We are delighted to introduce you to O’Shea Irish Dance. You may have read some of our family history and background, but our biggest news has been our beautiful facility. We bought our own studios, and called the building The Celtic Junction, which is now a center for the Celtic arts of Dance, Music, Art and Language. It had a fire in December 2010 and was refurbished in Fall 2011 - this time with two new dance studios! We have a cozy, family-friendly place where all generations are welcome.
Directions are available online at the OID site or at www.thecelticjunction.com. Our Studios are designed especially for dance with sprung floors to absorb impact and make a great sound; they are also covered in professional dance marley to give the best surface possible.
The Celtic Junction came about with the help of a lot of friends, our dancers, and with support from our families and the Irish community. We will have other Irish/Arts organizations running there at the same time – it is very much an open effort, and the whole family is welcome, there is something for everyone!
When you arrive at The Celtic Junction, parking is available on street (the hour signs are not enforced, having been related to the factory now closed.) Spaces are available behind the building and on the north & south lots. The North side is a shared lot with our neighboring business, so please take care not to block anyone in. There is one spot on Prior that says "no Parking" on the corner - please heed that sign. Two cars have been ticketed there.
**Do not park on or in front of the curved driveway at the front as that is for drop off/pick up only, as well as for handicapped access.
We open The Junction Monday through Thursday at 4:30pm and lock it at 10 for regular class hours. Please make yourselves comfortable in the upper, lower and main lobbies, living room & kitchen. These are shared areas with all of the building’s tenants, so we would ask that you always leave the space as or better than you found it (i.e. replace the pillows and magazines and pick up after yourselves & kids).
Food items, which have been the biggest problem, should be disposed of ONLY in the kitchen garbage areas, and where you will find the recycling. If needed, there is a hoover and broom in the utility closet between studios 2 & 3. The kitchen is available for use – but you must wash and replace any cups or dishes you use and leave the sink & microwave clean. These are SELF SERVE Facilities. We do not have a dishwasher!
As there will be other groups in the building working in the offices and classrooms, respect them in regards to noise and cleanliness, and particularly to their property. The south offices are privately leased, and closed to the public.
Family members are always welcome at The Celtic Junction. Parents do not have to remain on the premises for children who are toilet trained (completely), but you are solely responsible for any children and/or siblings while they are not in the classroom under our direct instruction.
We are not there to police or pick up after them, so you must also assure their behavior to the facility, its property and to others within it. The furniture & décor as well as the toys and books are our own from our home – please don’t remove them. On-time pick up is essential.
We offer complimentary Wi-Fi in the building so if you wish to stay you can work, study or surf.
There are CDs to browse from New Folk Records (self service, with a lock box for payments on the left) and announcements of local Celtic-related events on the bureau next to the main Studio Inis Mor. The lost and found is underneath the community events table!!!!) If you have trouble with a machine, please leave your name, number, and a description of the problem. The vendor will get back to you.
We have a beautiful Gallery of local artists – the pottery in the display cabinets and the artwork on the walls is all for sale. For more information, please check The Celtic Junction website, see Carillon McBurnie or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outside of TCJ, there is Newell Park a couple blocks east of the building’s parking lot, down Hewitt Street, on Fairview. It has tennis courts, picnic pavilions, barbeque areas and a great playground amidst the rolling hills and gorgeous oak trees.
For a nice pint The Dubliner is nearby as is some local shopping, you’ll find Rainbow, Target and just south of University between Snelling & Lexington… Midtown is a busy urban area – if you like the quieter side you can cross I-94 south to Grand Ave. Along those streets you’ll find a wealth of beautiful shops and restaurants along the south side of I-94, including our favorite, Irish on Grand. Another great corner is on Lexington and Selby – it has coffee, boutiques, and antique stores, just across from O’Gara’s Pub.
Our Website is our mode of communication for all class/school distribution lists. Emails route through this system. When you register there is an account created in your name.
