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New Milwaukee Dance Company Hopes to Be "What's Next" for Competitive Irish Dancers

Adam Baker

While most of the people who visited Irish Fest a few weeks ago were likely there to watch musical acts, another cultural attraction that many caught was Irish dance.  It’s a form that has a huge following in the Milwaukee area, even outside of the festival season.  Hundreds of kids attend any of several schools that prepare them for competitions.

But in the coming months, organizers hope the nation’s first professional Irish dance company will make Milwaukee home. 

"Milwaukee just seems like a very natural home for something like this because Irish arts and arts in general seem to be supported," says American Company of Irish Dance artistic director Paula Goulding.

The first set of auditions for the American Company of Irish Dance happened here last weekend, with another planned for the fall.  Artistic directors, Goulding and Shane McAvinchey, along with Joan Rudnitzki, who is on the board organizing the company, discuss how the company is going to bridge the gap between the competitive dance world and the world stage for performance: