Interested in trying out Irish dance, but aren’t entirely sure? We could talk all day long about the benefits Irish dance has, physically, mentally, and socially (and we have—check out these posts to learn more!) but why don’t we let some of our dancers tell you a little more about why they love Irish dance here at SRL! We hope you’ll join us!
Looking for: exercise?
“I love all kinds of dance but Irish dance is a fun fast kind of dancing!”—Rooney
Looking for: long-lasting life skills?
“As an adult, my time at SRL taught me the value of time management, passion and persistence. Until college, I was a multi-sport athlete, competitive dancer and a participant in various other extracurricular activities. I learned quickly how to manage my school load with these other commitments to keep everything in balance. I hold myself to a high standard to do everything the best I can, so being able to manage that while maintaining a passion for the sport taught me so much. Today, I approach everything I do with passion and persistence while remembering I have to manage my time well to accomplish all of my goals.”—Tara
Looking for: enjoyment and self-expression?
“I believe there are many reasons behind why people dance, including because friends or family members did it in the past or currently do it now. But I think that some people dance for the same reason I did: for a way to escape reality from time to time. I remember going to the studio, totally forgetting about the outside world, and just living in the moment that was happening throughout dance class.”—Christian
Looking for: cultural enrichment?
“I think people dance because it is freeing. In Irish Dance, it is you and the floor working in harmony to produce something beautiful and culturally significant. It is a personal challenge…where the only opponent is yourself. It is also an opportunity to celebrate a culture very few understand. To represent and celebrate my Irish heritage through dance has connected me more with my family’s ancestry.”—Tara
Looking for: a supportive environment?
“SRL is an amazing community where all the dancers and teachers are very motivating, inspiring, and caring.”—Bailey
Looking for: friends?
“SRL has provided me with so many opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.”—Lindsey
Looking for: peer mentors?
“I always loved my time as an assistant teacher for Courtney and still keep in contact with some of my students today. When they finally got their jumps or skips, it was such a proud moment for me. I miss working with them!”—Tara
Looking for: something to be passionate about?
Just take Colby’s word for it when asked what he loves most about Irish dance: “Everything.”
If your dancer is looking for it, SRL has it! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June, we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post—tons of testimonials from parents!— here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram
If you can walk, you can dance!
Think your preschooler is too young to start dance? Think again! SRL Irish Dance Academy is proud to offer the Jump’n Jig program for our littlest dancers, aged 2 to 5!
Split into two age groups (2-3 Tiny Jig and 4-5 Pre-Beginner,) this program was designed by early-childhood expert and ADCRG, Fiona Holmes. Classes start with helping our newest dancers learn how to act and engage within a dance class and move on to developing motor skills and musicality (all while making sure there’s plenty of fun in the meantime!) And with each class starting with a friendly welcome where they can bring along their favorite stuffed friend from home, SRL’s adoption of the Jump’n Jig program has helped get even the most reticent new dancer into the studio!
There’s plenty of benefits to starting your child in Irish dance (and starting them early!) and both our Tiny Jig and Pre-Beginner classes cover all the bases: safe social interactions with peers, instructors, and student mentors, working on not just foundational dance skills, but listening skills, and a way to grow a sense of personhood and independence. Beyond that are the physical benefits! We utilize two movement stations—circle time for direct interaction and a “track” across the room to practice skills solo—to work on single leg balancing (adding accessory movements gradually,) leg and foot strength, foot placement for Irish dance, moving on or around markers and targets, and concepts like right/left and front/back. These skills form a strong base for all forms of movement (think about football players taking ballet!) and many Tiny Jiggers move on through the levels and become life-long Irish dancers!
Irish dance has a long and rich tradition and history behind it, but you don’t need to have Irish heritage to be an Irish dancer. While the steps and the music are part of Ireland’s cultural heritage, Irish dance has become a global community—and SRL is a tight-knit and supportive community within that larger sphere. In this encouraging environment, dancers are exposed to a culture beyond their own while they develop a strong sense of musicality and rhythm—learning to actively listen to the music, find the beat by clapping, and utilizing props so they can dance with the music instead of to the music (the hardest thing to teach a dancer!)
