McConnell School Of Dance


McConnell School of Dance is recognized for its dancers’ high-calibre performances that encompass traditional forms of ancient Ceilis, some of which are over 300-years-old, combined with modern styles similar to popular shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. The dancers wear colourfully embroidered dresses featuring beautiful designs taken from the Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s oldest manuscripts. The group’s highly-skilled performances depict the historical progression of Irish Dance. Traces of ancient Druid ceremonies are still evident in traditional jigs, reels and Ceilis, which established the foundation for the intricate footwork and fast-paced styles prevalent in modern Irish Dance.

The McConnell School of Dance is one of the oldest Irish Dance schools in North America. Originally founded in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, over 80 years ago, the Winnipeg school was established in 1947. Well into its third generation, the McConnell School of Dance is currently under the direction of accomplished dancer and choreographer, Shayleen McConnell Finucan.

The group has performed at the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games as well as with well-known performers such as The Irish Rovers, Tommy Makem and The Irish Descendants.