Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

About Us: Beginnings of the Group

A week before St. Patrick’s Day in 1991 a group of 25 parishioners at St. Rose of Lima’s Church in Gaithersburg gathered in their community hall to learn a few Irish ceili dances.  The teachers, led by Jean Murphy, were a newly formed club, the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers, based in Gaithersburg.  They were looking for new members and hoped that a few of the church-goers would join up.

No one did.  It was a bit discouraging.  However, the group continued on and in the fall of that year, when the new semester began, three sisters walked into class.  They had been at that workshop at St. Rose and now they were ready to begin.  They jumped right in.

Sheila Shea, the oldest sister, brought her daughter, Meghan, who went on to become a premier Irish step dancer; Pat Lynch, the middle sister, became the leader of the performance group and received acclaim at many festivals; and the youngest sister, Erin Lynch, eventually became the teacher of the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers’ beginner class.

The three sisters were not only talented dancers and they were not the only people who contributed to the club, but they were, for many years, the foundation of our very successful dance group. 


dancing RKID feet and legs
Left to right:  Erin, Sheila, Pat in Ireland on the RKID 1995 Journey

next chapter: The Name Game