New community based irish dance school for swords.

As part of a joint Fingal County Council and Department of Education and Skills initiative, a newly qualified Irish dance teacher and Irish dance master are about to begin a new community based Irish dance class on Saturday afternoons in the eagerly awaited dance studios in Applewood community centre.

Both Sword’s residents Miss. Lori Hall, a newly qualified An Coimisiún (T.C.R.G) accredited Irish dance teacher, in conjunction with a first class honours Masters Degree student in Irish dance performance, Mr. Joey Comerford (M.A.), have embarked on promoting and supporting creative, artistic and healthy lifestyles through a new Irish dance program and Irish dance education for the Swords youth, with their newly established and registered Dance Hall Academy. Collectively, Miss. Hall and Mr. Comerford have performed professionally worldwide in over 22 countries on 5 continents with shows such as Riverdance, Ragús and Gaelforce Dance amongst others and have made numerous TV appearances.

The Dance Hall Academy is delighted to be a part of the new shared facility involving the Gaelscoil Bhrian Boróimhe, Swords Educate Together National School and the Applewood community centre. The vision of the Dance Hall Academy is a community based and supported Irish dance school, where Irish dance and Irish dance education are an integral part of education and community life. Miss. Hall and Mr. Comerford subscribe to the dance philosophies of Elisabeth Roth Hayes (professor at University of Wisconsin, USA) which understands that Irish dance education does not have complex mastery as its goal and that ‘technique in art is not an end in itself’ (Hayes, 1955) . Rather, the Dance Hall Academy’s mission statement is that Irish dance education ‘enables every child, regardless of physical capabilities, to be expressive in a nonverbal manner, to explore and incorporate the physical self as a functioning part of the whole social being’.

According to Miss Hall, the foundation of the community based Dance Hall Academy is to show that "Irish dance and Irish Dance education does not only seek to prepare children to become performers. It seeks the development of self expression through motion, with culture and self-knowledge as its aim. I believe it provides an important avenue of entry into teaching nonverbal communication skills".

As Mr Comerford states "we are proud in being selected to receive this opportunity to be based in our new community supported dance studio and would like to extend our thanks to the Fingal County Council for their vision in this innovative initiative. We feel a responsibility to uphold the expectations that accompany such an honour and are touched not only by Fingal Council’s support of the Arts but also by our shared desire to give back to our community and to this great world of Irish dance. Irish dance is our passion and we wish to pass it on and promote Irish dance and Irish dance education as the expressive, cultural, historic and yet progressive dance form that it is”.

Registration for the new Saturday afternoon Irish dance and Irish dance education classes, with the Dance Hall Academy in the Applewood community centre dance studio, will be on 21st January 2012 @ 12pm. Contact Miss. Hall on 0876395150 or email for further details.

“To dance is to share, to share is to teach”