1974 Commerce St. Yorktown, NY

917-453-0375        LuAnn614@optonline.net

1 Commerce St (GPS 115 Wall St), Valhalla, NY

Michael Smith TCRG/ADCRG is a “dance master” and conducts Irish Dance workshops with our school once a month as well as Summer Camp. Michael runs with his wife Noreen, the acclaimed Smith-Houlihan Academy in Boston, Massachusettes. His daughter Ashley is a two time World Champion and four time All Ireland Champion. Their son Cian is an accomplished Irish Dancer as well and holds many regional, national, and major titles. Michael is responsible for the growth and development of our champion dancers in collaboration with LuAnn.


​​Kelly Pappas TCRG began Irish Dance at age 10 as one of the first students at O'Rourke Irish Dancers when it opened its doors in 1995. Her love of competing led her to become the first student in the O’Rourke School to reach Preliminary Championships, as well as the first to attend the Mid-Altantic Oireachtas as a solo competitor. Throughout high school, Kelly was an assistant teacher at O’Rourke and took a short break from teaching to attend college at Fordham University in New York City, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2007. After returning from college, Kelly joined O’Rourke once again as an assistant teacher. She also competed on the adult 8-Hand and 4-Hand teams, winning both regional and national championships. Kelly earned her T.C.R.G. in 2012. She currently teaches the Adult Solo classes and assists with the pre-school and beginner classes at the White Plains studio.


Claire Donnelly TCRG began Irish dancing at the age of 9 in Dayton, Ohio. She danced competitively for 13 years at the Celtic Academy under the instruction of Kathleen Dwyer and Mary Laffey, and later as a workshop student of Michael Smith. She competed at numerous regional and national championships throughout her competitive dancing career, twice achieving 7th place in the Mid-America region and qualifying for the World Championships three times. She competed on multiple ceili teams at the regional, national, and world championship levels. Claire started teaching at O'Rourke Irish Dancers in 2008 while attending Fordham University. She currently assists with the Preliminary Championship, Open Championship and Ceili classes. She feels lucky to be part of the O'Rourke family and is glad to have the opportunity to be able to share her knowledge and passion of Irish dance and culture with O'Rourke students.


Maura Zipf TCRG Maura Zipf began Irish Dance at the age of 8. She danced competitively for 12 years at O’Rourke Irish Dancers. She competed at numerous regional and national championships as a team and then solo dancer, competed internationally at the Worlds as a team dancer, and at the All-Scotland Championships as a solo dancer. Throughout high school and college, Maura was an assistant teacher at O’Rourke and after graduating from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University in 2016, and in Dublin, passed her T.C.R.G. exam in 2016. Maura has always had a love of Irish Dance and hopes it will always be a part of her life. 



Assistant Teachers: Maureen Turchioe, Mary Broderick Ryan, Suzanne Fuller TMRF, Michael Facelle TMRF & Ashley Smith


Tuition due before or at the first class of each semester: Fall (September-December) Winter (January-March), Spring (April-June), Summer (July-August).

The O’Rourke Irish Dancers follows the grade structure for dancing as set forth by the Irish Dancing Teacher’s Association of North America (IDTANA). At O’Rourke Irish Dancers a dancer’s class level is determined by their competition level. 

Preschool 
This class is for three and four year olds. This class focuses on basic foot positions and introduces students to movement and Irish music. 
Classes per week: 1

Beginner, 5 and older (must be entering kindergarten) 
This class is for students that have never taken Irish Step Dancing or have participated in our preschooler class. This level introduces students to drill exercises that concentrate on rhythm and technique. Students will learn the Light Jig and Reel. Students who can dance two steps in either the Light Jig or Reel can start competing in the Winter. This level dancer is expected to participate in at least two feiseanna per year. Appropriate dress for the recital and feiseanna is a plaid skirt (color of your choice), white blouse, proper Irish Dancing soft shoes and white poodle socks. If the beginner masters two steps in the Jig and Reel they progress to the Advanced Beginner class and competition level after their first year in class. 
Classes per week: 1

Advanced Beginner 
This level dancer will continue to reinforce their two Light Jig steps, their two Reel steps and will be introduced to the Slip Jig, and Treble Jig. This level dancer is expected to participate in at least four feiseanna a year. Advanced Beginners can continue to wear plaid skirts and blouses for feiseanna or purchase a school costume. An advanced beginner must place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at the Advanced Beginner level in Light Jig, Reel, Slip Jig and Treble Jig in order to move to the Novice class. 
Classes per week: two, workshop participation recommended


