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Irish dance
O'Shea-Chaplin Dancers performing at the Massachusetts State House, Irish dance, 2009; Rita O'Shea-Chaplin; Boston, Massachusetts;
O'Shea-Chaplin Dancers performing at the Massachusetts State House, Irish dance, 2009
Rita O'Shea-Chaplin
Boston, Massachusetts
Three young dancers; Irish dance; 2009: Massachusetts State House
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Rita O'Shea-Chaplin
Melrose, MA
Web Site
Traditional Irish dance has a long and rich history, traceable back to ancient times when itinerant dancing masters traveled the length and breadth of Ireland. In the United States, Irish dance classes have been a part of major metropolitan areas since the 1880s, wherever the Irish have settled. The O'Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance is one of the longest established Irish dancing schools in the country. It was founded in 1954 in Galway, Ireland, by champion dancer Rita O'Shea, ADCRG. In the early 1960s, Rita moved to the United States and continued to teach traditional and contemporary Irish dance full-time in the Boston area. Rita is a registered teacher, adjudicator, and examiner with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland. Rita has trained many dancers for their Rita also serves as a member of the examining Committee of An Coimisiún Rince na hEireann (Irish Dance Commission). She has taught thousands of children Irish culture throughout the medium of Irish dance, and several of her students are now dancing teachers themselves. One of her star students is Aisling Francoeur who began her study Irish dance with Rita when she was only four. She has gone on to compete successfully in local, regional, national, and international competitions. In 2008, the Mass Cultural Council funded an apprenticeship focusing on training Aisling for her Teacher' Certificate.
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