GERALDINE O’SHEA-RYAN, TCRG, ADCRG, Irish dance teacher, Adjudicator, Examiner

GERALDINE O’SHEA-RYAN was born   in 1930.

In 1935   she commenced Irish Dancing in St. Patrick’s Hall, Bourke Street, Melbourne. the venue of the First  Parliament of Victoria.

In 1937   she won the Under 9 years st. Patrick’s Day Championship and in 1940 the Under 12 years Victorian Junior Championship.

She commenced teaching at 12 years of age,  new dances which an elderly Tim Downey had taught her. In the mid 1940-s she presented the First Floats of Irish Dancers in the St. Patrick’s Day Parades and was the  first winner of the Fr. Gilhooley  Gold Cup.She was also the first  winner of the Archbishop Mannix Shield for Solo Dancing and  won multiple senior  Victorian and Australian         championships.

Geraldine travelled to Ireland by ship in 1953. She studied Irish Dancing and became the first person outside  of  Ireland and England  to become a Registered Teacher with An Coimisiun Le Rinci  Gaelacha (Irish Dance Commission, Dublin).

On her return from Ireland, Geraldine introduced new costumes, and introduced soft shoe dances which had never been performed before.   Soft shoes had never been used  before this.

In 1955   Geraldine presented  he first and only Irish Dancing Float in the  first Moomba Parade and for  many years after.

In 1968  Geraldine became a founding member of the Australian Irish Dancing Association.

In 1981  Geraldine was the first Australian to be elected as Vice-President of the Irish Dance Commission of   Dublin

On the occasion of Pope John Paul’s visit to Australiai 1986   Geraldine presented 150 dancers in an  Irish Catholic performance: “Faith of our Fathers” at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In 1986  Geraldine was presented with the Irish Community Award for her  continued work in the Irish   Community, in 1998 she received the Seamus McGettigan Award and in 1999 she was named Irish Australian of the Year.

In 2013  Geraldine received the Gradam” award from the Irish Dance Commission of  Dublin   for  lifelong dedication to the promotion and teaching of Irish dance, at the world                   championships held in Boston, USA.

In 2017   Geraldine and her Dancers named Artists of the Year” by the Koroit Irish Festival and in 2018  she was inducted as “Legend of the Lake” at the Launch of the 2019 Lake School of Music,  Song  and Dance held in Koroit.

Geraldine has taught thousands of dancers over the years, and many have gone on to become teachers and adjudicators themselves.

She is patron of the Sunraysia Irish and Friends Associaton.

She travels approx. 3000km per week….to teach in Kilmore, Hamilton, Crossley, Warragul, Albury-Wodonga, Echuca, Bendigo and Mildura.

She has travelled with her dance groups to perform at international military tattoos and international folklore festivals in 30 different countries, and at almost 88 years of age is looking forward to travelling again in 2018.

She is recognised as the senior longest registered Irish ance teacher, still actively teaching, in the world…