How to be a SMART Irish Dancer

Every Irish dancer wants to be a good dancer. Being a SMART Irish dancer is even more important and will help you dance in a much better way. Here’s how.

GOAL SETTING

I’m a goal-centered person. I like setting a goal, making a list of action items, working my butt off, and achieving the goal. I had assumed that most people are similar to me, especially in the Irish dancing community. Guess what? Not everyone loves a list to cross off and not everyone has a goal in mind when it comes to their dancing. Not everyone has an idea of what “success” looks like for them.

Mind. Blown.

When talking to other dancers I found that most wanted to learn a step or dance, but that was as far as the goal went. They didn’t really have an idea formed in their mind of what the goal was. They didn’t define the goal. I think a lot of dancers skip that step; defining their goals. Really, how can you obtain any kind of success if you don’t know exactly what your goals are?

In my experience, there are just two simple keys to successful goal setting. And this works for any goal, not just goals concerning Irish dancing.

You need to examine why you’re dancing/whatever it is you’re doing.
You need to discover which SMART goals will help you achieve success.

If I asked you why you dance, what would you say?

“I dance because I’m passionate about Irish culture and tradition and want to share that with others.”
“I dance because I really enjoy a competitive atmosphere and want to win.”
“I dance because I dream about being able to dance in a big Irish dance show.”
“I dance because I have a fun time and enjoy being around others.”

The fact is this: WHY you dance is just as important as WHAT you want to accomplish.

I’ll repeat that just to make sure I’m getting the point across.

WHY you dance is just as important as WHAT you want to accomplish.

The goals you set must be simpatico with your purpose for dancing. If you’re setting goals all willy-nilly that aren’t related to your true purpose, you won’t “feel” like you’re successful. Even if you knock your goal outta the park.

Take a minute and write down the reasons you dance. Any and every reason you can think of. Even the narcissistic ones. I’ll wait.

***

So there it is in black and white. Your purpose for dancing. Now let’s get to why you’re reading this post and talk about what really makes a good goal.

SMARTer Dancing

The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. Yes, that was ages ago.

“There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham. Originally intended for business, it’s a standard for goal setting today. It’s still being used because it works. And works well.

SMART goals give you specific guidelines for determining what you want to accomplish, in a way you’ll be able to track going forward. SMART goals are pure magic in the way they motivate you. They also help you cut out all of those activities that don’t help you meet your goals.

The acronym SMART stands for:

S – Specific. Decide on one thing you want to improve. Just one. “I want to be a better dancer” isn’t specific enough. What does “better” mean? How do you measure “better”? Be more specific. “I want every beat in my hard shoes to sound identical.” That’s specific.

M – Measurable. You have to be able to measure results. What will you see, hear, or feel when you have achieved your specific goal?

A – Achievable. Can I really achieve this goal? Be honest with yourself. It’s hard, but you can do it! Toe walks aren’t realistic if you haven’t even started dancing in hard shoes yet. Be real.

R – Relevant. This is where you really get into your purpose for dancing. The goal you set has to be in line and worthwhile when you think of your purpose. If your purpose is simply to share a cultural experience with others, maybe it isn’t worth your time and energy to practice 8 hours a day 4 days a week. If your goal is a place on the podium, maybe that’s just what you need. Think relevance.

T – Time-based. When will you do an evaluation of the results? Give yourself a set amount of time in which to accomplish the goal. Make it realistic. You’re not going to start as a new dancer in September and be Ciara Sexton or Michael Flatley by Christmas. But you might learn some new choreography in a month. When your time period is over, do a serious re-evaluation. What worked? Why did it work? What didn’t work? Why didn’t it work?

So, after all that, what would a SMART goal look like?

“I want to learn [insert dance here] to performance standard in two months.”
“I want to practice my clicks four times next week.”

***

SMART dancers are much stronger dancers. SMART dancers can overcome obstacles where other dancers might throw in the towel, because they’re consciously working on specifics. They know where they’re going and they have a plan to get there. So become a SMART dancer, starting today.

Download your FREE, that’s right I said FREE,
SMART GOALS WORKSHEET

And let me know in the comments:

What is your purpose for dancing? What is your SMART goal?

I’m just itching to know what other dancers are working on!
Happy dancing!

Brooke

How to Pursue Your Irish Dance Dreams in the Face of Haters

How to Pursue Your Dreams in the Face of Haters

Pursuing your Irish dance dreams in the face of haters.

