Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Camp Rince Ceol Irish dance camp welcomes adults of all ages

Camp Rince Ceol Irish dance camp
Photo: Courtesy Sheila Ryan-Davoren

For more than fifteen years, Camp Rince Ceol has been known as the camp “where Irish dancers spend their summers.” Two years ago, young adults, ages 19-24, were given a chance to experience the highly acclaimed Irish dance camp. And recently, the camp opened it's doors to adults of all ages. 

Campers take a break from classes
at Camp Rince Ceol
Photo: Courtesy Sheila Ryan-Davoren

Camp Rince Ceol is a summer camp for Irish dancers who want to increase their knowledge of all things Irish dance. Sheila Ryan-Davoren, TCRG began the camp with her husband, Tony Davoren, after they both toured with Riverdance in the Lee Company. Together, they formed a camp that combines an intense study of the sport of Irish dancing with a fun summer camp experience. Sheila says, “I wanted to incorporate summer-time feeling with classroom instruction.”

After receiving many requests to allow older dancers to attend camp, Sheila and Tony decided to invite dancers ages 19-24 to attend Camp Rince Ceol. For the past two seasons, young adults have been able to participate in the training and fun. Now, for the first time, adults of all ages will come together to increase their learning of Irish dance and culture.

Adult dancers receive all of the benefits of their younger counterparts: a full curriculum of core classes (including TCRG training classes), bonus classes, amazing meals, clean rooms (no tents here), night-time activities, and an opportunity to showcase what they have learned.

In addition to the regular privileges, adults get a few extra perks. Housing will be provided on campus in a sorority house, where adults will be able to socialize and help each other practice during their down time, if they choose. Adults are allowed the use of cell phones, have access to a Wi-Fi network during camp, and are treated to an off-campus dinner with instructors. The adult camp and the camp for children will be kept separate from each other. 

Sheila wants Irish dancers to have a great experience socializing, having fun and sharing the love of Irish dance. Sheila says, “Camp is fun, but we are there for a reason—the kids work hard." Sheila says that the adults work just as hard as the kids do. "We want adults to have the same opportunities as the kids."

Camp Rince Ceol campers "hand dancing"
Photo: Courtesy Sheila Ryan-Davoren
What you should know about Camp Rince Ceol:

All of the Irish dance instructors at Camp Rince Ceol are former touring group members from such shows as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. A list of instructors can be found on the Camp Rince Ceol website.

Camp Rince Ceol is open to campers ages 8 and up.

In addition to core Irish dancing classes, other classes include language, sports (hurling, rugby), show steps, behind the scenes, ballet, yoga, foot care, rhythm and timing, footwork, stage presence, and Irish dance and music history.

Camp Rince Ceol has been approved by An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha as an "Open Workshop" for 2015 and therefore is exempt from any association/affiliation rules.

There are two locations:  Dunn School, Los Olivos, California and Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Camp Rince Ceol is open to all CLRG dancers. Dancers (including adults) from other organizations are welcome to attend the open platform camp that runs simultaneously with the adult course week.

Adults are invited to attend Camp Rince Ceol in New York during the week of July 5th through the 10th.

Family discounts are available. 

For more information please see Camp Rince Ceol’s website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Four reasons why the family that dances together stays together

My cute kiddos and I!
photo by Christy Dorrity

Mothers and fathers who have children in Irish dance, and are dancers themselves, know of the joys that come from sharing Irish dance together.

There are real advantages to having family members dance together.  Here are a few:

1-Saving time and money

Can that be a typo?  How could anyone think that including more children in dance would ever be less expensive?

Families who have many children understand how hectic life can be when each child is going in a different direction--soccer on Tuesday, dance on Wednesday, piano on Thursday, and so on. When a majority of the family does the same activity, there is less running around and juggling of schedules.
 Many dance schools offer family discounts and most feiseanna have a family maximum on fees.
Expensive shoes and costumes can be passed down to younger siblings. Melissa Cleverly, an adult dancer, and mother of dancers in Utah says, "I just put shoes that are too small in a bin, and when a younger sibling needs a pair of shoes we go to the shoe bin to get pair of shoes."

2-Family bonding time

Not only do parents and children enjoy one another's company at practices and performance, but even the travel time can be a perfect opportunity for sharing and quality heart-to-hearts. Many families turn competition weekends into vacations, or family vacations into competition weekends. Rachel Joy, adult Irish dancer from Beaton School of Irish Dance in Maryland, says, "Driving to and from feiseanna is the best time; parent/child competitions are fun too!"
Performing together in recitals or in parent/child competitions strengthens relationships. Each family member feels the rush of cheering for a sibling or child and sharing in their triumphs and pitfalls.

3-Promoting Exercise

Dancing by its very nature encourages parents and kiddos to get up off the couch and do something active.  Dance class fosters stamina, perseverance and endurance.  Even practice time at home counts as a calorie-burning, heart-helping activity. When children see their parents doing something active to stay healthy, you can bet there are healthy habits forming.

4-Encouraging Dreaming

How great is it for kids to see their parents making goals, then working toward them with vigor? "We all practice together and are at dance together," says Cleverly. "It is so fun to have this common interest in our family. Everyone in our family has something in common with one another." Adults who go to practice and work toward a future goal give their kids the gift of ambition and the belief that they, too, can do anything they put their mind to.