Elyse is my tour guide through the elite world of Irish Dancers who audition and are selected for National and International tours. I hear about the $10 Cokes in the vending machines in Monte Carlo, costumes left behind in Spain, and the bits and pieces of the gigs, the wigs, and the jigs.

I only said no to Elyse once. In 2006 a young 18 girl from Wisconsin was emailing Irish Dance Programs in my area looking to teach while she was enrolled in the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis. I was already working with a teacher. But then she emailed again. I told her we were small potatoes but she joined right in all the way through college and has been connected with us ever since.


Every student has to bring their ‘A Game’ to a class with Elyse. Sometimes, there are new steps, figures, and movements evolving that don’t even have a common name yet in Irish Dance. “Well, you do this and its kinda like that thing I showed you last time I was touring but you end in a point.” “You rock back on your heels like you’re going to fall down – but you don’t fall down.” “No, its da,da,da,da-da-da, da-da-da DA!”

This season she is touring nationally with Rhythm In the Night as the Lead Bad Girl and one of the Principal Dancers – AZURA. Professional Irish Dancers from Russia, Czech Republic, Mexico, and the USA have have rejoined her on her tour and make a tight troupe. The show’s focus is in dancer Justin Boros – the 6 foot 4 inch 290 pound “Bad Guy” versus the “Hero” – so there are interesting twists and turns in this darker plot.

But to us she is just Elyse. And we can’t wait to to hear of her adventures when she returns from her tour with Rhythm In the Night.