Butte Tiernan Irish Dancers
In 1998, the An Ri Ra Gaelic Festival by the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society in 1998, featured local and regional performers. An Ri Ra was held in Missoula for five years up until 2003 when it was showcased in Butte, MT. Butte festival organizers invited performers from across the US and internationally. These musicians and dancers celebrated the festival alongside our local and regional talent. The festival brought world champion Trinity Irish Dancers of Chicago and Milwaukee to Butte's An Ri Ra. Irish dance in Montana changed forever.
Prior to 2003, Butte had a ceili dance club called the Corktown Dancers, named after an historic Butte neighborhood. Having surpassed the available local instruction the club began searching for a instructor. At the same time, The Carrigan School of Irish Dance in Helena was looking for their next instructor.
Mark Howard, founder and artistic director of the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, accompanied his troupe of dancers to Butte for An Ri Ra. Mark, a bit of a history buff, was swept up in the heritage of Butte and Helena and the energy and spirit of the people.
After several historic tours and meetings with parents of dancers, Mark and the parent coordinators of each school had come up with a plan to fly Trinity instructors into Montana. The Tiernan Irish Dance School was born.
The Tiernan Irish Dancers have enjoyed the support and guidance of Mark Howard and the tremendous instructors of the Trinity school. Butte dancers have performed for the President of Ireland and several Irish Ambassadors and Irish Consuls General, along with annual performances celebrating and honoring the heritage of Butte. The exciting choreography and instruction of the Trinity and Tiernan schools inspires hundreds of young Butte dancers. Our dance school is a family, where older dancers inspire and help younger dancers. Each class level benefits from older dancers who volunteer their time and talent to hand down the traditions of Irish dance to their younger dance siblings. It is the belief of The Tiernan Irish Dance Organization that children who are connected to their heritage (Irish or otherwise) are empowered to make better decisions for their futures.
There is also a place for enthusiastic parents to participate. The Tiernan Parent Booster Club is a not for profit organization that supports and promotes our dancers. It is a great place for parents to focus their energy and talents to provide opportunities for our dancers to continue their journey in Irish dance.
Meet Your Instructors
Kerry Powers Hall
Kerry is our lead instructor and choreographer. She grew up as a Tiernan Irish Dancer, and began assistant teaching at the age of twelve. Through her teenage years, she was inspired by several Trinity instructors as she continued her dancing career. Kerry is also a Kindergarten teacher at West Elementary. To this day she is inspired by our Trinity instructors, and Mark Howard who made it all possible. Her love of Irish dance inspires our next generation of Irish dancers to explore and celebrate Butte's Irish heritage.
Cindy is a first grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary. She started the Corktown Dancers Ceili Club in 1998. Several years later she guided the transition from a Ceili Club into a certified Irish dance school. Cindy is our coach and performance coordinator, providing support to dancers and parents. Thanks to the inspiration and guidance of Mark Howard and many talented Trinity Irish dance instructors, Tiernan continues to provide superlative instruction and inspiration for hundreds of talented dancers.