Even if Irish music isn’t your thing, Teelin Irish Dance Company members say the diversity of dances will intrigue you. Teelin Irish Dance Company will perform at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.
“It really isn’t your standard Irish dance performance. It isn’t ‘Riverdance,’” said company member Whitney Hanson. “It’s innovative and creative. It’s a really high-energy show with special effects.”
Based in Columbia, the Teelin Irish Dance Company has graced stages locally, nationally, and internationally. These world-class Irish step dancers have been enthralling audiences with their award-winning choreography since 2001. Director Maureen Berry won the 2009 Individual Artist Award for Choreography from the Maryland State Arts Council and more recently won the 2016 Howie Award from the Howard County Arts Council.
Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for ages 25 & under, and ages 60 & up. CCAC Members receive a 10 percent discount. Tickets can be purchased online at www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org or by calling 410-848-7272.
Company member Gaby Galoppo described the show as “original."
“It’s way different than any other Irish dancing show because there’s different elements of hip-hop, clogging, and singing,” Galoppo explained. “It’s a really well-rounded performance.”
Company member Campbell Snoddy said every number is different than the one before because the group uses hard shoes and soft shoes.
“It’s percussive and rhythmic as well as graceful and stylistic,” Snoddy said.
Snoddy explained that the faster the music is and the more complicated the steps, the harder the number can be.
“This year a piece called ‘Steam’ was choreographically challenging because we have three separate dances going to one piece of music,” Hanson explained. “We had to work around each other as well as interact with each other.”
Company member Lexi Paulson spoke similarly of “Bonfire Nights.”
“It has a bunch of different parts, including guests from the junior troupe, and it was pretty difficult to learn because we struggled to differentiate between the parts, so we had to wear a specific color each week to help,” Paulson explained. “Since it is a new dance this year, [director] Maureen made it all from scratch and the dance was constantly changing to make sure that everyone could be seen and that traveling was easy. It's also one of the longer dances, so being able to get through the whole thing was tough at the beginning, but it became so much easier to get through as time went on.”
Paulson said the audience’s encouragement always makes performing more fun.
“When I'm on stage and hear the audience clap to the beat, I immediately light up,” Paulson said. “Some of my family members have pointed out that not a single performer looks like they don't want to be there. Our show is always so warm and inviting to everyone and I can't wait for our upcoming shows!”