Category Archives: costumes

Rinceoiri Irish dancers unveil new dresses in celebration of their 15th year

Dancers in the Performing Group of Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers were excited, even giddy, about the arrival of completed school dresses. As many Irish dancers will tell you, it’s all about the dress. At Rinceoiri it’s less about the dress and more about the dancing and the friendships. But a new dress doesn’t hurt.
Dresses for the performers have changed and evolved over the past 15 years at Rinceoiri Don Spraoi. From turtlenecks and green skirts, to velvet and lace frocks, to the embroidered dress we see today. The latest incarnation has remained the traditional forest green associated with the group, but will have the shape and structure of what people most associate with traditional Irish dance.
When deciding on a new dress, the board of directors for the group wanted something that would be a little more on the traditional side. Because Ireland doesn’t have an official national costume, their work was cut out for them.
“We wanted to go with something that was recognizable as an Irish dance dress, but not like the latest styles competitors are going with now,” said Stephanie Russell, longtime dancer. “Something closer to what people think is traditional.”
Charlotte Fitzgerald agrees. “The newer styles don’t remind me of home at all, ” the Dublin native winced. “I want to represent my home, where I grew up dancing as a child.” She points out some of the flashy glitter-laced numbers, with ruffles like ballet tutus and neon colors. “Those dresses just don’t remind me of home.”
The group hired Debonair Dancewear to create their new look. Debonair has been in business locally since 1983 and pride themselves “on being able to deliver exactly what you… envision as the perfect performance attire.” Finding a professional organization was important to the group as a whole because it meant less time worrying about dresses and more time doing what they loved best, dancing. 
“In the past, dancers or parents were creating the costuming and there just wasn’t a uniformity.” Brooke Curnow said. “It’s great to have licensed professionals to work with. The pressure on dancers and parents is completely alleviated by outsourcing the work.”
The new dress will not only be a more traditional shape, but will include embroidery for the first time. Something that couldn’t have been done in the past due to cost and lack of experience. The costuming had included applique work as a cheaper alternative.
Teacher Ben Curnow stated, “Celtic knotwork was the norm decades ago. You’d have a really heavy and colorful dress that had a lot of embroidered knotwork. Now you don’t see it that much. We wanted to go back to that style because it looks great on stage. It looks more Irish.”

Embroidery designs on dance dresses were originally of traditional Irish origin, many coming from the Book of Kells and Irish stone crosses. The knotwork in the pattern on Rinceoiri’s new dress is said to symbolize the continuity of the friendships made in the group.

The creation of new dresses marks the 15th anniversary of Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers in Utah.

Performers will dance in their new dresses for the first time at the Annual Shamrock Gala for Youth Impact in Ogden. They will unveil them publicly at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Siamsa at the Gateway in Salt Lake City, on Saturday, March 17, 2012. 
St. Patrick’s Day.
“I can’t wait,” smiles Laura G. holding her dress. “It’s gonna be awesome!”

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Parade time!!!

It’s that time again! Next Saturday the 13th is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Siamsa at the Gateway, downtown SLC. All the classes are looking great & we’re excited for the upcoming festivities.

Here’s the lowdown on what you’ll need to know as a Shamrock parent:

Start time: Saturday March 13th. The parade begins at 10 am, meet at 9am in preparation.

Meeting Place: 400 West 200 North, Salt Lake City This location does not have parking. You will have to park around 400 West 300 North and walk south to 200 North.

Costume: Wear the costume given you. Girls wear black tights & shoes, Boys wear black socks & shoes. Please bring a change of clothing. Costumes must be returned immediately after the performance. If costumes are not returned, you will be billed $30 for replacement.

Parade Route: Through the Gateway. Shamrocks will be riding in the back of a truck.

Siamsa: After the parade, they will proceed immediately back to the Gateway Grand Hall Union Pacific Depot for the performance. We go on stage at 11am.

Only a few more weeks!

Despite the cold weather, our classes were energetic & loads of fun! As we near the parade date, we’d like to remind everyone to make sure you come to classes. It’s extremely difficult to line up a show when you’re missing dancers!

Shamrock costumes will be available for trying on January 30th. We have a number of sizes to choose from.

Please speak with your teacher if you have questions concerning costuming. Performers see Ben, Beginners see Kim, & Shamrocks see Brooke.

If you are interested in helping out with the parade, please let your teacher know. We’d love help with decorations!

Practice for everyone @ 8am on Saturday!

Don’t forget that class starts at 8am for everyone this Saturday. We will go over the entire show with everyone and make sure we have things nice and smooth.

Beginners, we’ll do a final fitting of your skirts at class. We’ll be wearing white t-shirts, black tights, black shoes, & the green skirts. Please wear spankys or shorts (black) under your skirt to avoid any embarrassing mishaps. :)

Can’t wait to see everyone there!

Getting ready for Festival of Trees

We spent a lot of time getting ready for our performance on Dec. 5th. Remember to practice steps for the dances you’re in! 
Performers need to make sure you can hear each beat in hard shoe. Clean & crisp is what we’re working toward.
Beginners worked on perfecting the Faerie Reel. They looked great today! The lines were looking a lot nicer; formations were a lot more clean as well. Remember to practice rise & grinds and side sevens. If we can get everyone in nice even lines, it will make the formations really stand out. In beginning hard shoe we started on St. Patrick’s Day.
Performers: Please make sure you have costuming ready for Festival of Trees. If you need an alteration contact Becky asap. It’s not fair to ask her to try and fix things at the last minute, so try on your dress and ensure it’s performance ready.
Beginners: Please take a look at the following skirt chart and email us with your skirt size. These are the only sizes available. If nothing will work out (these are kids sizes after all), we can go with b&w instead. The sooner we know your size, the sooner we can order something if needed. We do have a few skirts on hand in varied sizes. Email your size and we’ll see if yours is available in inventory!