Irish step dance performance kicks off ArtWeek

Apr 27, 2019

MARION — The Irish Step Dance performance kicked off ArtWeek at the Marion Art Center April 27. Nine girls, dressed in all black and wearing steel-toed shoes, confidently tapped the ground with their feet, adding to the melody of a live flutist and violinist.

The audience added to the groove by clapping and stomping to the beat.

The young performers from the O’Reilly Irish Dance program, comprised of both children and teens, came from Cambridge to perform dances from their show “In Harmony”.

Throwing in traditional step, sean-nós, and set dancing, the girls danced in solos and groups on stage.

After the show, members of the audience danced in front of the stage for a family ceili.

The girl performers have between 3 and 8 years of experience dancing in the program.

One of the girls who is 16, started dancing when she was four years old.

MAC Board Member, Heather Parsons who helped set up the event, said her grandniece performed at the show.

Parsons, pleased with the event’s turnout, said she did not expect over 50 people to attend the performance.

“I’m thrilled with it, it’s a great turnout,” said Parsons, “Everybody is getting up and dancing.”

O’Reilly Irish Dance Instructor Jackie O’Reilly said her love for Irish dance started after first hearing about it when she was between 7 and 8 years old.

Her fascination with that genre eventually drew her to get involved with Irish dance 15 years ago.

Six years later, she founded the non-competitive dance program for children and teens, O’Reilly Irish Dance.

O’Reilly said she appreciated getting the opportunity to perform her group’s new dance pieces.

“We’ve been working on some new pieces this year. Getting a chance to come down to the Marion ArtWeek was a great space to try them out on a new audience and share what we do in a broader sense,” said O’Reilly, “It is a great way to spread the message about non-competitive Irish dance and other forms of Irish dance.”

The next live musical performance for ArtWeek is Jazz Jam at the Marion Art Center Saturday, May 4 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person.

Attendees can purchase tickets at