Irish stepdancing combines spiritual, historical, and artistic meaning by joining rhythm with liveliness and grace. In its purist form, Irish dance helps to develop a strong and healthy sense of self. Those who perform it draw on a proud tradition whose roots are in Irish soil,but whose infectious joy has spread throughout the world, just as the people of Irish heritage have done.
The Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance was originally founded by the world-renowned Theresa "Tessie" Burke, ADCRG. Tessie followed in the footsteps of her Irish-born father, Thomas Scott, who in 1942 opened the first Irish step dance school in Cleveland, Ohio, and began her own charter school in Cleveland in 1958 after studying in Dublin, Ireland, with master teachers. In 1966, she opened a second school in Youngstown, Ohio, and at the invitation of the Board of Directors of the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, began accepting students for classes at the Irish Centre in 1971. In 2006, the Pittsburgh location was renamed the “Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance” in recognition of sisters Mary and Laura Conroy’s dedication to teaching and their personal commitment to preserving the legacy founded by Tessie Burke nearly 60 years ago.
With sister schools in Ohio, the organization is one of the oldest and most respected Irish Dance schools in the country. The Burke organization has spawned a multitude of Irish dance schools throughout our area and throughout the country. The Burke Conroy School regularly has top winners at regional, national and World championship competitions, and local performances with popular Irish groups such as The Chieftans, Cherish the Ladies, Eileen Ivers & Gaelic Storm.
The Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance is a registered member of:
Irish Dance Commission (An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha) in Ireland
Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America
Irish Dance Teachers Association of Mid-America