Ogunquit Performing Arts

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 1608
Ogunquit, ME 03907

Performance Venue

The S. Judson Dunaway Center
23 School St.
Ogunquit ME 




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Ogunquit Performing Arts

Performance Venue

The S. Judson Dunaway Center
23 School St.
Ogunquit ME 03907


Stillson School of Irish Dance

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Ogunquit Performing Arts welcomes the return of Stepdancers from the Stillson School of Irish Dance. FREE PARKING AND REFRESHMENTS.

Irish Stepdancing continues to be a wildly popular art form for performers and audiences alike.  Ogunquit Performing Arts celebrates this unique style of dance at this most appropriate time of year.   The award-winning Stillson dancers, returning to Ogunquit by popular demand, will perform a brilliant array of jigs and reels, dressed in a variety of dazzling, hand-made costumes.

The performance will consist of both the fluid soft shoe style as well as the rhythmic hard shoe popularized by shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

At the end of the performance, the dancers will invite children and the young at heart to join them onstage to learn or try out some steps.

The Stillson School of Irish Dance is under the direction of the celebrated dancer/teacher Carlene Moran Stillson ADCRG/TCRG.  She is accredited by Ad Coimisium in Dublin, Ireland and a member of IDTANA (Irish Dancing Teacher’s Association of North America).  Carlene has a long tradition of dancing having started at age 4.  She has competed in the New England Regional, North American, and World Championships.

In existence for more than 20 years, the Stillson School is the only certified school of Irish dancing in the state of Maine and its dancers compete all over New England and place in the New England Regional Irish Dancing Championships annually, and in competitions around the world.

In addition to the dance performance, Carlene Stillson will tell present the history of the dance and explain the reasons for the design of the many different costumes worn by the dancers.  Traditional Irish dress is represented in the school dress which features embroidery designs taken from the Book of Kells.

The Stillson School of Irish Dance also has an active show team which has performed throughout New England as well as on the Ellipse at the White House. They have been featured dancers accompanying such renowned Celtic performers as Solas, Cherish the Ladies, Trinity Dance Company, Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey and Mick Moloney, and Eileen Ivers.

Irish stepdance is a style of performance dance with its roots in traditional Irish dance. It is generally characterized by a stiff upper body and fast and precise movements of the feet. It can be performed solo or in groups. Aside from public dance performances, there are also stepdance competitions all over the world.

From the late 1800s, when the Gaelic League began to organize cultural festivals, Irish step dance developed a competitive element. Throughout the 20th century, structures for competition developed and spread across the globe..These competitions are often called Feiseanna (singular Feis). In Irish dance culture, a Feis is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival.

Costumes are considered important for stage presence in competition  and performance. In many cases, costumes are sold at high prices and can even be custom made. Each costume is different, with varying colors and patterns, designed to attract the judge’s eye in competitions and the audience’s eye in performance.