Join us for a percussive Irish dance workshop in Lexington

Irish Percussive Dance Workshop

SAVE THE DATE – JAN. 18-19, 2020

Our 2020 workshop will be Martin Luther King Day weekend, Jan 18-19, 2020. 

Calling all tappers, cloggers and step dancers! Spend your weekend with us making music with your feet. The Bluegrass Irish Society, Bluegrass Ceili Academy and McTeggart Irish Dancers are honored to bring Mary Beth Taylor to back Lexington from Dublin, Ireland, for two days of traditional old style séan nos and set dancing classes.


Participants in the 2019 percussive dance workshop learned old style Irish dance including sean nos and set dancing.

2020 Class Schedule

Our workshop is open to dancers ages 16+. Younger dancers with intermediate or advance experience in a percussive dance style (tap, clogging, Irish, etc.) may register with permission of the event organizers. Please note this on your event registration.

Saturday, January 18
9 - 9:30 a.m.Warm Up and Stretch with Allison Duvall
9:30 - 10:55 a.m.Sean Nos Steps - Part 1
11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Set Dancing - Part 1
12:15 - 1 p.m.Lunch
1 - 1:55 p.m.Percussive Dance Improvisation
2 - 3 p.m.Working with Live Music - Part 1
3:15 - 4:10 p.m.Appalachian flatfooting with Julie Shepherd-Powell
4:15 - 5:10 p.m.Clogging with Carla Gover
Sunday, January 19
10:30 - 11 a.m.Warm Up and Stretch with Allison Duvall
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Sean Nos Steps - Part 2
12:45 - 2 p.m.Set Dancing - Part 2
2 - 3 p.m.Working with Live Music - Part 2
3 - 4 p.m.Break
4 - 6 p.m.Dance about at McCarthy's

2020 Pricing

Sign up for one class or sign up for them all! Class prices are listed below by individual class or as a bundle.  Registering for the bundle (Saturday only or Saturday/Sunday) saves you money — the warm up and refresh & review classes are included in the bundles at no additional cost.

Class NamePer class, Parts 1 or 2Both Parts 1 & 2
Warmup and Stretch with Allison Duvall$10$20
Séan Nos Steps$25$40
Set Dancing$20$35
Working with Live Music$15$25
Percussive Dance Improvisation$15 (Saturday only)
Appalachian Flatfooting with Julie Shepherd-Powell$15 (Saturday only)
Clogging with Carla Gover$15 (Saturday only)
Workshop Bundles$85 (Saturday only - includes Warm Up and Refresh & Review); $70 (Sunday only)$100 (Saturday & Sunday includes Warm Up and Refresh & Review)
Class Observer (non-dancing)$15 for one day$25 for two days


About the Instructor

Mary Beth Taylor brings more than 20 years of experience teaching traditional Irish percussive dance to Central Kentucky for a weekend workshop January 18-19, 2020.

Mary Beth Taylor is a sean-nós dancing teacher and a registered Irish dancing teacher, or TCRG, with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha. A dancer, educator and director of Irish & Sean-Nós Dance Dublin with more than 20 years of experience, Mary Beth has taught and performed all over the world, including workshops and shows in Ireland, the USA, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, and Oman.

The child of an Irish mother and an American father, Mary Beth grew up in Marietta, Georgia.  A dance enthusiast from a young age, Mary Beth did ballet and tap for many years before discovering Irish dancing. Starting at the age of 15 with the Mulligan School of Irish Dance in Marietta, Mary Beth soon progressed to Championship level and competed at feiseanna and Oireachtasi throughout the United States. Upon moving to Athens, Georgia, to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia, Mary Beth started her first Irish dancing class at age 19, and taught there until graduation.

After moving to Washington, D.C. for work, Mary Beth began dancing with the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, and continued to compete and perform. Mary Beth moved to Ireland two years later to pursue a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin. Under the guidance of Mollie Farrelly, ADCRG and Claire Keane Aherne, ADCRG, she studied for her exams to become formally qualified in teaching Irish dancing.  In Belfast, in 2005, Mary Beth successfully passed her TCRG exams on her first attempt.

Mary Beth started learning sean-nós dancing in Dublin in 2003. She was very luck to learn from a variety of talented teachers from all over Ireland, including Máire Áine Ní Iarnáin, Sibéal Davitt, Mairéad Casey, Rónán Reagan, Paul Moran, Emma O’Sullivan, Róisín Ní Mhainín, Bronach O’Neill, and Gerard Butler. After traveling to different festivals and workshops throughout Ireland, Mary Beth began to develop her own steps and style. Drawing from her background in Irish dance instruction, she began teaching sean-nós dancing in Dublin in 2005.

Mary Beth is a two-time recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Deis recording award, and is the creator of two popular instructional DVDs, Sean-Nos Dance for Everyone (2011) and Sean-Nos Jigs for Everyone (2012). In 2012, she was honored to be featured in the Aer Lingus Cara magazine as one of the ‘Top Six’ featured performers in the world of modern Irish dance (Dec 2012). As the director of Irish & Sean-Nos Dance Dublin, she teaches weekly classes in both Irish dancing and sean-nos dancing in Dublin city, and frequently travels to deliver sean-nos workshops to lovers of Irish culture and dance around the world.

About our workshop sponsors

The Bluegrass Irish Society provides a focal point for those interested in Ireland and her traditions. Incorporated as a public, charitable and educational organization and a section 501(C) (3) corporation in September 1980, the society is best known for sponsoring the yearly Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival has promoted Irish culture in Central Kentucky.

Founded in Lexington in 2015, the Bluegrass Ceili Academy brings more than a decade of Irish dance teaching experience and ceili expertise to Central Kentucky. With classes for adults and children, Bluegrass Ceili Academy is giving back to our community, and living our mission by providing a supportive learning environment for dancers of all ages and skill levels.

For more than 20 years, the McTeggart Irish Dancers have been teaching in Central Kentucky.  The school’s mission is to build healthy bodies through traditional Irish dance, cultivate confident spirits through accomplishment, and foster a sense of heritage through cultural enrichment and community service.