Máire Clerkin is an Irish dance and theatre artist from London, of Irish parents. She moved to California in 2003, and has since taught for numerous educational organizations. A certified dance teacher and adjudicator with the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, and member of the Irish Dance Teachers of North America, Máire judges competitions worldwide, choreographs award-winning dance drama productions, and teaches at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and University of Limerick in Ireland. With a B.A. in Performing Arts from Middlesex University, Máire founded several dance theatre companies, touring the UK and Ireland extensively. A dancer, writer, and actor, Máire tours her successful solo dance theatre show internationally, and collaborates with folk musicians across the globe. She is Artistic Director of the Irish Music & Dance ensemble, A Gaelic Gathering, performing for school assemblies, festivals, and concerts.
Irish Dance & Drama:
Using Celtic folk tales, Máire (pronounced ‘Mora’) engages students of all ages and levels with storytelling and basic lessons in dance, drama skills, and physical theatre. She introduces them to Irish dance with body percussion, partner work, fun footwork, group formations, rhythm games, and dancing to traditional Irish Reels and Jigs. Within a residency, Máire creates a supportive, educational, cultural environment leading to a culminating performance. With a variety of Irish stories on offer, the program is adaptable to different grade levels and connects with the classroom curriculum.
Máire teaches workshops in Irish dance, from traditional social dances in circles, squares and with partners, to step dancing with percussive footwork made famous by Riverdance. Workshops can stand alone or be part of a series, building to a culminating performance that showcases the student learning and ability. The benefits are cultural, historical, musical, creative, and form the basis of coordination, fitness, and teamwork. As a teacher with 35 years’ experience, Máire engages students - both boys and girls - of all ages, levels, and abilities, and works in partnership with teachers to connect lessons with the curriculum.