What do you do if you have a dream, but everyone around you keeps telling you to be more realistic and to give up the dream? What if they want you to pursue a more “sensible” and traditional dance route?

You ignore them. You shut out the haters, and you stay focused on your dream.

It’s the only way. Because in Irish dance, we will always have haters, we will always have negative people, and if we listen to them, we will never pursue our dreams.

Doubts are The Enemy

We all have doubts, and they’re unavoidable. And sometimes, it’s good to be realistic, because you need to be able to analyze whether a dream is achievable or not.

But if the only thing stopping you is fears and doubts, and not some insurmountable obstacle, then you need to banish those fears and doubts.
Why? Because a doubt, as unimportant as it may seem at first, has a way of creeping its way into your brain, into the depths of your heart, like some kind of black and evil creature that has infiltrated your body. The doubt lingers at the back of your head, without you being aware of it, and will eventually conquer your dreams if you let it.

And when this happens, the doubt is more powerful than you realize. When you are making the tough decisions, like whether to apply for college or to go off to Ireland and pursue your dreams, your dreams will lose out, because of that doubt in the back of your head. When you think about yourself, your self-image will not be of that person you want to be, but the person that others want you to be.

How to Banish Doubts in Three Steps

How to Banish Your Doubts in Three Easy Steps For Irish Dancers.

As doubts are so insidious, how do you beat them? It’s three simple steps, but each one is a bit more difficult than they sound:

  1. Become aware. Doubt gets its power mostly because it is in our subconscious, and we’re not aware of the effects it has on us. Instead, we have to bring it to the forefront of our minds. And that means concentrating on our thoughts, and trying to search out those doubts and negative thoughts as they come up. The ones that say, “Maybe I can’t do this. Moving up and ahead in Irish dance is hard. Maybe it’s not realistic.” If you make a conscious effort to be aware of these doubts, you can catch them and beat them.
  2. Squash the doubt. I’ve mentioned this before. Once you’ve become aware of the doubt, imagine that the doubt is an ugly little bug. Now step on it, and squash it with the bottom of your shoe. Not literally, of course, but in your mind. Exterminate it. Do not let it live and spread!
  3. Replace it with something positive. Now that you’ve squashed the doubt, replace it with positive thoughts. It sounds corny, but trust me, this works: think to yourself, “I can do this! Other Irish dancers have done it, and so can I! Nothing will stop me.” Or something along those lines, appropriate to whatever it is you’re doing.

You have to continue to be vigilant, and be aware of your doubts before they stop you cold in your tracks. This is a constant process as you pursue your dreams, not a one-time thing. Doubts, like insects, will continue to come back, even after you’ve killed the first wave or two. You can’t let them thrive and overcome you.

What to Do About Haters

So what about those external negative factors — the haters? Those friends and family and people in authority who tell you to stop dreaming, to be realistic, to take a more traditional path? Those who tell you that you can’t do something? Those who say Irish dance is waste of time?

You have to learn to block them out. Or, learn to let those haters fuel your determination — make it your desire to prove the haters wrong!

How do you block out haters? The same way you block out doubts and negative thoughts in your own head: you squash them. OK, don’t literally squash another person. That’s rude. But when they say something negative, or something that is likely to cause doubts in your head, take that thought (in your head) and squash it. Then replace it with something positive. A tip: It isn’t helpful to go on a Twitterage, or make harsh comments on Facebook or someone’s blog. It just fuels the hate fire and makes you sound like an idiot. *double-facepalm*

If someone is constantly bringing you down and constantly making you feel like you can’t do something, you might consider removing them from your life. This sounds drastic, and it can be, but the truth is that having a life full of negative people will drag you down to their level, and stop you from doing what you want to do.

“Ok Brooke, that’s easy for you to say,” you’re thinking. “You don’t have to deal with the serious competition atmosphere like I do. You don’t have other Irish dancers as haters like I do.”

Well there’s where you are sadly mistaken, my dancing friend. I’ll let you in on a little secret: The only haters I have, are other Irish dancers. Yep. The secret’s out now. I have personally experienced some nasty venom from fellow dancers because I don’t go to a “real” Irish dance school, or I’m not affiliated with the “right” commission, or I’m an adult (and that’s a whole treat unto itself)… Believe me, I’ve been there.

I’m not saying you should change schools or never speak to people again, what I am saying is that you should pick your friends very carefully.
Instead of focusing on the haters, surround yourself with positive, encouraging people. If you have friends like that, you can do anything. I have some pretty amazing friends and it certainly feels like I can do anything.

