetime profession –  Trinity Irish Dancers have the opportunity as they move up in the ranks of the Academy to tour the US and the World at various competitions and performances.  Additionally, for those students who are exceptionally dedicated to their craft, there is the opportunity to become part of the Trinity Irish Dance Company– Trinity’s professional dance company.

#4. Confidence – Dancing is a challenging sport, both on stage and in the classroom.  Irish dancing, with its various competitions as well as performances mean that students are constantly putting themselves out in the public.  As a result, the pride of success accompanied by nailing that hard dance step or moving up in experience levels builds a child’s confidence in their own abilities – which of course applies out of dance as well as in it.

#3.  Creativity & Self Expression –  In a dance studio, amongst other children in search of the same goal – there is a certain safety to their expressionism.  Dancing similarly allows children to process emotions in an alternate way to verbalizing their feelings.

#2.  It’s good for you! – Aside from increased stamina, muscle definition and posture – dancing improves your heart and lungs as well as releasing those endorphins associated with lessened anxiety and depression and an overall more positive outlook.

#1.  Guys Only! –  At Trinity, boys get their very own program – Men of Trinity – where they receive individualized instruction from some of the most noted male performers in the industry.  Our Men of Trinity program not only teaches them how to be better dancers but helps to instill character in our dancers to make them better men. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Curran at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

 

 

Renowned New York dancing company Sean Curran Company  is performing this coming weekend at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.  Why is this exciting news for Trinity families you may be asking?  For a number of reasons actually!

Photo Credit: Chelsea Hoy

You may recall that the Trinity Irish Dance Company   has previously performed a piece entitled “Curran Event,” whichdebuted during the 2014 Japan tour and will also be a featured dance in this years’ upcoming tour.  Audiences across the world have been inspired by both Curran Event as well as another Trinity Irish Dance Company classic choreographed by Curran, Goddess. Many Trinity families witnessed our young cast of understudies perform a part of this Indian-influenced piece at this year’s Damhsa performance. This piece, was also choreographed by Sean Curran of the Sean Curran Dance Company!  If you are a fan of either of these dances,  imagine what an entire show by Sean Curran will be like!  Amazing, right?

Curran's Goddess performed at Dahmsa

Curran’s Goddess performed at Dahmsa

Mark and Sean have had a long-standing relationship, and as part of our Trinity Family, we definitely want to show our support for one of “our own.”  So, if you are looking for an exciting event to attend this weekend, grab your friends and family and take the short ride out to South Bend and catch what promises to be an amazing show!

Of course, you’ll want to be sure to keep checking back for information on the Trinity Irish Dance Company’s OWN performance at the DeBartolo center in February of 2016!