How it all started
St Louis Irish Arts Inc. joined Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 1973. At that time, there were very few first generation Irish living in St. Louis. Because there were so few first generation Irish here, the Midwest was poorly served with traditional Irish music. Few concerts came west of the Mississippi. The Gannon family had arrived in St. Louis in 1967, but it was the Boyer family here in St. Louis along with Mr. Bill McEvoy in New York that initiated the Comhaltas branch here in St. Louis.
Dancing classes were available at that time, and dance masters Captain O' Sullivan and Pete Sullivan were the original Irish dancing teachers in this area. Over the years, many others were instrumental in evoking interest in the Irish dance. Despite the many talented dancers in the area, Missouri still lacked a Commission Qualified Dance Teacher. To fill this need, Helen Gannon, the present owner of St. Louis Irish Arts School became the first TCRG qualified teacher in the area. Helen received her TCRG qualifications in 1987, and with that, Irish dance and music started to flourish in St. Louis. Helen and her husband, P.J. had emigrated here from Ireland and had grown up playing music and dancing there. Their four children learned the music and dance and two of them are current teachers at St. Louis Irish Arts today.
Since Helen received her TCRG, the Irish Arts have blossomed exponentially in St. Louis. There are now at least five dancing schools in the area. Here at St. Louis Irish Arts, we pride ourselves on being the first and only school where music and dance are offered all in one school. At our school your child receives a well-rounded education in the Irish Arts, and our approach to teaching is simple: it's the way we were taught ourselves: the way the Irish music, dance, songs and poems were passed down throughout the generations in Ireland.
St. Louis Irish Arts has many world champions to our name. We are truly very proud of each of our students and thrilled to have been able to touch so many lives over the years. We are proud to be instrumental in keeping Irish traditions alive and well here in St. Louis, and we are amazed each and every day at the joy the Irish music and dance can bring to our young students lives. We love what we do!
If you are interested in learning more about the TCRG, you can read up on it here : http://www.clrg.ie/exams.php