About Us

'Céad míle fáilte' is the Irish way of saying "One hundred thousand welcomes". You are very welcome to come in, explore our website, and to drop in to see us in school any day, Monday - Wednesday after 4 p.m.                                                                    Helen Gannon with Labhrás O Murchú, Director-General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

St. Louis Irish Arts is a school dedicated to the instruction of the music and dance of Ireland. We pride ourselves on our continual persistence to teaching the Irish music, song and dance the way they were taught throughout the centuries in Ireland: the traditional Irish way. Nothing is more beautiful than the natural innocence and splendor of a young child. We truly believe in that. So for this reason, you will never be asked to have your child wear a wig or makeup or to use spray tans. If you would like to give your child ringlets for special occasions that is up to you, but for the most part, our little girls just wear a plain red bow in their hair. At no time will you ever see our dancers dancing in public to pre-recorded music. Our own students play the music for our dancers. That is the traditional Irish way; the way it has been done in Ireland for centuries and centuries.

Our Irish culture is a pretty simple one. They refer to the ‘oral traditions’ of Ireland. Our music, song, poetry and stories were passed from one generation to another when parents and grandparents sat by the fire, telling stories, singing songs and poetry. Many of the traditional Irish dances we know now were learned when people gathered in each others houses or met at the crossroads to dance. In the Irish language, the expression “from generation to generation” translates to “ó ghlúin go glúin”. Literally this means “from knee to knee”. As this tells you, one generation would sit down with a younger generation and tell them the old stories, sing them the old songs and play the old music. That’s how it was taught. This is how our traditions survived. And that’s how we do it today at St. Louis Irish Arts. The traditional Irish way.

There is nothing overly fancy about Irish music or dance. Our traditions are pure, elegant and simple. We believe in bringing out the best in your child and we do it without over-complicating things. The natural way! That’s the traditional Irish way. So, when your child comes to us, they will learn to play music on a tin whistle. It’s a cheap instrument with a beautiful sound. They won’t start out learning to read music like they might elsewhere. Instead we do it a more natural way. We like to instill the LOVE of the music in the child first, get them playing music, real music, right from the start. We believe that if your child sees how great they can be, right from the very start, they will have great confidence in themselves and they will really grow to LOVE the music.

This has been the philosophy that has kept Irish traditional music and dance alive throughout the ages. It’s a good philosophy and it has stood the test of time. If we were to make any changes to that, it wouldn’t be the traditional Irish way, so we won’t be changing anything about it.

We are a music and dance school. Our students range in age from 4 on up. Everyone is welcome, boys and girls! We also offer classes for adults.

Contact Helen@slia.org with any questions you may have.