By Desiree Williams
Liz Donahue Jones seems a natural fit to lead an Irish dance class.
After all, Jones has been dancing for 30 years and has taught at Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance in Indianapolis since high school.
Jones will lead a traditional Irish dance class at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at The Tarkington at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. The two-hour class begins the third of five sessions of the 2017-18 Dance Discovery series at the Center.
Jones said participants will better understand the difficulty level and intricacies that a performance requires.
“If you’ve tried it, you have so much more appreciation for what you’re watching,” the Indianapolis resident said.
Dance Discovery connects professional performances containing a strong dance or musical component with an introductory dance class of that same genre taught by local dance instructors.
“The goal of the series is to give people of all ages and abilities a chance to connect, in a personal way, to a specific performance and genre of dance,” said Julia Shildmyer-Heighway, director of education and community engagement at the Center for the Performing Arts. “If they have participated in a Dance Discovery session, they will have a deeper understanding of the performance when they attend.”
Jones’ dance class connects to the Dublin Irish Dancers show at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 at The Palladium.
“This show is kind of about that evolution of the traditional roots and how Irish dancing came to America and kind of evolved from there,” said Jones, who will lead the class.
Her class will introduce beginner steps and the traditional Irish dances called Ceili. She said there are 30 traditional Cieli dances that are performed at Irish social gatherings.
“Once you know these dances, you could go anywhere in the world, and everyone dances them the same way,” she said.
No experience or partner is required to attend the class. Tickets are $18. To register, visit thecenterpresents.org.