A successful SRL dancer isn’t just strong on technique—we see success as a confident, happy, and comfortable dancer! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June (with every class available as in-person, online, or a hybrid model,) we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open and is a perfect way to judge your littlest dancer’s interest before committing more fully. With two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents, your session also includes discounts on registration and your first four weeks of classes come September. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about our studio, here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
Tradition. Passion. Dedication.
Welcome to Scoil Rince Luimni, also known as SRL Irish Dance Academy! We’re a small, independently-owned Irish dance studio located in South Windsor, Connecticut and we’re so happy you’re here. A little about us:
SRL was founded in 2014 by Courtney Jay, TCRG after she finished her BA in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. (In fact, that’s why we’re SRL—in Irish Gaelic Scoil (scull) is school, Rince (ring-ka) is dance, and Luimni (lim-nee) is Limerick!) Miss Courtney, as the dancers call her, has been an Irish dancer her whole life and has been teaching and mentoring younger dancers since she was 13. During her time in Limerick, Courtney trained at the Fleming-Ball School of Irish Dance, where she danced her way to 2 solo world medals, regional titles in solo and team championships, and top 10 at every international major competition. Before leaving Ireland, Courtney was certified by the CLRG (the largest and oldest governing body of Irish dance in the world) and then came home to Connecticut to create SRL!
7 years later and SRL is a tight-knit community that instructs in the storied tradition of Irish dance for those as young as 2-years-old (check out Tiny Jig to learn more!) into adulthood (check out SRL After Dark to learn more!) We take this traditional art form and honor the artistic components while taking a modern approach to what has become a highly athletic discipline. We train our dancers to identify and work towards their own, personal goals—whether that be recreation, casual performances, or the competitive track. Our structured environment, supported by our knowledgeable instructors, focuses on the whole dancer: technique and whole-body conditioning to be sure, but also the promotion of healthy life skills (such as setting and achieving goals, teamwork, focus, and dedication.) In line with that, SRL offers mentoring opportunities at every turn—from class helpers to buddies at dancers’ first competitions and performances—and cultivates a spirit of support and community that’s really what Irish dance is all about!
Our small, but passionate staff is ready to help guide and encourage your dancer—whether they be just starting out or qualifying for Worlds—through structured lessons that optimize their opportunities to grow both as dancers and as people. While Irish dance has a long tradition (read more about its origins here!) and strong ties to Ireland’s national identity, you don’t need to be Irish to do Irish dance. As the Irish diaspora has spread across the world, Irish dance has become more than a traditional art form (though it retains those roots and music)—it’s a global community. All you need to join in is passion, dedication, and someone to teach you—and we’d love to help out!
SRL is registered with the CLRG, the Irish Dance Teachers of North America, and the New England Irish Dance Teachers. While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June (with every class available as in-person, online, or a hybrid model,) we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about the benefits of Irish dance, here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
The question Irish dancers get asked the most is: why Irish dance? There’s a lot of amazing things to love about this artistic sport—its long and storied history, cultural enrichment, and beautiful costumes, to name a few—but the benefits of this particular type of dance can be wide-reaching, both physically and mentally, and even life-long! Let’s explore some:
Motor Skills & Mind-Body Connection: At the youngest age range—we offer classes starting a 2-years-old!--we concentrate on motor skills and correcting any left/right imbalances early in their development. Starting dance at any age is beneficial, but check out our post about the benefits of starting your dancer early here.
Flexibility, Balance, Coordination, and Strength: While many dance studios in the past concentrated more on the steps than the conditioning, SRL has always been committed to providing balanced training that looks at what the whole dancer needs, not just their feet! All age groups are doing more than learning to dance, they’re stretching and completing exercises in class that strengthen the whole dancer.
Independence: Whether your dancer is 12 or 2, they’ve been spending A LOT of time with you over the last year. Going into dance class by themselves can be the first step toward forming their own personhood in this time when kids have been isolated at home more than ever. It’s also a fun, safe space for your dancer to make new friends without parental influence!
Musicality: Irish dance is unique in many ways, but its connection to music is particularly strong! (Learn more about music in Irish dance here.) Dancers not only develop their sense of rhythm and a deeper understanding of music, but also cultivate an appreciation for traditional Irish music, often choosing to supplement their dancing by learning to play an instrument.
