Student hopes to form dance group

Reporter and Reporter

Five years before sophomore Abigail Kruse began her college career, she wanted to learn how to Irish dance.

Kruse first saw Irish dancing at Celtic Festival five years ago, a large event demonstrating Irish culture through music and activities.

Irish dancing consists of two different styles such as step dance, a modern form of dancing primarily done in competition, and set dance, danced in square sets of four couples.

Kruse has been step dancing for seven years and is in the process of creating an Irish Dancing Club at the University because she wants to share the cultural dance with other students.

“I miss dancing with other people,” Kruse said. “I practice on my own in my dorm. Maybe there are other people that dance who attend this school.”

Kruse hopes to host meetings in which she could teach other students interested in learning Irish dancing and is trying to find as many venues to perform at as possible.

“It’s not as prominent here in [Northwest] Ohio as it is in Southwest Ohio,” Kruse said. “It’s a nice way to stay active in college and it’s really fun. It’s a great way to make friends as well.”

Kruse decided to choose Bob Midden, director of the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education, as the advisor for the club because he has been performing in Irish musical groups for more than 10 years and knows Irish music professionally.

Midden said he was excited when Kruse decided she was going to start a club at the University because not many people know about Irish dancing and it will promote the music more.

“We’re interested in promoting the music and it’s a good way for people to have fun and get together with people to interact,” Midden said. “Dancing adds a visual and a rhythm element to the music.”

Lucy Long, instructor in the school of human movement and sport and leisure studies, has written a book on Irish dance and filmed a documentary video on a local Irish dance group and said hearing about the possible club caught her attention right away.

“It will be a great opportunity to learn about the dance,” Long said. “It consists of a lot of exercise and will be a good way to learn about another culture, as well as having fun.”

For more information on how to become involved, contact Kruse at [email protected]