Eimir Ni Mhaoileidigh
The Irish Dance Center’s director, Eimir Ni Mhaoileidigh, was born into an Irish dancing family and quickly discovered a deep love for the art form. A student of the renowned Inis Ealga School of Irish Dance in Dublin, she is a World Champion Irish Dancer with more titles than she can count. Eimir trained under her father, Maitiu O’Maoileidigh, one of the most sought-after and accomplished dance masters of his time, and his student then co-teacher Marie Duffy.
Eimir won her first major title, All-Ireland Championship, at the age of 10. Since then, her list of accomplishments is staggering. With her team, for which she was dance captain, she won the Gold Medal for Ireland in the 1981 Dijon, France, Folk Dance Olympics. She is a Solo World Dancing Champion, five times All-Ireland Champion, All-England Champion, eleven times a World Ceili Dancing Champion, nine times a World Figure Dancing Champion, four times a World Dance Drama Champion, and the winner of numerous additional championships worldwide.
As a child Eimir was a regular dancer on “Club Ceili” and “Beirt Eile,” two TG 4 television productions created by her father, Maitiu O’Maoileidigh, in an effort to keep traditional Irish dancing alive and relevant. She performed regularly with Inis Ealga in Jury’s Irish Cabaret and from the age of 13 she toured with production companies throughout Europe and the United States and performed on or choreographed for various U.S. and U.K. television programs and events. Such productions include; a contest (which they won) for the BBC’s Come Dancing (the precursor to the current Strictly Come dancing and Dancing with the Stars), Murder She Wrote, Men Don’t Tell with Judith Light and Peter Strauss, The Mickey Mouse Club, and various film documentaries. She traveled widely and performed at numerous folk dance festivals in Europe and abroad including the National Eisteddfod of Wales. She has performed for United States Presidents Carter, Ford, and Reagan, Irish Presidents O’Dalaigh and Hillary, and Mayor Richard J. Daly of Chicago, the astronauts of 1969‘s Apollo 11, Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, George Hamilton, Maureen O’Hara, Angela Landsbury, and at such venues as Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Hall. Eimir actually celebrated her 13th birthday with twin sister Doireann onstage at Symphony Hall where they were presented with a 4-foot birthday cake - a very cherished memory for both of them. She and her students have performed with such music groups as De Dannan, The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, Frank Patterson, Cherish the Ladies, and Mary Black among many others.
Eimir began her teaching career at the young age of 12, under the guidance of her father and Marie Duffy at Inis Ealga. After receiving her TCRG Eimir conducted workshops and private lessons all over the world while continuing to teach with Inis Ealga where many of their dancers and teams went on to win World and National titles. Picking up on her father’s passion for the cultural and historic aspects of the art form Eimir decided she wanted a new challenge and agreed to move to Texas to help build Irish Dancing in a new environment. In 1982 she and her brother Colm received their US Green Cards as Individuals of Extraordinary Ability and moved to San Antonio.
Since then Eimir’s passion has been to promote Irish Dancing in the region and to bring the art form to new audiences. To this end she has worked extensively with local school districts, hospitals, libraries, and cultural arts programs. In 1996 Eimir teamed up with Austin dance company Tapestry, producing such fusion shows as Ballet Eireann and Esprit! Both of which premiered at The Paramount Theatre to rave reviews. In 1999, working with a local ballet teacher Alicia Mosti, Eimir opened the very first Irish Dancing School in Mexico. In 2002 for the first time the Mexican national anthem was played at an Oireachtas Championship as Eimir’s team stood proudly on the podium.
Eimir’s students have won many regional championships and competed in world and national competitions, placing in the top 5 at the World Championships. Many of her students have gone on to perform with professional shows such as Riverdance and to become teachers themselves.
Since making her home in Austin over 20 years ago, Eimir’s mission has been to promote the Irish culture by educating students in the techniques of traditional Irish Dance while instilling in her students a sense of integrity, leadership, good manners, compassion, and a love of dance. Her school and her company are committed to performing and competing in order to bring this unique national art form to the attention of others and to keep Irish dancing alive and current in Texas. Eimir seeks to both creatively blend Irish Dance with other dance forms and most importantly to emphasize the natural strength, grace, and beauty of the art form in its purity.
If you asked Eimir what she considers to be her greatest accomplishment to date she would tell you without a doubt it was raising her two daughters, Katrina and Miranda. Katrina recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Microbiology and Miranda is currently a student at Cornell College. One of Eimir's great joys has always been to share her passion for this beautiful art form with her daughters and to see their love for culture and artistry grow. Through teaching dance, Eimir has fulfilled her dream of preserving a little bit of Ireland everywhere she goes.
Doireann Mhaoileidigh Hoy
An accomplished choreographer and dance director, Doireann began her career at the tender age of four in Dublin, Ireland. She flourished under the direction of her father's tutelage, the internationally renowned, Maitiu O'Maoileidigh, winning All Ireland and World Championship titles many times over. Before immigrating to the United States, Doireann worked at the famous Guinness Brewery in Dublin, taking time off to tour with the famous Jury's Irish Cabaret Show with Hal Roach. This was not her first introduction into show business as her father had produced, directed and choreographed Ireland's first Irish Dancing television show called Club Ceili.
It didn't take long for Doireann to follow in her father's footsteps, and soon after arriving in the Los Angeles area, she was choreographing, training and dancing for such film and television shows as About Last Night, Murder She Wrote, Men Don't Tell, Mafia, Michael Collins, and Buddy and Scrubs to name a few. She was also briefly the Associate Choreographer for the stage show, Lord of the Dance.
Besides being a world class choreographer, she has trained hundreds of students through her Celtic Gold Academy, many of whom have gone on to medal at the World Championships. She has also been the Chairman of the North American Irish Dance Championships and the Western Regional qualifiers for the World Championships. She holds her T.C.R.G (Irish dance teacher’s certificate) and her A.D.C.R.G (Irish dance judges certificate), and is a much sought after adjudicator for competitive Irish Dancing
Doireann recently relocated to Texas with her family and is now directing the south Austin and San Antonio chapter of the Irish Dance Center, which was established by her sister Eimir in Austin over 20 years ago. She hopes to continue spreading her love and joy of Irish Dance to the children and adults of Texas.