Bethlehem Traditional Irish Dance, LLC, offers an alternative to the typical competition-based Irish dance school. Students ages 3 through adult are given the opportunity to learn traditional Irish
dance in an environment focused exclusively on recreational students.
Our classes are designed to meet the needs of the recreational student, which include lower costs, a smaller time commitment, and a more relaxed learning pace.
Rose McAvoy has been dancing for over 30 years and teaching Irish dancing since 2002.
Her first instructor was a sean nos (old-style) dancer who loved teaching ceildh dances and simple jig and reel steps to her friends and family. Irish dancing for Rose has always meant pushing aside the dining room table and getting everyone up to participate! It has also always meant family, as all five of her sisters grew up dancing as well, and many of them have helped her along her teaching journey.
Throughout her teens Rose attended the Wild Irish Acres school of Irish Dance, a non-competitive school which accepted students of all ages and backgrounds and performed at shows, parades, and festivals.
After taking a few years off from dancing in college, Rose started offering Irish dance lessons to her English students while teaching at a private high school in New England, and quickly had a large troupe of enthusiastic Irish dancers.
After relocating back home to New York in 2011, Rose started offering classes in Bethlehem in 2012. She resides in Delmar with her husband and six children.
Listen to an interview with Rose on the Irish Dance Studio owners podcast.
Rose (L) and her sister Ellen at a performance with the Chieftains at Proctors, c 1996.
About the Teachers
Maura Van Dyke danced for the Farrell School until she was 17 and reached Open Championship. She has been teaching almost continuously since then and started teaching for Bethlehem Irish Dance in 2018.
Sara Gravelle started dancing with the Farrell school in 1999, which is where she started competing. She later switched to the Rosemary Campbell School of Irish Dance where she worked her way from advanced beginner to prizewinner. Her passion for Irish dance was reawakened when she found the adult classes taught by Miss Maura at BTID and she is excited to be teaching!
Nuala Breen began dancing at the age of 5, and has been dancing with BTID since the school opened in 2012. For Nuala, dancing has always been an important part of her life and is a way for her to connect with her Irish heritage. She has been co-teaching Irish dance since 2019, and began fully teaching in 2022.