Belisama Irish Dance was founded in 2006 to provide a place where dancers can work to be the best they can be while having the opportunity to perform and/or compete as part of a team. We focus on keeping the body healthy for dance, utilizing good warm up and cool down techniques, and encouraging a positive attitude amongst dancers and parents. The group is dynamic and diverse, with each personality contributing something to the group on a daily basis.
Classes are open to boys and girls from 5 years of age up, as well as to adults. No previous dance experience is necessary. Dancers advance at their own pace, with class placements made at the discretion of the teacher. New students are accepted throughout the year.
Irish classes take place at Oddfellows and Aspen-Santa Fe studios in Santa Fe, and at the New Mexico Dance Theater studio, 149 Central Park Square, in Los Alamos.
Director/Instructor Adrienne Bellis
Adrienne Bellis is the director and founder of Belisama Dance. Following extensive training in jazz dance and music performance, she began Irish dancing in California at the Claddagh School of Irish Dance and is a National Champion as part of an 8-hand ceili team. She and many of her Irish students have performed with artists such as Trinity Irish Dance Company, Lúnasa, Natalie MacMaster, Gaelic Storm and Eileen Ivers. Several of her students are national and regional champions, and many of them are up and coming choreographers. Adrienne is also a professional singer. Her voice can be heard on various film and video soundtracks, and on several singer-songwriter’s albums.
Congratulations to our dancers at the 2013 CRN North American Championships! Fifteen dancers traveled to Washington D.C. to compete and everyone had fantastic results. In addition to everyone placing or winning their Award dances, we have three new Champions in our midst! Thanks so much to Carolyn B. for the lovely dresses!
Many dancers enjoy the challenge of competing. Belisama dancers can compete in local, regional, and national feiseanna (dance competitions) sponsored by the CRN (Cumann Rince Náisiúnta) Irish dance organization, one of the three major international Irish dance organizations. CRN also sponsors the annual CRN Irish Open in Dublin, Ireland, and the annual North American Championships in the U.S.
Dancers compete by skill level and by age group, so that dancers of all ages and skill levels can compete successfully. Judging in the CRN organization is based solely on the musical and technical elements of the dance, not on the dancer’s appearance; while advanced dancers may choose to wear a wig and solo dress, it is optional and is not part of the competition. The atmosphere among the competing schools is friendly and supportive, and our dancers enjoy their friendships with young people from other schools and even other countries.
Students often find that competition and performance go hand in hand; the rigorous preparation for competition leads to improved technique and precision in performance, while the poise and stage presence learned through performing make our dancers exceptionally successful competitors.
Cumann Rince Náisiúnta
Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (CRN), the Irish dance association of which Belisama is a member, is one of three international Irish dance associations, and the only one which sponsors “open platform” competitions (i.e. open to all Irish dancers irrespective of the organization that trained them). CRN currently has teachers in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands, China, Australia, and the United States of America. CRN is widely known as the traditional dance organization because it focuses on maintaining the integrity of traditional dances, while actively encouraging the development of new and innovative work. More information about Cumann Rince Náisiúnta and its history can be found here.