The Bracken School of Irish Dance, is located on Bridge Road in Salisbury, Massachusetts and provides dance instruction to girls and boys ages five and older. Beginners are particularly welcomed at the school which caters to recreational as well as competitive dancing. Classes are also offered in Beverly on Wednesday afternoons.
The school was established in Ireland by Thomas P. Bracken in 1980 and opened in Chandler, Arizona almost twenty years ago.
Over the years, Mr. Bracken’s students have won World, National, and Regional Championship titles in solo dancing, and his ceile teams have placed in the top ten in the world. The school was ranked #12 in North America by Irish Dancing Magazine International. Mr. Bracken now brings this standard of excellence to our Salisbury studio.
Bracken School dancers regularly achieve great results in regional, national, and international competitions.
While the school is very accomplished in competition and performance, it has at its grassroots the mission to introduce this cultured art form to as wide a group of people as possible, so that they may enjoy it and add it to their cultural experience in life.
We strive to share the joy and discipline of an age-old genre of dance which has become a modern Broadway sensation. This great dance phenomenon has grown from local classes worldwide to become the very popular art form of today. It has to start somewhere and nowhere better than the local community.
Thomas P. Bracken, A.D.C.R.G.
A native of Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, Thomas Bracken began Irish stepdancing at the age of four. He attended the Sheehan School and later joined the famed Inis Ealga School in Dublin. He is a recipient of many regional, national, and world medals as both a dancer and a teacher.
The Bracken School of Irish Dance was founded in Ireland in 1980 by Thomas Bracken. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and has specialized in education and the arts for the past thirty-two years. His experience as a senior high school administrator facilitates the educational foundation of this dance school. Thomas also holds the highest accreditation afforded to an Irish dance teacher, which is the equivalent of the Masters Degree.
Thomas has conducted master classes throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia for the past twenty years and has had the honor of judging at many World Championship qualifying events as well as the US Nationals, All Irelands, Great Britains, and the World Championships.
As a grade Examiner with the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin, Thomas is qualified to conduct grade examinations and evaluations for dance schools throughout the United States.
Thomas has conducted workshops and master classes for a number of schools throughout North America for many years. He has also worked on choreographies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, more famously known as LAMDA. He has taught Gaelic Roots Summer School at Boston College.
The Bracken School is proud to have two of its own former students now qualified teachers with the Irish Dance Commision. Kieran Noe T.C.R.G. and Kirsten Hahn T.C.R.G. are invaluable members of the Bracken teaching team.
A seasoned performer, Thomas has performed at such world-renowned venues as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London. Bracken students have performed throughout mainland Europe, the United States, and Canada having been featured in a number of television specials, folk dance festivals, and charity events. They have also shared the stage with world-famous acts such as the Chieftains, Frank Patterson, Glen Campbell, Hal Roach, and Cherish the Ladies. Special performances were received with standing ovations with the San Deigo Symphony Orchestra as well ans Tucson and Pheonix Symphony orchestras. Former Bracken students have graced the stage in both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, and have toured the world extensively.
The Bracken School is proud to have produced solo dancers who have won World and National titles over the years, and teams that place consistently high at regional and Nationals as well as seventh place in the world.
The school was ranked #12 in North America by Irish Dance Magazine International in its league of most successful Irish Dancing Schools.