Category Archives: siamsa

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!”
Where Irish dance comes first!

What a great St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Siamsa, St. Baldrick’s, & Youth Impact Performances!

We really had a great time this year!  I think the best part was the lack of rain during our parade walk.

Check out the coverage we got on the news Saturday:

Video Courtesy of

It’s always great to be a part of a charity event like those we participated in for St. Baldrick’s and Youth Impact!

Parade & Siamsa Information

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Arrive @ 9am, parade begins @ 10am
Meet at intersection of 400 West and 200 North (no parking)
Parade goes through the Gateway, SLC

St. Patrick’s Day Siamsa
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Siamsa begins @ TBA
400 W. So. Temple, Gateway Grand Hall (east of the fountain)
Union Station, Gateway, SLC

What to wear:
Shamrocks: Black tights/socks, costume provided
Beginners: Black tights/socks, black pants/skirt, shirt to be handed out at parade
Prep: Black tights/socks, green skirt/black pants, white top
All dancers wear street shoes to walk in parade, then change to dance shoes for the Siamsa

Parents: Use your best judgement on outer wear. If it’s cold and rainy, please dress your dancer appropriately. Coats are fine to wear during the parade (except for Performers), but must not accompany dancer backstage.

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.

New Students

We’re having a great time with our new students so far! Our Intro class is really learning the basics quickly and the Shamrocks are cute as can be skipping around the classroom.

We continue to get ready for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in all our classes. It looks like the Parade & Siamsa will be held March 13th. The theme this year is “If You’re Irish…” from the song of the same name.

If you’re Irish come into the parlour

There’s a welcome there for you!

If your name is Timothy or Pat

So long as you come from Ireland

There’s a welcome on the mat!

If you come from the mountains of Mourne

Or Killarney’s Lakes so blue,

We’ll sing you a song, we’ll make it a fuss

Whoever you are you’re one of us

If you’re Irish this is the place for you.