Hannah DeRusha is a lifelong Irish dancer and both resides and teaches dance in Medford. She grew up in competitive Irish dance at the Griffith Academy in Wethersfield, CT. As an adult, she has explored the more traditional aspects of Irish Dance, including old-style step dancing, sean-nos, and set dancing. She is a long-time student of Kieran Jordan and has taken workshops with dance masters such as Michael Tubridy, Patrick O’Dea, Donny Golden, and Kevin Doyle. She enjoys both the beautiful, graceful aspects of soft shoe and the strong, percussive elements of hard-shoe dancing.
Hannah has taught Irish dance for over thirteen years. She enjoys teaching all ages of dance, though she particularly enjoys teaching young children, as she has a master’s degree in early childhood education. Hannah’s passion is choreography, and her work has appeared at the MIT Dance Troupe, Museum of Science, Green Street Studios’ Titania, Hornpipalooza at Boston Celtic Music Festival, and many Saint Patrick’s Day shows. She has performed with the Griffith Celtic Dance Company, the MIT Dance Troupe, KIERAN JORDAN DANCE, and Rising Step. She also has a background in improv comedy and hopes to combine these passions into more theatrical Irish dance performances soon. She often appears with friends and collaborators she has met throughout her time in Boston.
Hannah DeRusha, Lauren Milord, Samantha Jones, and Rebecca McGowan in Little Gifts, a production of Kieran Jordan Dance, photos by Niko Alexandru, Eye on the Stage Productions
Hannah DeRusha in Childsplay, photo by Jason Jong
To me, tradition does not mean "doing it how they did it in the past." Rather, tradition captures the idea of passing along information (dance steps), wisdom, and stories from generation to generation. As an Irish dancer and teacher, I can trace the lineage of my pieces and steps, and when I pass on my steps through teaching and performing, I feel I am keeping them alive. However, I also feel that a tradition must be dynamic and growing to stay alive, so I am constantly seeking to create new work and new interpretations within the tradition. I love to take a piece or steps I have learned and build it into a new creative work of my own that stands on the shoulders of giants.
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