Catskill Irish Arts Week Logo
July 14-20 2024


Kieran Jordan Class Description and Bio

Kieran Jordan Bio
Performer, teacher, writer, mentor, director and choreographer, Kieran Jordan is both an innovator and tradition-bearer in the field of Irish dance. Born in Philadelphia in an Irish American family, she started Irish step dancing when she was five years old. While in college, her studies in Cork, Ireland with Dance Master Joe O’Donovan became a defining influence and kindled her passion for the “close-to-the-floor” music-driven older styles of Irish dance.

With a solo style described as “playfully theatrical” (The Boston Globe) and “wonderfully expressive” (The Living Tradition), Kieran has been performing traditional Irish step dancing, sean-nós, and her own choreography for more than 20 years. “One of America’s premier dancers and instructors” (Irish Echo), she is the founder of Kieran Jordan Dance — a non-competitive Irish dance company established in Boston in 2001. Through her tireless dedication to creative work and community programs, Kieran has nurtured a flourishing Irish dance scene in Boston and has inspired the professional careers of many other young dancers. 

Kieran’s choreography is lyrical and evocative, drawing from contemporary improvisation and many forms of traditional dance to tell stories through music and movement. Her ensemble work has toured for many years in the WGBH St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn and Christmas Celtic Sojourn, with Atlantic Steps, and with her own company Kieran Jordan Dance. Kieran was the recipient of a 2018 and 2008 Artist Fellowship and a 2010 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship from the Massachusetts CulturalCouncil. She has produced three DVDs on sean-nós/old style Irish dance and a CD of Irish set dances. Kieran has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Dance from the University of Limerick, Ireland, and a B.A. from Boston College in English and Irish Studies. She also holds the TCRG certification for teaching Irish Dance.

Class Description
Sean-nós Irish Dance (Intermediate/Advanced)

Sean-nós (“old style”) Irish dance is a joyful expression of both movement and sound. Traditionally performed as a solo, improvised form, sean-nós dance features footwork danced close-to-the-floor, a relaxed upper body, and a playful dialogue between the dance and music. In this class, students will enjoy listening and responding to traditional Irish music while gaining confidence as percussive movers. We will start with a focus on timing, technique, and building a body of basic steps to use as tools for improvisation. By the end of the week, dancers will be creating longer step sequences, practicing smooth transitions, and developing their own personal solo style.

Please wear comfortable shoes with a smooth hard sole (leather or hard rubber soles preferred), and bring water, a notebook, and a recording device.