EDWINA GUCKIAN & MICHAEL O’ROURKE
Sean Nós dancer Edwina Guckian hails from outside the village of Drumsna in Co. Leitrim. She learned her dancing from her mother and the local dancers of Leitrim and Roscommon. Her style is greatly influenced by the style of local music she grew up listening and dancing to. Music plays as much an important role as dancing does in Edwina’s life. “As much as I love dancing, it would be nothing without the music”. She began learning the fiddle from Irene Guckian and her grandfather Ned Lee at the age of 9. She then picked up the tin whistle learning from local man, Padraig Sweeney and Tipperary’s Seán Ryan and in recent years she has taken up the concertina. Edwina decided to further her love of music by studying it in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra where she later achieved a degree in Music, English and Education and graduated as a primary school teacher in 2010.
Michael O’ Rourke hails from Castleisland in Co. Kerry. Over his 20 years of dancing he has experimented in many different styles of Irish dance. He first began with Irish step dancing and then moved on to set dancing which was enjoying a huge revival during his youth. He was greatly influenced by the local dancers and the music of Sliabh Luachra and West Kerry. He travelled with his family to ceilis and dancing festivals all over Ireland and it was at the Willie Clancy Summer School in his teens that he learned the Clare batter steps. Michael learned these steps and movements by watching the sean nós dancers perform and quickly developed his own unique style. In his 20 years of dancing he has won 11 All Ireland titles in set dancing and sean nós dancing and has performed on stage with Dervish, Cherish the Ladies, Martin Hayes, Seamus Begley and Frankie Gavin and De Danann. He now lives in Co. Leitrim where he and his wife Edwina Guckian teach at Sean Nós ar an tSionann Dance Club.