Siobhan Butler is an acclaimed performer, teacher, and choreographer specializing in traditional Irish dance. She is best known for her work as a sean-nós (old style) dancer and 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. Heavily influenced by the old set dance battering practices of county Clare, Siobhan approaches her work as a performer and teacher much like a bridge, merging old traditions with her own creative interpretations of the form. Dance, though specifically percussive dance, has been Siobhan's outlet for pursuing a balance of creative expression, community, and health. Her musicality, technical skill, and broad knowledge of Irish dance practices are exemplified by her multi-faceted experience as an Irish dancer.
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, in addition to a European tour with Rhythm of the Dance. 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. With over 20 years of dance experience, Siobhan's dancing mirrors her passion for traditional dance and music through her playful and musically driven movements.
Dance Training & Education
Siobhan started her dance training in ballet and tap dance while living in central Florida and southern California in the mid 1990s. In 2000, in San Diego, California, she began her competitive Irish Step dance training under the tutelage of Jeanie O'Connor T.C.R.G. Over the next 10 years, Siobhan had the privilege of studying with wonderful teachers around the United States including John Cunniffe T.C.R.G in Boston, Massachusetts; Brenda Coleman T.C.R.G in Nashua, New Hampshire; Sandra Connick T.C.R.G in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Abbey Wood T.C.R.G in Savannah, Georgia. Siobhan's career in competitive Irish Step dancing concluded successfully in 2010 having received numerous awards and as one of the top dancers in the United States.
In July of 2010, Siobhan moved to Boston, Massachusetts to study dance after receiving the Lissa Florman Memorial Scholarship at Green Street Studios and Boston Percussive Dance. 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 Anthropology 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 Anthropology in September of 2015.
Siobhan is currently pursuing an MA in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland.
Siobhan's been taking photos for over 10 years. Coming from a family of photographers, it was never out of the ordinary for Siobhan to find herself on either side of the camera. While shooting landscapes is of great interest to her, Siobhan loves the interaction and connection that comes with portraiture. She remains steadily inspirited by the work of her mother, Kristeen Anderson, her brother, Keegan Grandbois, as well as architecture, fashion, textile design, and typography. Siobhan's photography has been used for artist promotional material, CD covers, and gallery exhibits.