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…