To access YOUR OID account for
- Contact Information
- Account Balance /Charges/Payments
- Class Registration
Follow this link: https://www.thestudiodirector.com/osheairishdance/register.jsp.
On the site we also list:
- IMPORTANT DATES
- Feiseanna (competitions)
- Costume Day/Details
Regardless of the number of classes that fall in each month, you will have a regular monthly payment – as a “Membership” to OID classes. This increases according to the level and the number of classes per week.
Payments are due at the start of the month, in advance of the classes to be taken. We have, in our policies, a late fee for unpaid tuition. This will be applied as necessary. Review our OID Policies and Procedures.
Payments may be made on your personal dancer account at https://www.thestudiodirector.com/osheairishdance/register.jsp or checks may be dropped in the locked OID payment box next to the main office.
Please note, parents are not allowed in our classes. We get far better concentration and advancement from your children when you are not in the room. Classroom visits are for the last five minutes of class, at the first class of each month.
If you do have questions, please respect our teaching time – we have only a few minutes as the shoes and bags are dragged into the room before each class starts. We do like to keep our attention with the dancers for as long as possible and our class time runs quickly right into the next level. Email is a great way to check in with your teachers:
You will also find that the parents of current/older students are the best resource for questions – with a perspective that is often more helpful than our own, and that they are lovely people to get to know. We will introduce you to some of them the first week of classes, will work each year on a list of parent advisers!!
We are delighted to have expanded our class times and to offer more make up options. However, while alternate same-level classes may be used as make-up classes, we do expect regular weekly attendance at the day under which you have registered, with the exception of our summer session.
This website is your primary reference where all our information is posted, including attendance and tuition policies; it also has class times for makeups, recommended music for practicing to, costume details etc.
The OID schedule is made to fit our curriculum "plan " for the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas Breaks are planned times off, as are the other major holidays (Halloween, President's Day, etc.) as well as the Regional, National and World competitions which run over Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and Easter, respectively. They are all on the schedule from the start of the year, and are not to be made up. They are planned into both the schedule plan and the tuition fees, and the monthly payments are averaged.
If your child is sick or your family is out of town, or misses one of our scheduled classes for any reason, they can make up any day where they can attend the same level. These make ups must be done within the current session -- Fall, Winter/Spring or Summer.
If for any reason we cancel a class (we have only done so for weather twice in 5 years, and never for sickness) we provide an alternative day. If we cancel a scheduled class for any reason, we will provide an alternative.
When you arrive for class, we ask that your dancer choose a chair within the studio and that they keep items on or under it – items left out on the floor will be taken to the lost and found. We are not responsible for ANY personal items, particularly shoes and i-pods. Label them please, they all look alike. The lost and found is in the bureau across from the office.
Our website has a full yearly calendar, which will tell you all the breaks - there are NO OID classes on typical school days off: Labor Day, MEA, MLK Day, President’s Day or Memorial Day, for example.
Print it out at the start of the year, but check it each session as we will be updating it for performances and events. I will email any changes & include them in the newsletter.
We don’t close for weather issues unless the St. Paul school district closes its doors for a snow day. If a teacher is sick we will provide a substitute. Our attendance and make-up policies are in our Policies and Procedures document.
For shoes, we recommend you go to Irish on Grand in St. Paul, near the corner of Lexington & Grand as they are very adept at fitting dance shoes properly, with just a little room for growing feet. Soft shoes should fit snugly; more like a sock. Hard shoes need to be snug to the point where the heel does not slide out, or they will get blisters – doubling up on socks for a while is an option. They are not made for much growing room, and you should count on needing new ones every nine to twelve months as they grow.
We have a used shoe swap, where quickly growing feet can buy/sell their used dance shoes with to other OID families, usually half the cost of new. You will find our shop is located in the cupboards behind the work station in the lobby, although it is luck of the draw & first come, first served. To sell shoes, place your shoes with your name & address on a stamped envelope, and cost of shoe CLEARLY marked and tightly tied on. To buy shoes, please pay the seller directly.