Novice
This level dancer will continue to reinforce their two Reel steps and two Slip Jig steps and incorporate more difficult material into their steps. They will also be expected to be able to execute two slow Treble Jig steps. Novice dancers will also start to learn slow Hornpipe steps and possibly a traditional set (St. Patrick’s Day). This level dancer is expected to participate in at least four feiseanna a year and typically owns a school costume. Novice dancers are also allowed to wear solo costumes in competition instead of school costumes. A Novice dancer must place 1st at the Novice level in Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig and Hornpipe in order to move to the Prize Winner class. 
Classes per week: two, workshop participation recommended


Prizewinner 
This level dancer will focus on perfecting their advanced Reels, Slip Jigs, Treble Jigs and Hornpipes. Prizewinner dancers will also learn lead arounds for their respective age group in order to prepare for Preliminary Championships. In addition, they will learn another traditional set or contemporary set based on their age. This level dancer is expected to participate in at least four feiseanna a year and should own a solo costume. A Prizewinner dancer must place 1st at the Prizewinner level in Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig and Hornpipe in order to move to the Preliminary/Open Championship class. 

Classes per week: two, workshop participation recommended


Preliminary Championship 

This level dancer has mastered three steps in the Reel, three steps in the Slip Jig, three steps in the Treble Jig and three steps in the Hornpipe. Preliminary Championship students are expected to also know both a traditional and contemporary set and will continue to increase the difficulty of their dancing material. This level dancer is expected to participate in a minimum of six feiseanna a year and at least eight in order to compete at the Oireachtas. Preliminary Championship dancers should own a solo costume. Students dancing at the Preliminary Championship level and placing on a consistent basis are eligible to compete in the Mid Atlantic Regional Championships also known as The Oireachtas. Through the Oireachtas students may qualify for The North American Nationals and World Championships. Preliminary Championship dancers must obtain at least three firsts in Preliminary Championships in one calendar year in order to move to Open Championships. If the three firsts are achieved over more than one calendar year they must move immediately to Open Championships after the third win. 

Classes per week: two, workshop participation recommended


Open Championships

This level dancer has reached the highest level of competition in Irish Dancing and demonstrates a mastery of skills in both hard and soft shoe dances. This level dancer is expected to participate in a minimum of six feiseanna a year and at least eight in order to compete at the Oireachtas. Open Champions should own a solo costume. Open Champions are eligible to compete in both the Mid Atlantic Regional Championships also known as The Oireachtas and are eligible to compete at The North American Nationals. Through the Oireachtas and North American Nationals dancers may qualify to compete at The World Championships. Some students may also be asked to represent the school at international competitions such as The All Ireland, All Scotland and Great Britain Championships.

Classes per week: two, workshop participation recommended


Competition Ceili Class

This class is by invitation only. Dancers in this class prepare year round to compete at the Mid Atlantic Regional Oireachtas, North American Nationals, The All Irelands and if qualified the World Championships. There is a high level of commitment expected of dancers on a Ceili team. Dancers on Ceili teams are expected to attend all scheduled classes and workshops. A position on a team one year does not guarantee a position on a team the following year. Dynamics of the teams are examined each year by the directors of the school and Ceili teams may change based on age, ability, commitment and team collaboration. Attendance on a weekly basis is mandatory. All age groups for Ceili teams are required to wear a school costume, specific wig, makeup and tanner. 

Classes per week: 1, workshop participation mandatory



Adult Competition Ceili

This class is by invitation only. Dancers in this class prepare year round to compete at the Regional Oireachtas and North American Nationals. They may also be asked to represent the school at international competitions such as The All Ireland, All Scotland and Great Britain Championships. There is a high level of commitment expected of dancers on a Ceili team. Attendance on a weekly basis is mandatory. This student must own a school costume.

Classes per week: 1, workshop participation mandatory



Adult Beginner 

Students 18 and older with no Irish Step experience. This class is for students that have never taken Irish Step Dancing. This level introduces students to drill exercises that concentrate on rhythm and technique. Students will learn the Light Jig, Reel and will be introduced to Ceili dancing. 

Classes per week: see schedule



Advanced Adult Step 

Students 18 and older with at least one or two years of previous Irish Step experience. This student is capable of executing Light Jigs, easy Reels, Slip Jigs and some hard shoe. This student is interested in learning more advanced material. This student will also learn Treble Jigs, Hornpipes and traditional sets. 


Classes per week: 1


Oireachtas Qualifications for Solo Competition (Mid Atlantic Regional Championships): 

Starting in 2009 students of the O’Rourke school must be competing at the Preliminary Championship level and placing on a consistent basis in order to qualify for the Oireachtas. Participants in the Under eight age category at the Oireachtas are “at the teacher’s discretion”. All students of O’Rourke Irish Dancers must compete in at least eight feiseanna during the calendar year in order to be entered into the Oireachtas.