Social Skills and Teamwork: Not all of Irish dance is a solo performance! Dance class is a great time for your dancer to practice appropriate social skills, as well as make new friends. Later goals can include céilí dancing and teams, where dancers learn to dance in unison and work together.
Goal Setting and Self-Determination: Whether the goal be big (going to Nationals!) or smaller (getting to perform in a fancier dress,) SRL is all about small, every day steps leading to larger goals. We help each dancer set personal goals in their dance career, and this example has proven to carry through in many dancers’ school performance and at home behavior. Irish dance is more about building up skills over time, and is less about instant gratification and more about hard work and dedication—skills that will serve them all their lives!
Community: SRL is a community-focused studio where we’re all about supporting each other, even when we’re competing! But Irish dance is more than our studio, it’s a tight-knit, but also global community. All you need to enter that community is a love of Irish dance, and then you’re welcome!
Interested in seeing all that Irish dance has to offer? Check out SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp for your dancer! This is a low-commitment way for students 2-12 (and their parents) to gage interest before signing up for classes. Check out the details (and the deals your session will include!) here. We hope to meet you soon!
Have any questions? Feel free to call or text our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, a longer explanation of our Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
Does your child love to jump, wiggle, and move? Have they been bouncing off the walls all year? Are they obsessed with watching dance videos on YouTube when they get their coveted screen time? (Us, too!) Maybe it’s time to find a new outlet for all that excess energy…and why not try Irish dance?
With Scoil Rince Luimni’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, dancers from ages 2 to 12 will spend a week of classes letting that built up energy out, learning a new skill, and having safe, positive social interactions with new friends! This program is designed to really let your child try out this extremely active and fast-paced artistic sport in a secure and fun environment, but also to let you, as a parent, see if this is the right fit for your family. During one of our two Intro Summer Camp sessions, your dancer will take one class each evening (at a work-friendly time for parents,) for a full week to help them gage their interest (and get in some social time and physical exercise!)
As Irish dance has innumerable benefits (like increased coordination, flexibility, balance, and strength…along with musicality and life skills such as goal setting, teamwork, and self-determination,) we’ve added extra value to the Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp program, as well! While you’ll be able to meet our staff, explore the studio, and get a feel for what Irish dance is all about, your purchase of a session also waives your Fall 2021 registration fee and gifts you the first four weeks of classes come September for free! For our littlest dancers in our Tiny Jig or Pre-Beginner programs (2-5) this is a $155 value for only $82.50, and for our Beginners (6-12) a $216 value for only $132.
Sign up and see the full details here:
Session 1: July 19-23 or Session 2: August 16-20
Ages 2-3, 5:00-5:25PM
Ages 4-5, 5:30-6:00PM
Ages 6-12, 6:00-6:45PM
Have any questions? Feel free to call or text our Office Manager, Devon, at 860-385-1107 or shoot her an email at email@example.com. She’s happy to help!
We look forward to dancing with you soon!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, all about the general benefits of summer camps, here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
While innumerable things have changed in our world in the last year, no virus can stop the seasons from changing. From this vantage point in March, we’re all dreaming of spring, but parents know there’s something slightly more ominous looming in the horizon: summer. Two or three whole months of no school, and these days, little social interaction outside the house. But since the 1870s, parents have been turning to the most active possible solution to keep their kids engaged during the hottest months…summer camp!
Connecticut has a long history with summer camps, with the first American summer camp having been founded in Gunnery, CT just after the Civil War. The idea caught fire and in a less than 20-year period around the turn of the century the number of summer camps in the United States rose from 100 to over 1,000. These first camps were all about removing children from urban environments to reconnect with nature, and this kind of summer camp hasn’t changed all that much since. But after WWII, parents were eager to return their children to a more innocent time and summer camps had a second boom—this time with a wider range of variety as special-interest camps such as sports camps and arts camps popped up all over the country.
But what has made the summer camp an American institution? The skills taught at summer camps—be it outdoorsmanship or art forms like dance—have always been only part of the equation. The Harvard Graduate School of Education puts it this way: “All those classic camp dynamics—being away from home and parents, making new friends, being part of a team, and trying new things—are building blocks to crucial social-emotional [learning (or SEL)] skills.” Foundational, SEL skills include “self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making” and have been found to be crucial for both success in school and in later, professional life. But, unfortunately, due to the restraints placed on teachers by state-mandated curriculums, we often see this type of learning not prioritized in the classroom. Americans have been turning to a solution outside of school for 150 years now, and we have the data to back it up: a 2005 study conducted by the American Camp Association found consistent and significant growth in SEL skills (and self-confidence) in children after only a single summer camp session!
