Irish Dance in the State of Utah: A History

India Henrichsen


This thesis summarizes the history of Irish dance in Utah. Over the past 35 years, from its beginning in 1983 to today in 2018, Irish dance schools have multiplied in Utah and evolved following international trends. The first school of Irish dance in Utah was started by Maureen McTeggart Hall at the request of Harold Gottfredsen in 1983. Five years later, in 1988, Brigham Young University established an Irish dance instruction program. Following the first television broadcast of Riverdance from Dublin in 1994, the interest in Irish dance increased exponentially. The number of schools has grown, new schools have emerged from older ones, and school names have changed regularly, complicating the task of tracking their history. The research for this history was conducted primarily through personal interviews, primary source documents, and current Irish dance school websites.