If your little dancers are looking for something energetic and different then perhaps it’s time you checked local Irish dance classes! They’ll be in for a treat and a full body workout with kicks, jumps, lightning-fast footwork, and mixed timing. These classes are perfect for all genders who are open to creative and lively dance fun. Check out this list of both performance and competitive based kids Irish Dance Classes in the Portland Metro Area.

Yeates Academy of Irish Dance

Ages five and up
The Yeates Academy offers Irish dance classes that are steeped in rich cultural tradition. The Academy is registered with the Irish Dancing Commission which means enrolled students are eligible to compete in local, regional, national, and World championships. It is also the home to the Molly Malone Irish Dancers and is the longest running Irish school in Oregon. Their mission is to provide every student with a fair, safe, and comfortable environment where everyone is encouraged to reach their highest dancing potential. Traditional solo and set dances are taught to students ranging from age 5 to adult. This high-ceiling dance studio has a lovely reception area where parents and siblings are welcome to wait. To make things more comfortable they provide books, chairs, a play and snack area, a microwave, sink, and Wi-Fi.

4231 N. Interstate Ave.
503-249-9009
Online: yeatesacademy.com

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Murray School of Irish Dance

Ages four and up 
Geraldine Murray runs a fabulous and authentic Irish Dance School in town! She has been in the dancing world for over 40 years and is both enthusiastic and passionate about her work. Classes range from beginning to advanced ranging from age 4 to adulthood. Is your little one totally new to Irish Dance? Tell them there’s nothing to worry about. Beginning students in the Murray School of Irish Dance focus on learning and mastering basic techniques. They practice foot placement, balance, posture, and musicality. While learning and mastering these techniques they are taught 4 solo dances in soft shoes; Reel, Light Jig, Slip Jig, and Single Jig. From there they move on to training in hard shoes. Dance on!

There was a recent fire in SW studio. They will be hosting classes in a temporary location while reconstruction of the space is in effect.  

Murray Dance Studio
4620 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.

Academy of Kung Fu
3228 SE 21st Ave.
503-239-7356
Online: murrayirishdance.com

Oregon Irish Dance Academy

Ages 3 and up
What sets Oregon Irish Dance Academy apart from many others is that they are entirely noncompetitive. IDA was founded by two sisters Christina and Victoria White who grew  up on the competitive Irish dancing circuit. They attempt to set attainable goals and provide age appropriate challenges that help promote a positive learning mindset. There are many opportunities for dancers to perform, bond with one another, and learn both group and solo dances. They offer classes in three locations. You can find their classes at the Children’s Gym, Dance with Joy Studios, and Forest Grove Dance Arts.

The Children's Gym
1625 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97086

Dance With Joy Studios
7981 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Forest Grove Dance Arts
1819 19th Ave, Forest Grove, OR 97116
503-819-9555
Online: oregonirishdance.com

An Daire Academy of Irish Dance 

Ages four and up
At An Daire Academy directors Jim Mueller and Lauren Crowe-Mueller stress the importance of how Irish dance promotes wellness, friendship, and stronger self-esteem. This dance academy houses itself downtown in the Portland Metro Arts Center in SE Portland. They work with beginners through champion-level students. Classes are designed to allow kids to move up as they progress in skill level. They put on a variety local and regional competitions and performances and are active around St. Patrick’s Day, performing at Paddy’s Bar and Grill, Kell’s Irish Pub, and Maher’s Pub.

Portland Metro Arts Center
11240 SE Division Street
971-340-6001
Online: andaire.org

Does your little one love their Irish dance classes? If so, tell us in the comments where they kick up their heels!

—Elissa Cirignotta

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