As important as SEL skills are, there’s another factor that’s helped give summer camps such staying power: the physical benefits. The majority of summer camps have always included a focus on physical activity, and in our increasingly digitized world, finding a healthy and active outlet for kids is more important than ever. We all know that our country has been facing issues for years when it comes to the health of younger generations—but it turns out summer camp could be of help. In a 2011 edition of the Journal of Adolescence, a study reported that adolescents with no organized summer activities were at the greatest risk of obesity, while a 2010 study found that day camp campers who were exposed to active peers and active teachers were more likely to be physically active even after camp ended. While a week of physical activity is definitely good, the way camps instill the habit of exercise is even better!
While our registered dancers here at SRL Irish Dance Academy (from Beginner level up!) know all about how fun one of our summer camps can be, what about someone who’s never attended an Irish dance class? Don’t worry, we have a great option for even the newest dancer, as well! SRL is hosting two, week-long “Intro to Irish Dance” Summer Camps this year. Each week consists of five straight days of one class a day (at work-friendly times for parents!) to give new dancers a real feel for our year-long programs. The best part? Until May 1st, SRL is running a deal that will carry you into the school/dance year: sign up for this "Intro" Camp and we'll include a free four-week Taster Session in September (and wave your registration fee when your dancer falls in love with Irish dance and insists on signing up!)
This camp is multipurpose, for not only will it ease any parent’s mind about how interested their child is in Irish dance before enrolling for the year, but it will provide that social and physical outlet kids need every summer (but this one especially!) Even if your child finds out Irish dance isn’t right for them, they’ll still be invited into a fun, welcoming environment, taught to stretch and move their body in new ways, and be able to interact with their peers as both team mates and friends while they increase their self-esteem by learning a new skill. We’ve been holding classes in our clean, appropriately socially-distanced studio since September without any issue, and are excited to introduce your child to the world of Irish dance!
We could go on and on about the benefits of starting dance early (and we already have! check out our post about it,) but the real takeaway from SRL’s intro program is the same as any camp: increasing your child’s SEL skills while allowing them to express themselves in a healthy way and have fun! This opportunity creates a break from technology, lets them develop a sense of independence, let all that silly energy out, and have more and varied social interactions. And, not to mention, it gives parents a much-needed break, too!
Learn more about our “Intro to Irish Dance" Summer Camp—with a special discount (and additional savings!) running until May 1st! Or feel free to reach out by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. We look forward to dancing with you soon!
So we can’t sit this close together right now - don’t let that deter you from the many benefits dancing can offer your little one!
We know how important it is for toddlers and pre-schoolers to interact with their peers. Interacting with other children their age is a huge part of their social development and it can’t be recreated at home with siblings and parents.
This has always been a huge part of our Pre-Beginner program and it is more important now than ever before. In our small dance classes (maximum of 8 students), tiny dancers learn to take turns, share the attention of their instructor, follow directions, and most importantly build their independence from their caregivers.
After months of staying home or with close family, it will be very normal for children to experience separation anxiety. The longer you avoid independence building activities, like dance class, the more severe the anxiety may become.
Our popular Jump’n Jig program has been adapted to allow for physical distancing without sacrificing any fun! We want you to feel safe joining us and allowing your little dancer to enjoy time to jump, wiggle, and jig with us!
Our annual summer camp was Olympic themed this year, with dancers placed on teams and competing for points awarded for good sportsmanship, effort, enthusiasm, and challenge wins. Dancers worked on their dancing technique and skills, learned new steps, and participated in yoga, nutrition, and speed masterclasses. At the end of the week, dancers nominated others for individual awards such as Best Effort, Most Spirited, and Best Overall Performance. We also presented the winners of the team challenge.
Camp is every July and August with day camp options for returning students and evening options for new beginners! Save our 2017 dates - July 24-28 and August 7-11!
Find all of our latest news on our Scoil Rince Luimni Facebook page!