Siobhan Butler is an acclaimed performer, teacher, and choreographer specializing in traditional Irish dance. She has been featured on many platforms including the Nationally televised stations TG4 and RTE in Ireland and the prestigious Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Siobhan's musicality, technical skill, and broad knowledge prove why she is one of the most in-demand sean-nós and old style Irish step dancers in the tradition.
Siobhan has performed and collaborated with many of the leading traditional artists including, but not limited to, The Yanks, Kevin Burke, Cherish the Ladies, Nic Gareiss, Tony Demarco, Natalie Haas and Yann Falquet, Kieran Jordan, Patrick Ourceau with Tony McManus, and Sandy Silva. As a troupe member, she has performed with prominent Irish dance shows like Celtic Crossroads, Atlantic Steps, The Sole Mates, in addition to a European tour with Rhythm of the Dance. With 20 years of dance experience, Siobhan’s style is a well balanced mix of musicality, elegance, and felicity. She is continually inspired by percussive dance traditions from around the world including Ireland, Appalachia, Quebec, Cape Breton, and Andalusia, among others, which ultimately manifests into a completely unique perspective.
Born in Cambridgeshire, England to American parents stationed there in the Air Force, Siobhan first started Irish dancing at age 8, under the tutelage of Jeanie O'Connor, T.C.R.G in San Diego, CA. Her career as a competitive Irish Step dancer spanned over 10 years, during which she was awarded numerous awards and worked with professional dancers like John Cunniffe, Brenda Coleman, Tara Barry, Dearbhla Lennon, Sandra Connick, and Abbey Wood. Siobhan retired from competitive Irish Step dance in late 2009 as one of the top contemporary Irish dancers in North America.
In the Summer of 2010, just weeks after her 18th birthday, Siobhan moved to Boston after receiving the Lissa Florman Memorial Scholarship at Green Street Studios and Boston Percussive Dance in Cambridge, MA. During her time at BPD, Siobhan was able to apprentice under award winning sean-nós and Irish step dancer, Kieran Jordan. Also at BPD, Siobhan studied a variety of percussive dance traditions, all under the guidance of extraordinaries such as Lauren O’Donnell, Leonor Leal, Antonio Arrebola, and Omayra Amaya for Flamenco; Julia Boynton for Tap; Jennifer Schoonover for Cape Breton Step dancing; and Nic Gareiss for Appalachian Flatfooting and Improvisation. Siobhan's experience as a percussive dance student in Boston proved to be a huge turning point for her as she shifted her perspective to the older, more musically driven varieties of Irish dance.
Her study of Irish dance continued as she pursued a theory based, third level degree in Ethnochoreology at Goddard College. Her three years of study culminated in an extensive written thesis exploring the history of Irish dance, the subjective nature in telling history, her own experiences as a dancer, and ultimately concluding with her plans for creating a video based archive of Irish dance as a method of preservation. This work awarded her a BA in Ethnochoreology in September of 2015.
Siobhan’s expertise in Irish dance traditions has led her to extend her knowledge to others through workshops, demonstrations, and panel discussions. She has taught master classes all over the United States at Boston College, Villanova University, Milwaukee Irish Fest and CelticFest Mississippi to name a few. In 2013, Siobhan was invited to participate in a panel discussion led by Mick Moloney at NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House as part of the first annual New York Trad Fest.
Her love of teaching stems from wishing to inspire her students to make their dancing something of their own. Music serves as the core of her lessons by ensuring that each of her students understands various layers of the structure of Irish traditional music and how to create dances to suit the music. Rather than just teaching a single technique, Siobhan pulls from her vast knowledge of percussive dance traditions to give her students a variety of tools to help them interpret the music and build their dancing in their own unique and creative way.