Long Weekend on the Emerard Isle


At the South Sligo Summer School sean-nos dance workshop. Kristin Harris Walsh and Brenda O’Callaghan.

It all started last year, at the South Sligo Summer School. We were doing the kind of trip we have gotten really good at,  balancing vacay and research/conference work. So we were in Sligo, where I was learning some sean-nós step dancing as part of my research on connections between sean-nós and traditional Irish step dance.

A conversation with Brenda O’Callaghan (the sean-nós teacher) led to a demo of some Newfoundland step dancing, and she quickly proffered an invitation to come and perform at the Cos Cos Sean-Nos Festival, to be held in Rathcormack, Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo in May 2013.

I was late getting to the car, and apologized to the boys inside, saying “I was just invited to go to Ireland for a weekend next May!” Seemed like a wonderful opportunity, particularly given all The Gathering events this year, but the reality of it a long shot for sure, given the cost and time involved.

Fast forward several months, and the invitation kept niggling at the back of my mind. I decided to write to Brenda, asking if the offer is still on the table. Indeed it was. So I applied to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council for a Professional Projects grant in the dance section, figuring that the stiff competition would rule my project out.

When the funding letter came several months later, the reality hit – I am in fact headed to Ireland to dance for a weekend in May.

Well, that weekend has come. Leaving tonight on a jet plane, as they say…four days of step dancing, trad music and, of course Bulmer’s and “the full Irish”.

Sleep can come next week…

Want to know more about sean-nós step dance? Here’s a clip of the fabulous Mick Mulkerrin at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, another summer school I attended in 2012.



About tripforthree

World(ish) travellers, one trip at a time.
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1 Response to Long Weekend on the Emerard Isle

  1. Pingback: My kingdom for a bag of Tyrrell’s | Tripforthree

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