Fall Classes at the Renaissance School

CCE Oregon is very excited to host the first term of music & dance classes for both children and adults. These classes are aimed at beginners, so we encourage everyone to try! All classes are 50 minutes and are $90 for the 6 week term, or $20 for drop ins.  The classes are held every Tuesday starting October 2nd at the Renaissance School of Arts and Science, 0234 SW Bancroft St, Portland.

For dance classes, please bring a water bottle and smooth-soled shoes. Please note that street shoes & tap shoes are not allowed. If you would like to purchase dance shoes in advance, we would recommend TheLeotard.com and look for a leather-soled shoe or Oxford style shoe. (If you mention you are taking a dance class, they will give you 10% off).


5PM  |  Beginning Tin Whistle for Children Ages 6-12 with Brian Ó hAirt.  An elementary course on the tin whistle designed for children. Exercises will focus on building proper technique as well as an understanding of basic scales and time signatures exercises with the aim of learning a few simple Irish dance tunes. Particular focus will be on teaching children how to learn tunes "by ear" without the use of sheet music. *Private lessons available for more advanced students seeking tuition.

6PM  |  Set Dancing for Children Ages 7-12 with Janet Trygstad & Maldon Meehan. Have fun learning Irish set-dancing in a relaxed, joyful class using games with live Irish music played by Nancy Jarrell! Experienced teachers, Maldon Meehan and Janet McManus Trygstad will lead the 6 week class. The class will end the term with a performance at a local Nursing Home on Sat. Nov. 10th.


6PM  |  Irish Song in English with Brian Ó hAirt. These classes will focus on building repertoire through learning a variety of song forms. Listening exercises will also be utilized to help students build an understanding of context and style. Lyric sheets will be provided but songs will be taught “by ear." Please bring a recording device. No singing experience is required but private lessons are available to accommodate specific students' needs.

7PM  |  Beginning Tin Whistle for Adults (13 and up) with Brian Ó hAirt.  An elementary* course on the tin whistle designed for young adults/adults. Proper technique and a knowledge of basic scales and time signatures will be explored through in class exercises. Listening exercises will also be used to bring context and help guide an understanding of style while students learn simple Irish dance tunes. Particular focus will be given to learning tunes "by ear" without the use of sheet music. *Private lessons available for more advanced students seeking tuition.

7PM  |  Set Dancing for Adults by Maldon Meehan (13 and up).  This fun class is designed to introduce students of all Irish Set dancing. Learning some basic dance skills will allow the students to experience dancing to reels, jigs, slides, hornpipes and polkas while improving their flexibility, sense of rhythm and overall coordination. Explore the most popular form of traditional social dancing in Ireland today. Sets are dance in square formation with intricate and rhythmic footwork. Learn battering steps for reels, jigs, polkas, slides and hornpipes. We will learn dances from all over Ireland.


Choose a Class


Brian Ó hAirt

Born in Saint Louis, Missouri to parents from rural southern Indiana, Brian grew up exposed to the older dance music and songs of the Upland South. A natural singer from very early on, this exposure inspired him to venture deeper into the singing traditions of Ireland later in his youth. Along with songs, Brian learned old-style step dance and dance tunes on the tin whistle, button accordion, and concertina in his late teens while involved with a cultural organization whose aim was to promote the pairing of Irish traditional music with dance.

He has also taught at many of the foremost summer music schools in the U.S. and Canada including the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Swannanoa Gathering, Milwaukee Irish Festival Summer School, Grand Canyon Celtic Arts Academy, Goderich Celtic Roots College, Augusta Heritage Center Irish Week, and CCÉ Music Arts and Dance Week, to name a few.

Maldon Meehan

Maldon Meehan has been teaching Irish dance for over 24 years, including sean-nós, set, ceili and old-style step dance. Maldon holds a BA in Irish Studies/Theater Arts from The Evergreen State College and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

“Maldon is a fabulous teacher. My daughter and I have been talking her weekly Sean Nos class for several years. She is a patient, understanding and knowledgeable teacher. Her class is informal yet professional. Maldon clearly has a vast worldly and scholarly understanding of dance. She shares interesting facts about the history and important people involved with steps we are learning. She makes class interesting and fun. We look forward to going to class every week!” - Kirin Elliott

Janet Trygstad

Janet is an Oregon Certified Elementary teacher of 35 years and every Summer for the last 30 years finds her teaching Folk Dance at Willowbrook Center for the Creative Arts. She loves to teach children's dance and share her love of Irish dancing and music!