How to Take the Plunge

So you’ve blocked out the haters, you’ve learned to become aware of your doubts, and to squash them … and you’re ready to pursue your dreams.

But you’re afraid to take the plunge.

It can be very helpful to do a lot of research and to carefully plan your plunge. But once you’ve done that research and planning, you still have to take the plunge. How do you do that?

Imagine that you need to swim out to a boat on a lake, and you’re standing on the dock, looking down at the icy cold water. You are afraid to dive into that water, but you know you need to take that plunge to get to your boat. So how do you do it? Do you go in one toe at a time? Do you stand there for awhile, waiting for the right moment? Do you wait for someone to give you a push?

No. You have to just do it — just dive in! You’ve already done all the thinking you need to do. Just dive in.

“WHAT?!” you exclaim, “Just do things? It’s scary to just do things! Are you freaking kidding me with this Brooke?”
No. No I’m not. Take a breath and keep following me here.

Once you’re in, it’ll be freezing, but you’re in. You now have no choice but to swim to the boat. And once you’ve gotten to the boat, you’ll be glad you took that plunge.

That’s how it is with your dreams. You can’t wait for the right moment to come along, or for someone to give you a push, or for the lake to heat up. Just dive right in!

Once you’re in, you’re committed, and you have to go for it. You don’t want to turn back once you’ve taken the plunge. Because that would just be dumb.

Now you’re more likely to achieve your dreams.

So plan it out, do your research … but when you’re ready, just dive right in.

And don’t look back.

How have you made the commitment and taken the plunge? Let me know just how brave you’ve been in the comments below. I’m sure the stories are amazing!

Happy Dancing!
Brooke

Killer Self-Confidence Boosters

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings

Concrete steps that can help you increase your self-confidence without the help of anyone else.

One of the things that held me back from pursuing my dreams, for many years, was fear of failure … and the lack of self-confidence that I needed to overcome that fear.

As far as Irish dancing was concerned, I was afraid of what other people thought of me. I wasn’t afraid I didn’t have the actual skill to perform well, I was much more concerned about what I would look like as an adult Irish dancer. People tend to trash talk about adults, you’ve heard it I’m sure, and it was a source of discomfort to me.

It’s something we all face I think. Adults or otherwise. So how do you overcome that fear?

Working on your self-confidence and self-esteem
It’s nearly impossible to make time for your dreams, to break free from the traditional mold, and to truly be yourself, if you have low self-esteem and self-confidence. Without really thinking of it in those terms, that’s what I’ve been doing over the years, and that’s what helped me overcome my fears, and finally pursue my dreams.

I still have those fears, don’t get me wrong, but now I know that I can break through that wall of fear and come out on the other side. I’ve done it many times now, and that success will fuel further success.

As an aside, I know that some people make a strong distinction between self-esteem and self-confidence. In this post, I use them interchangeably, even if there is a subtle but perhaps important difference … the difference being whether you believe you’re worthy of respect from others (self-esteem) and whether you believe in yourself (self-confidence). In the end, both amount to practically the same thing, and in the end, the things I mention below give a boost to both self-esteem and self-confidence. So it’s all good.

Taking control of your self-confidence
If you are low in self-confidence, is it possible to do things that will change that? Is your self-confidence in your control?

While it may not seem like it, I strongly believe that you can do things to increase your self-confidence. It is not genetic, and you do not have to be reliant on others to increase your self-confidence. And if you believe that you are not very competent, not very smart, not very attractive, etc. … that can be changed.

You can become someone worthy of respect, and someone who can pursue what he wants despite the trash talking of others.

You can do this by taking control of your life, and taking control of your self-confidence. By taking concrete steps that improve your competence, your self-image, you can increase that self-confidence, without the help of anyone else.

Below, I outline 15 things that will help you do that. None of them is new or revolutionary, none of them will do it all by themselves. The list certainly isn’t comprehensive. These are just some of my favorite things, stuff that’s worked for me.

And you don’t need to do all of them, as if this were a recipe … pick and choose those that appeal to you, maybe just a couple at first, and give them a try. If they work, try others. If they don’t, try others. The point is, try.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Photoshop your self-image. Our self-image means a crazy amount to us, more than we often realize. We have a mental picture of ourselves, and it determines how confident we are in ourselves. But this picture isn’t the end of it. You can change it. Use your mental Photoshopping skills, and work on your self-image. If it’s not a very good one, change it. Figure out why you see yourself that way, and find a way to fix it.

