Performances & Competitions
The Murray Irish Dancers Perform extensively throughout the Portland area all year round. Our performance troupe, which includes beginner through open championship level dancers, is especially busy around St Patrick’s Day. Being part of our performance troupe gives dancers at all levels of experience a chance to perform before a live audience. We also hold a yearly spring recital in which all Murray School dancers are encouraged to participate.
Murray School students are also encouraged to participate in our annual school sponsored Irish dance competition called The Portland Feis (pronounced FESH) The Portland Feis is a 501c3 organization dedicated to the promotion of Irish Dance and culture. It is also the longest running US Pacific Northwest Irish Dance competition.
There are also other local and regional competitions throughout the year in which our dancers regularly participate. We do not require that you compete, but if you are serious about competition, The Murray School has a fabulous track record in local and major competitions. Some Major Competition result highlights include: Our dancers have place first, top three, top five top ten and top 20 in solos at our Western US Regional Championships as well as top three and top ten in teams. We have dancers who have placed top ten, top 20 in solos and top 15 in teams at The North American Irish Dance Championships. Murray School dancers regularly qualify to compete at The World Irish Dance Championships and have placed in top 35 and top 45 in solos at The World Championships.
School costumes, designed exclusively for use by students in the Murray School, are worn for competitions and recitals in solo and team dances. The Murray School has an inexpensive beginner school costume which makes it easy for dancers to get started in performances and competitions. Novice and prizewinner level dancers wear a more elaborate and embroidered Murray School costume. These can be purchased new or used and are resold to another Murray School student when they no longer fit or a dancer retires. Championship level dancers wear a solo costume for their solo competitions and a Murray School costume for their team competitions. At The Murray School, solo costumes are only worn in the championship levels of solo competition. The focus with our pre-championship dancers is on their technique and ability first and foremost. We have found that dancers are better prepared for championships when the focus is on their dancing, not on a solo costume. Also in today’s economy, it makes it easier for dancer to afford competition when they do not wear a solo costume until the championship level due to the solo costume’s expense.