oireachtas ashevilleAsheville is an up-and-coming southern city. Long gone are the days when our area depended solely on tourism for the economy. Today, a variety of industries and companies call western North Carolina home, and our area is one of the fastest-growing in the South. Asheville is an up-and-coming, modern city. 

Despite the evidence of modern growth, the city is still true to its roots. Anywhere you go in the area, you can see the arts are still alive. We’ve been known as an area inspired by and committed to music, artistic impression, and performance arts. You can see the history and heritage of the Appalachians in every expression. 

Oireachtas pay homage to the Irish and Scottish ancestry of the southern Apps while still gaining a modern audience among people in our area. Asheville Performing Arts Academy provides opportunities for you and your children to experience these beautiful expressions of dance and competition. 

What Are Oireachtas? 

Oireachtas (pronounced ‘o-rock-tus’) is an Irish word that means gathering. As it pertains to dance and performing arts, an Oireachtas is an annual championship for Irish Dance held at the regional level. 

You may be familiar with traditional Irish dancing from programs like Riverdance. It is often done alone or in small groups, has a stiff upper body, and is sometimes referred to as Irish stepdance. It evolved over the 17th and 18th centuries from traditional Irish dancing.

The style of dance is greatly influenced by the type of shoe used. Soft shoe dance is vigorous and features spectacular lifts, kicks, and jumps that call for power and coordination. It frequently has more of a balletic appearance. Powerful and percussion-based, hard shoe dance is characterized by complex foot rhythms and noticeably more agile motions.

Irish Dance at Asheville Performing Arts Academy

APAA and CAID’s very own Darla Sutric competed in (and won) the local competitions leading up to this event and was super prepared to take the stage at the 2020 Southern Region Oireachtas in Orlando, Florida, on Dec 6th, 2020.

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy partners with the Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance. Classes range from beginners to competitive dancers.

We work with students at a variety of levels in their Irish Dance pursuits. Our trained team assesses each dancer to decide which class will best meet their needs. Be advised that class placement is not based on competition level.

  • Beginners Class: Irish dancing basics with an emphasis on step practice and soft shoe technique.
  • New Novice Class: FIt continues soft shoe techniques and adds hard shoe fashions for beginners or those with some expertise.
  • Intermediate Class: This session is for experienced dancers who want to enhance their technique for competitions.
  • Advanced Class: Centered on technique, style, and fitness while concentrating on dancers at the championship level and their Oireachtas preparation.
  • Adult Class: Any novice or experienced adult dancer who wants to learn the fundamentals of Irish dancing should sign up for this session. This class will emphasize team dances, solo moves, and creating a sense of community through dancing.

Are you interested in learning Irish Dance and participating in Oireachtas? Reach out to Asheville Performing Arts Academy for more information about the Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance. We would love to share more with you and help you have a greater appreciation for our amazing heritage of dance.