About The Nashville Irish Step Dancers
THE NASHVILLE IRISH STEP DANCERS (NISD), headed by Mary Moran, TCRG (Certified Irish Step Dance Teacher) is celebrating their 30th Anniversary in business this year. Mary was a pioneer in establishing the first Irish Step Dance School here in Nashville in 1990, and has helped cultivate and promote her beloved Irish culture and art form. 30 years later she has expanded NISD into an award-winning, nationally recognized powerhouse boasting over one hundred members. Over the last decade our dancers have consistently ranked at the regional, national and World level of competition competing against the best dancers in the World.
Appearing at events all across Music City, NISD dancers have performed at the following venues: Nashville Predator’s half-time show, Fan Fair, Fest De Ville, Summer Lights, “AM Nashville”, “Talk of the Town”, “Crook and Chase” and “Primetime Country”. They also have had the esteemed privilege of dancing alongside Celtic country music legends such as “The Chieftains”, Ric Blair and the Celts, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. In addition, this year will be the Sixteenth year anniversary of performing on the GRAND OLE OPRY as part of their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Despite all these remarkable achievements, however, the production of Celtic Rhythms on Fire remains the crown jewel of NISD’s history.
“Celtic Rhythms on Fire is a celebration of the rich, vibrant artistry of Irish culture and, in a larger sense, the fiery spirit of the Irish heritage,” Mary Moran says. “Our show highlights not only traditional pieces such as the jig and treble reel, but also explores more progressive styles of Irish dance and music. The collaboration between the dancers, musicians, and singers results in a lively interchange the whole family can enjoy.”
Resonating with spectators of all ages and musical tastes, Celtic Rhythms on Fire features innovative Irish interpretations of a myriad of music, from country-rooted “Cotton-Eyed Joe” to the driving pop song “I Gotta Feeling” to African-inspired “Waka Waka.” In honor of NISD’s twenty-fifth anniversary, they plan to both revive fan favorites and introduce their latest cutting-edge number: a mashup of 2014’s greatest hits, including singles by Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams and more. The Nashville Irish Step Dancers are thrilled to offer Music City such a spirited celebration of Irish culture. Don’t miss this marvelous experience!
The popularity of Irish Dance has exploded in recent years, with growing numbers of dancers and fans the world over who love the art and sport of Irish Dance. Under the direction of Mary Moran, NISD has established a satellite school in Huntsville, Alabama under the direction of DeeAnna Heym.
We welcome dancers of all levels of dance experience ranging in age from toddler to adult with aspirations ranging from recreation to competing at the world championship level.
About Mary Moran, Our Founder
TCRG (Certified Teach of Irish Dance) is a first generation Irish American born in Chicago, Illinois. Mary was trained by Pat Roche, TCRG, often referred to as the father of Irish Dance in North America, and his daughter, Peggy Roche-Boyle, ADCRG (certified teach and judge of Irish Dance). Mary became a Champion level Irish Dancer.
The fourth of seven children, Mary began her career performing with her family’s Irish show band. Mary learned to play bagpipes, Irish harp, piano, clarinet, guitar, the tin whistle and showed a special affiliation for Irish Dance.
Frequent visits to Ireland kept Mary close to authentic Celtic arts, and as a teenager, the seasoned performer represented Chicago in the international Irish Heritage Rose of Tralee pageant.
Mary is a graduate of Northwestern University College of Communications where she majored in theatre and music. She moved to Nashville in 1988 to pursue an entertainment career and established the Nashville Irish step Dancers in 1990, the first Irish Dance School in Middle Tennessee.
Mary has developed many Regional and National solo and team champions. Her dancers have competed and ranked at the Regional, National and World Level and represented NISD at the All-Irelands and World Championships.
This year Mary is celebrating her 25th year of teaching. Asked what the favorite aspect of her job is she replied ”working with the kids and teenagers – they are like my children and I’m their 2nd mom. Teaching Irish Dance is more than dance to me it’s about helping instill discipline, confidence and good character in these children and having fun along the way.” She has also enjoyed using her skills to develop winning teams and produce our annual Irish Dance extravaganza, “Celtic Rhythms on Fire”. Mary was honored to choreograph the video to “The Prayer Anthem” for Christian artist Carmen. She travelled to Ireland to teach and perform both traditional and progressive Irish dance on this video. She also choreographed the dance sequence in Country artist Colin Ray’s video, “The Angel Song”.
Mary Moran is married to Errol Mooney and is the proud mother of two girls, Megan and Shannon Mooney.