Downtown Blacksburg Inc. is proud to present our business Member of the Month for June 2019- New River Irish Dance.
“My biggest joy is being a driving part of a dancer’s journey to building confidence and instilling that same passion in them, for dance and for life, that was instilled in me – all while fostering significant and lasting friendships with those around them”.
New River Irish Dance was established by Victoria Dunlap in August of 2017. Victoria began teaching Irish dance in the New River Valley area in 2014 after moving to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech. With a lack of Irish dancing culture in the area, and wanting to keep up with her biggest passion, she turned to teaching to help spread her love of Irish dance to the New River Valley area.
Victoria has been Irish dancing for over 16 years. She has has competed all over the United States and in cities such as Moscow, Salzburg, Montreal, and Vancouver. She has largely trained with the McGrath Academy of Irish Dance in Northern Virginia and also with Tir na Nog School of Irish dance in Moscow, Russia, which was featured in the Irish dance documentary, Jig. She has received instruction from some of the top dancers in the world and biggest names in Irish dance, including Lauren McGrath-Dutton, John Morgan, Anna Demchenko, and Shane McAvinchey.
With the growth of her program over the course of several years, Victoria was able to establish a permanent and independent location in downtown Blacksburg in August of 2017, across from the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. New River Irish Dance offers lessons in traditional Irish dancing to both girls & boys, ages 3-adult, to the New River Valley and its surrounding areas. New River Irish Dance has students from all different backgrounds, including school aged kids, college students, graduate students, professors, parents, grandparents, and former Championship & World Championship level Irish dancers.
“At New River Irish Dance, we acknowledge that dancing takes courage. We work to teach confidence to our students and take pride in watching them grow from shy beginners to confident dancers and leaders. We are constantly working to help students reach their highest potential, not only as dancers, but as individuals. For our dancers, this growth takes place not only in a class setting, but is also applied within community opportunities, such as performing in events like Steppin’ Out, Summer Solstice Festival, the Blacksburg Holiday parade, the Roanoke St. Patrick’s Day parade, The Little Leapers production of the Nutcracker, and more.”
Continuously growing, expanding, and working to grow a collaborative and supportive dance community, New River Irish Dance also opens up its space to share with other Virginia Tech performance groups and outside instructors of varying dance styles during its off class times. After originally starting off as a team of one, New River Irish Dance has plans to expand its staff and bring on several new instructors this August, consisting of previous Championship & World Championship level dancers. Along with a summer camp for new beginners July 22nd-25th, our regularly scheduled Fall classes are set to begin in mid-August. The fall schedule will consist of beginner offerings for all ages (adults included), all the way through the championship level. Keep up with New River Irish Dance at newriveririshdance.com and through Facebook at New River Irish Dance.