Dress Code 

All students, beginner and above, are expected to wear black shorts with a white or black leotard or t-shirt with hair pulled back in a ponytail. White poodle socks with black soft shoes or hard shoes. Beginners may use black ballet shoes if they already own them. We bring Patrick Fay (http://www.fayshoes.com/) in at the beginning of the Fall semester so proper shoes and socks can be purchased. When purchasing shoes please do not buy shoes that are too big. Soft shoes stretch and if purchased too large will not form to the foot and will not help the dancer point and arch. Hardshoes purchased too large will cause the dancer to dance flat footed. 



Practice 

All students should practice their steps at home to music. It is helpful if there is an area in your house that you can dedicate for practice (basement or garage). There are many steps taught during the school year and they become increasingly complicated. Practice at home is important for the dancer to remember their steps and master them. 



Costumes for competing 

Beginners: plaid skirt with a white blouse, poodle socks and soft shoes. Curly bun or wig to finish the look is suggested. 

Advanced Beginners: plaid skirt with a white blouse or school costume, poodle socks, soft shoes and hard shoes. Curly bun or wig to finish the look is suggested. 

Novice: plaid skirt with a white blouse, school costume or solo costume, poodle socks, soft shoes and hard shoes. Curly bun or wig to finish the look is strongly suggested. 

Prize Winner, Preliminary & Open Championships: Solo costume with wig or bun and appropriate shoes. 

Ceili Team Members: School costume and wig that is selected for the team. 



School Costumes:

We use Shamrock Stichery for our school costumes. They currently cost approximately $750. If you are interested in ordering a school costume please see LuAnn. You can also purchase previously owned costumes through current or former students of the school. 



Solo Costumes:

When starting to explore options for solo costumes it is imperative that you involve LuAnn in the decision regarding the dress you select. LuAnn has expertise in helping your dancer gain superior stage presence by selecting the latest dance fashions, materials and colors that are appropriate for your dancer. There are several avenues to take when purchasing a solo costume and a consultation with LuAnn can help you choose the appropriate option for your budget. 

http://www.dance-again.com/index.html (for Novice through Preliminary dancers)

http://www.shamrockstitchery.com/ (for the Preliminary and Open Champion)

http://www.elevationdesign.ie/ (for the Preliminary and Open Champion)

http://www.dancinginceltic.com/ (for the Preliminary and Open Champion)

http://www.sioparince.com/ (for the Preliminary and Open Champion)

http://www.lewisirishdresses.com/index.htm (for the Preliminary and Open Champion)



Master Workshops:

In order to enhance our students Irish Dancing experience and bring your dancer to “the next level” we strongly encourage students in the Advanced Beginner level and above to participate in Master Workshops. Our school is involved in Master Class workshops with Michael Smith, ADCRG of the acclaimed Smith-Houlihan School from Boston, Massachusetts. The material and experience passed on is invaluable. There is an additional fee for workshop participation.



Summer Camp

Each Summer we host a week long Irish Dance Camp under the direction of LuAnn and Michael. Students at the Advanced Beginner level and above are encouraged to participate.



Competitions

Competitions in Irish Dance are referred to as “Feiseanna” or “A Feis” (festival). There are feiseanna held throughout the world just about every weekend of the year. Students are encouraged to participate in feiseanna to obtain the placing they need to move up in class at the school. Participation in feiseanna can be fun and will also encourage the dancer to practice. You can get a listing of all feiseanna in the tri-state area at Feis411.com



Music: Music can be purchased from Pat Fay when he comes to the school or at feiseanna. Beginners should practice to Reels and Light Jigs. 



Events

· A Recital is held in the spring, usually in May. All dancers participate in the recital.

· St Patrick’s Day Parade in White Plains, Eastchester, Mamaroneck, Mt Kisco or Mahopac. All students are invited to participate.

· Dance-outs are dance performances at dinners or other events held outside of the studio. Participation is by invitation. Participation in extra practices is required. 







LuAnn O'Rourke-Boyd, TCRG/ADCRG - The O'Rourke Academy of Irish Dance was founded in 1995 by LuAnn O'Rourke. LuAnn studied Irish dance since the age of six with Eileen McDonough of the Bronx, Michael and Noreen Smith of Boston and Margaret Pike of Yonkers. LuAnn competed in numerous regional (Oireachtas) and North American National competitions. She consistently ranked among the top ten and top five dancers in the Mid Atlantic region until the age of 22 . LuAnn qualified for the Irish Dancing World Championships held in Ireland twelve consecutive years in a row and participated in the 1978 World Championships held in Dublin, Ireland. LuAnn majored in dance during her first year in college at Marymount Manhattan College (received a BA from The College of New Rochelle in Business) and went on to receive her T.C.R.G. (Teachers Certificate Rinci Gaelacha) from An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha of Ireland in 1994. LuAnn later received her A.D.C.R.G. from An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha in 2007 which allows her to adjudicate Irish Dance competitions throughout the world. The school is based in White Plains and is well known throughout the Irish community for its participation in competitions and community events.