2. Think positively. One of the things I learned almost three years ago, was how to replace negative thoughts (see next item) with positive ones.  With this tiny little skill, I was able to completely change my diet and my health within a year. It sounds so silly, but giddy aunt this works. Seriously. Try it if you haven’t.

3. Kill negative thoughts. This one goes hand-in-hand with the above item, but it’s so important that I made it separate. You have to learn to be aware of your self-talk, the thoughts you have about yourself and what you’re doing. When I would practice, sometimes my mind would start to say, “This is too hard. I want to stop and go watch TV.” Well, I soon learned to recognize this negative self-talk, and I learned a trick that changed everything in my life: I would imagine that a negative thought was a bug, and I would vigilantly be on the lookout for these bugs. When I caught one, I would stomp on it (mentally of course) and squash it. Kill it dead. Then replace it with a positive one. (“C’mon, I can do this! Only a few counts left! Your trebles are sounding great!”)

4. Get to know yourself. Get to know yourself well. Start listening to your thoughts. Start writing a journal about yourself, and about the thoughts you have about yourself, and analyzing why you have such negative thoughts. And then think about the good things about yourself, the things you can do well, the things you like. Start thinking about your limitations, and whether they’re real limitations or just ones you’ve allowed to be placed there, artificially. Dig deep within yourself, and you’ll come out (eventually) with even greater self-confidence.

5. Act positively. More than just thinking positively, you have to put it into action. Action, actually, is the key to developing self-confidence. It’s one thing to learn to think positive, but when you start acting on it, you change yourself, one action at a time. You are what you do, and so if you change what you do, you change what you are. Act in a positive way, take action instead of telling yourself you can’t. Be positive. Talk to people in a positive way, put energy into your actions. You’ll soon start to notice a difference.

6. Be kind and generous. Oh, so corny. If this is too corny for you, move on. But for the rest of us, know that being kind to others, and generous with yourself and your time and what you have, is a tremendous way to improve your self-image. When you act with the Golden Rule in mind, you start to feel good about yourself and to think that you are a good person. It does wonders for your self-confidence, believe me.

One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation. – Arthur Ashe

7. Be prepared. It’s hard to be confident in yourself if you don’t think you’ll do well at something. Beat that feeling by preparing yourself as much as possible. Think about getting ready for a performance or competition: if you haven’t practiced, you won’t have confidence in your abilities to do well. But if you practiced your butt off, you’re prepared, and you’ll be much more confident. Now think of life as your performance/competition, and prepare yourself.

8. Know your principles and live them. What are the principles upon which your life is built? If you don’t know, you will have trouble, because your life will feel directionless. For myself, I try to live the Golden Rule (and fail often). This is my key principle, and I try to live my life in accordance with it. Think about your principles … you might have them but perhaps you haven’t given them much thought. Now think about whether you actually live these principles, or if you just believe in them but don’t act on them.

9. Stand up straight and tall. I have great posture, that happens when you spend a few years in a back brace, but I still have to think about holding myself up tall. When I remind myself to stand straight and tall, I feel better about myself. I imagine that a rope is pulling my chest toward the sky, and the rest of my body straightens accordingly. Your dancing will improve by leaps and bounds as well. See what I did there? “Leaps and bounds…”

Ahem.

10. Increase competence. How do you feel more competent? By becoming more competent. And how do you do that? By practicing. Just do small bits at a time. If you want to be a more competent Irish dancer, for example, don’t try to tackle the entire profession of dancing all at once. Just begin to dance more. The more you dance, the better you’ll be. Set aside 30 extra minutes a day to dance, and the practice will increase your competence.

11. Set a small goal and achieve it. People often make the mistake of shooting for the moon, and then when they fail, they get discouraged. Instead, shoot for something much more achievable. Set a goal you know you can achieve, and then achieve it. You’ll feel good about that. Now set another small goal and achieve that. The more you achieve small goals, the better you’ll be at it, and the better you’ll feel. Soon you’ll be setting bigger (but still achievable) goals and achieving those too.

12. Focus on solutions. If you are a complainer, or focus on problems, change your focus now. Focusing on solutions instead of problems is one of the best things you can do for your confidence and your dancing. “But Brooke, I’m fat and lazy!” So how can you solve that? “But I can’t motivate myself!” So how can you solve that? “But I have no energy!” So what’s the solution? I can go on all day here…

13. Be grateful. I’m a firm believer in gratitude, but I put it here because while being grateful for what you have in life, for what others have given you, is a very humbling activity … it can also be a very positive and rewarding activity that will improve your self-image. Read more.