You will also find there are ice packs ($1), water bottles ($5), Irish Dance books ($15), OID scarves ($10) and cds (as priced) for sale in our mysterious cupboards. It is all based on the honor system; if we find things disappearing so will those amenities.
O’Shea Merchandise will be available for order twice a year in Fall & Spring.
A feis is a dance &/or music competition. There are only three local feiseanna in Minnesota, and a lot more nearby in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. There are around 200 throughout the country in one year. They lead up to Regional, National and World Championships.
We do encourage competition, but it is not required. Despite the name “competition”, these events are supportive and fun and truly help the dancer to improve their skills. It is really up to each individual student how involved they would like to be – we do really support it for the Beginner through Novice learning for ALL students. For some it becomes their chosen sport!
We will have a Practice Feis in late June, where new students can try it out within the school, and learn more about it in preparation for the Twin Cities Feile (June) and the Minnesota Feis (September). We will also host buses to other nearby competitions throughout the year.
For our active competitors, we do like to know what feiseanna you are going to and when you return, please email your feis results to us for review & possible advancement…
Of course, what would it be like without the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (March) the Festival of Nations (May) the Irish Fair (August) and the State Fair (Aug/Sept.)! These will have opportunities for our older Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced students to perform… Full Year attendance (&/or Performance Class) is required to participate in these events.
We do a lot of other events such as County Fairs, School Festivals and Private Events too – these are open to some of our younger Beginner level students. We will share information about those as the year progresses on the calendar. For Performance Dates please look to the OID calendar and check out Performance Page regularly!
Costume Day for measuring and ordering all class costumes for the coming year is in early December. This day is MANDATORY. All current students must attend, regardless of having a fitting costume or not, as we will be planning for growth for each half year. All deposits are due November 1. Any balance is due upon receipt of the costume.
Please note: in order to participate in any recitals, performances or competitions in the coming year (again, see the OID calendar) a dancer must place a deposit and be measured for a class costume at the costume measuring day. There will be no late exceptions.
In competitions, all students are required to wear a class costume up through Beginner II up into the Novice level. When they have been placed in Beginner II for 1st, 2nd or 3rd for ALL of their 7 primary level dances they will be considered full fledged Novice dancers at which point they may get a solo dress. Used solo dresses are purchased independently by families and are available online, new or used at various sites & competitions.
At the end of the school year, and before our Summer Session starts, all of our PreSchoolers, PreBeginners and Beginner Students will dance in a Spring Recital to show off what they have learned. For dates, please see the calendar.
You don’t have to be a student of O’Shea Irish Dance to dance! We also have The Celtic Junction’s Monthly Family Ceili Dances the third Saturday of every month, for your viewing pleasure and participation! There is a live band; The Twin Cities’ Ceili Band AND instruction with Mike Whalen, one of the best callers in the Twin Cities. It is a multi-generational monthly party, with refreshments and great company.
This is an informal “open house party” with Potluck –style snacks to end the season and have a friendly chat with our students and families. The December Celtic Junction Ceili is also a chance to come out and dance the night away before the season ends.
I’ll also have some announcements from The Celtic Junction, (www.thecelticjunction.com) which is the Irish Cultural Center that Cormac and I have developed around the dance school. We hold concerts and events and offer additional classes such as Irish Mythology, Literature and Lore, & Irish Language lessons. The Center for Irish Music (www.centerforirishmusic.org) begins their session in tandem with ours, teaching instruments, song, theory and early childhood classes and hold family "sessions" twice a month. If you prefer NOT to receive any of this information, please let us know. There will be lots of great things happening, so please stay tuned!
We follow the winter weather plan of the Saint Paul School system. When Saint Paul public schools cancel school or after school activities, we follow suit.
We are delighted to have you as part of our school, and look forward to having a bit of fun as the year progresses. We have found that not only do we thoroughly enjoy the students that we work with, but we have the pleasure of welcoming their spouses, parents, grandparents and siblings too! Thank you for your children, and for your company.
Natalie O’Shea & Cormac O’Sé