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Archive for Irish Dance

Murrieta Mesa High School Dance Program Interview with Penny Chidester

“. . . the biggest mistake she sees dancers make is their thinking being a good dancer is all about the ability to do “tricks.”

Murrieta Mesa High School in Murrieta, California, is a comprehensive public high school offering a full curriculum of dance classes ranging from beginning to advanced. There are performance opportunities throughout the school year for all dance program students. The two big shows are the winter dance showcase and the spring dance production. There is an extracurricular dance team for those dancers who want to be more involved with the school beyond the class and stage experience.dscn1589-2crop

In the opinion of Penny Chidester, the Dance Program Director, what sets their program apart from other high school dance programs is the fact that there is a place for any student who has the desire to learn about the art and skill of dance.

Penny’s proudest moment as a dance coach occurred when the music cut out in the middle of a dance team performance in a packed gym at a varsity basketball game halftime. The dance team continued to the end of the dance without skipping a beat and received a standing ovation from everybody in the gym. It made her (more…)

The Bennett School of Dance Interview With Molly Bennett

Today’s interview is with Molly Bennett of Bennett School of Irish Dance in Denver, Colorado.  The Molly BennetBennett School of Irish Dance was founded by Molly Bennett, T.C.R.G., her sister Libby Skipper and her husband Bill to provide instruction in Irish dancing for all ages and all interests.  They started the school when the certified teacher at the school they then belonged to moved and left the adult dancers in her school “orphaned with no accredited school to attend.  (The younger dancers joined a newly formed school which didn’t take adults).  Since it is a requirement that Irish Dance teachers have to be certified by one of the accrediting agencies like the Irish Dance Commission, Molly took and passed the five teacher certifications.  They built their own studio in 2000 when the studio where they’d rented space suddenly went out of business and taking over the lease wasn’t an option.

Molly believes there are two things that make her dance studio different from other Irish dance studios.  First of all, she believes that although The Bennett School performs in more than 80 competitions and shows each year, the School is more performance-oriented and less focused on competition than most Irish dance schools.  For (more…)