14. Exercise. Gosh, this one seems to be on almost every list. But if I left it off this list I would be doing you a disservice. Exercise has been one of my most empowering activities in the last couple of years, and it has made me feel so much better about myself. I’m talking beyond Irish dance practice. Yes, that’s exercise, but it only hits certain muscle groups and not in the most effective way. Unless you dance with Rinceoiri. There’s a reason we use #BensKickButtGym… But I digress. All you have to do is take a walk a few times a week, and you’ll see benefits.

15. Clean out your dance bag. This might seem like a small, simple thing (then again, for some of you it might not be so small). But it has always worked wonders for me. If my dance bag starts to get messy, and the world around me is in chaos, cleaning out my bag is my way of getting a little piece of my life under control. It is the calm in the center of the storm around me. Here’s how.

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. – Walt Disney

My hope is that you can gain better self-confidence and improve your self-esteem. If something above has worked for you, tell me about it in the comments below.

Happy dancing!

Brooke

Irish Dance Fall Semester Begins in September

We have had an amazing summer workshop session of Irish dance at Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers! We really worked our butts off at #BensKickButtGym and got a few jig tricks under our belts. We said some sad goodbyes to a few amazing people who are heading off to college. On the flip side, we enjoyed seeing our summer dancers who make it only during breaks from college or on vacation; like our Gingersnap who comes to dance with us from Germany. We’ll miss you all!

We are super excited to welcome everyone back for Fall and can’t wait to meet the new dancers joining our Rinceoiri family!

Beginner Adult Irish dance class
Photo Courtesy Farris Gerard

Our Irish Dance Fall Semester starts September 13 and will go through November 22, 2014.

The following is a list of class times and pricing:
Shamrocks: 11am – 11:30am, $60 per session (Session runs 11 weeks, September – November)
Intro: 11am – 11:30am, $20 for the month of September
Beginners Under 14: 10am – 11am, $25 per month
Beginner Adults: 10am – 11am, $25 per month
Beginner Hardshoe: 11am – 11:30am, $5 per month (Beginner class is a prerequisite)
Intermediate or Prep: 10am – 11:30am, $30 per month
Performing: 8am – 10am, $35 per month

Click on any of our Irish dance classes above for more specific information about that particular class.

All of our Irish dance classes are held on Saturday mornings at 10128 S. Redwood Rd., South Jordan, Utah inside C&C Ballet Studios. We are south of the South Jordan post office, just behind the Maxwell Carpets building.

Registration for classes will be done in person. To make things go smoothly, please fill out a registration form for each dancer and bring it to class with you. Payment is due at time of registration; we currently accept cash and check. Please note, there is a $5 registration fee per family, per year (September – June 2014).

We encourage you to check the blog (IrishDanceUtah.com) often for updated information, hints, and tips, to make your dance experience phenomenal this year.

Summer Workshop 2014

It’s all about JIGS this summer at Rinceoiri!

Come join us for our Summer Workshop where we’ll be focusing on jig timing. From slip jigs and light jigs to single jigs and treble jigs, we’ll get you ready to bust out your Irish dance anytime you hear a good dancing tune.

Performers: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Prep: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
All Beginners: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Saturdays, July 12, 19, 26, and August 2, 9, and 16. Six weeks of intense dancing for $60.

We’ll be going over loads of fun tips and tricks too, so come ready to learn something new!

The One With Poppy Seeds

Irish music is delightful even if it doesn’t originate in Ireland. For Music Mondays today, I’m taking you to France.

If you know me very well, you know how much I love the French language and the region of Brittany. Brittany is a beautiful cultural region in the north-west of France and considered to be one of the six Celtic nations (Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales). The Breton language is spoken in this area, much like Irish is spoken mainly in western Ireland. It’s a beautiful language that is related to Cornish and Welsh.

Because Brittany has Celtic ties, you can hear a lot of Celtic music in the area. Musicians that once played exclusively at pub sessions, are now branching out and releasing albums of some really great traditional tunes.

It was at Irish sessions that four friends came together to form the band Poppy Seeds. This quartet revisits traditional Irish themes but does not hesitate to borrow from other styles.

