Explore the most popular form of traditional social dancing in Ireland today. We will learn the basics of Irish Set Dancing. Sets are dance in square formation with intricate and rhythmic footwork. Learn to dance to reels, jigs, slides, polkas and hornpipes.
Sean-nós dance is very different from the Irish step dance most people are used to seeing. Sean-nós literally meaning old-style is a highly improvisational, low to the ground, rhythmic dance form. Unlike Irish step dancers, Sean-nós dancers swing their hips and use their arms as forms of expressing the music. Traditionally a dancer danced solo on the hardwood of a half door or the round top of a barrel; as a result the steps are confined to a small space. In Sean-nós dance, the dancer is tied closely with the musician and the music. The dancer interprets the music.
Maldon Meehan is a performer, teacher and scholar of Irish Sean-nós and set dance. She holds a BA in Irish Studies/Theater Arts from The Evergreen State College and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick, Ireland. Maldon has over 18 years experience dancing, teaching and performing and she is a 2008 Regional Arts and Cultures grant recipient.
As a sean-nós dancer, Maldon has appeared on the nationally televised 2005 Oireachtas at the Cork Opera House in Cork City, (TG4) as well as on Connemara Community Radio and Raidió na Gaeltachta (RTÉ) in Ireland. She placed 3rd in the 2005 Comórtas Chóilín Sheáin Dharach, a sean-nós jig competition held annually in Connemara. In 2005 Maldon Meehan and Ronan Regan released an instructional DVD of Sean-nós dance; today the DVD has been sold in more than 17 countries.
Maldon has studied sean-nós dance with Róisín Ní Mhainín, Pádraig Ó hOibicín, Mulkerrin, Mairéad Casey, Pádraig and Gearóid Ó Dubhain. She has performed on stage with Johnny B Connolly, Dale Russ, Hanz Araki, Kevin Burke, Danu, Jackie Daily, Ronan Regan and Kieran Jordan.
Maldon has performed and/or taught at the Boffin Arts Festival (Ireland), the Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp (Washington), Aladdin Theater (Oregon), Irish Connections Festival (Massachusetts), Sean-nós Milwaukee (Wisconsin) and the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College (Massachusetts). She is a founding member of Sean-nós Northwest, a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting dance, song and language in the Pacific Northwest.
Maldon Meehan currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches weekly classes, performs and tours nationally.