Msgr. Sean Ogle & Gail Golden Casey, Canada 1971

Oral History Collection

“Because if you have a love for something, it’s like anything, yeah. It’s emotional to me, and it sends me to another world. Just like when you’re dancing, you feel you’re in another world. You’re in the air sort of, you know? You don’t see anything around. You’re just lost to the dance.”  
— Irish dancer, teacher & adjudicator VIVIENNE PENTONy BERGIN

What do we have in common? And what is left unsaid? Irish dancers and teachers rarely have the opportunity to talk intimately about their craft. The oral history project is designed so that each interviewee can reflect on what make us unique as Irish dancers and what connects us to the collective consciousness of all dancers.

What is your first memory of dance?
How were you taught to dance?
Can you describe the sensation of dancing?
What does it feel like in your body?
Who were your role models?

Czechoslovakia, 1972. Image courtesy of James Yeates.

The full collection and transcripts will be available shortly via a link to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library.

Selected interviews

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason

Lillian O'Moore

Colin Dunne

Vivienne Pentony Bergin from Droheda, Ireland

Cara Butler from Mineola, NY

Tom Cashin from Brooklyn, NY

Steve Gallagher from Bronx , NY

Donny Golden from Brooklyn, NY

Winifred Horan from Brooklyn, NY

Joan McNiff Cass from Belfast, Ireland

Patricia McLoughlin from Birmingham, England

Anna O'Sullivan originally from Glasgow, Scotland

Mgr. Sean G Ogle from Queens, NY

Mary Lou Schade from Flushing NY