Poppy Seeds Irish Music
via Poppy Seeds

Composed of Benoît Volant on violin, Pierre Cadoret on flute, Tom Lemonnier on guitar, and Camille Philippe on mandolin and vocals. Poppy Seeds presents Irish music with a French flair; in a way that, I think,  will appeal to anyone with a love of traditional tunes.

They have released two studio albums, the self-titled Poppy Seeds, and their latest Close Shaved.

Both albums are exceptional in my opinion. And who can’t resist an Irish song in English with a French accent? Definitely not this girl!

Take a listen to Antrim Rose, the first track off of Close Shaved.

Another favorite of mine is the Polka Set.

Poppy Seeds can be found online at their website, but be forewarned, it’s in French. If you can read some French (like a few of us dancers) you’re in luck! They can also be found on SoundCloud where you can stream multiple tunes from both albums; no French required.

À la prochain!

The One on St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, but especially to those who Irish dance in Utah!

In the spirit of the day, I’d like to bring you local artists who really represent all the good things we love about Irish music. I love our local musicians and hope you will join me in supporting them.


Wayward Molly

Wayward Molly
courtesy Wayward Molly

When you combine Mona Stevens, Allison Ottley, Jani Gamble, and Nicki Singleton, magic is made.

The ladies of Wayward Molly mix a heady concoction of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, classic rock and roll, and gospel; and blend it with the smooth strains of Celtic longing. It all adds up to a delicious cocktail for the ears. This gal is hooked!

Just take a listen and you’ll see why these ladies are fast becoming a favorite of mine.

David’s Jig/Hoop Reel | Wayward Molly


CrossStrung

CrossStrung
courtesy CrossStrung

What do you get when you have a family of talented musicians? You get CrossStrung, one of Utah’s most exciting acoustic groups. Five musicians, twelve instruments, tight harmonies, hot instrumentals, and on occasions three of them can be seen playing on the same instrument at the same time. This family band enjoys performing a variety of music including Celtic, bluegrass, folk, country, and gospel adding their own unique style.


Colin Botts

Colin Botts
courtesy Colin Botts

Music has taken Colin Botts around the world, having studied guitar from gauchos in Argentina, concertina and bouzouki from traditional musicians in Ireland, and fiddle from gypsies while traveling through Romania. In 2013 Colin was awarded a masters degree in Irish Traditional Music Performance from The University of Limerick, Ireland.

Listen to the entire album below.

 

Salt Lake City St. Patrick’s Day Siamsa Schedule

This weekend is huge for Irish dancers and musicians in Salt Lake City. Because Saturday, March 15, a Siamsa will be held.

What’s a Siamsa? Siamsa means entertainment or amusement, in Irish. Our interpretation of a Siamsa is basically a party with hours of Irish dance, music, and food. And what’s better than that?

Union Pacific Bldg
courtsey The Gateway

The 2014 Salt Lake City Siamsa will be held at 10:45 a.m. in the Gateway’s Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot. Located at 400 West South Temple, this beautifully renovated and restored depot is “an important part of Utah’s history, serving as one of the outstanding architectural structures in Utah.” It’s truly stunning.

The Siamsa follows the parade, and boasts three stages of non-stop Irish entertainment. New to the event this year, musicians are invited to bring their pipes, fiddles, whistles, and bodhran to help celebrate at a traditional session beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The following is a list of Irish dance groups and musicians, the times they will be performing, and on which stage:

Grand Hall Dance Stage (inside)
11:00 a.m. Acadamh Rince
11:45 a.m. Rinceoiri Don Spraoi Irish Dancers
12:45 p.m. Scariff-Hardiman
1:20 p.m. Learn The Siege of Ennis with Harp
2:00 p.m. An Dragan Ceilteach
Shamrock-walk for the Kids at 11:30, 12:30 and 1:40

Music Stage (Thaifoon)
12 noon Red Branch
12:55 p.m. Republican Pub Players
1:50 p.m. Jim O’ The Mills
2:30 p.m. Sing-along & Session

Patio Stage (outside)
11:45 a.m. Jim O’ The Mills
12:25 a.m. Harp Irish Dance Company
1:05 a.m. Red Branch
1:45 a.m. Scariff-Hardiman’s 8-Hand Team
2:00 p.m. An Rogaire Dubh

Don’t forget that Irish food, drink, and items will be for sale from vendors.

We always look forward to dancing at the Siamsa and hope you’ll join us. It’s sure to be a grand time!

Featured photo courtesy Farris Gerard.