Backdraft cast

The Trinity Irish Dancers in Ron Howard’s 1991 film, “Backdraft”

The Trinity Irish Dancers entered the world of motion pictures when they performed in the Oscar-nominated movie, “Backdraft” of May 1991. This was the first time Irish dancers performed on a Hollywood screen.

After seeing choreographer/founder Mark Howard on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, director Ron Howard (no relation) asked Mark to choreograph a retirement party with an ethnic flavor and to cast over 150 extras for the scene. Mark worked closely with Ron during the filming. You can even see Ron sporting a Trinity t-shirt in the picture above!

The film stars Robert Deniro, Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland and Scott Glen. While on set, Mark gave private lessons to two 10 yr olds … Brice Howard (Ron’s daughter) and Kate Hudson (Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn’s) daughter!

Trinity Irish Dancers: Beth Marren, Jenny McDonnell, Trish Foster, Sheila Ryan, Colleen Donegan, Kathleen Boettcher and Mark Howard himself!

Musicians: Chicago based Irish rock band, The Drovers (Mike Kirkpatrick, Sean Cleland, Kathleen Keane, Jackie Moran) performing “The Granuille Reels”.