Cohesion Center's Tiernan Irish Dancers are preparing for upcoming St. Patricks Day performances

Posted at 9:12 AM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 12:00:12-05

HELENA — The Tiernan Irish Dancers are a dance troupe in Helena and Butte that teach students ages 3 and up, and put on dozens of shows throughout the year at schools, festivals, assisted living facilities, and many other locations.

The Tiernan Irish Dancers, the traditional Irish step-dancing school and performance group, was founded in Butte and Helena, Montana in January 2004, and have been performing and teaching their arts ever since.

Tiernan Irish Dancer, and instructor, Alexis Otteson has been dancing at the Cohesion Center since the third grade, and it all started when she saw the studio perform when she was younger.

"We saw them at our school when we were really little. They performed for us and I was like, oh, that's pretty cool. And I wanted to try it and I did and stuck with it," said Otteson.

Otteson will be performing this year while also being an instructor to the beginner dancers. While it's a lot of work being the only Irish dance instructor, It was something she wanted to accomplish when she started Irish dancing.

"I love the environment, the people. I've made so many friends and like when I was little, I was like, oh, I can become an Irish dance teacher. And like, normally that doesn't really happen, but now it's a reality," said Otteson.

Otteson has been in a similar position where her students are now, and seeing dancers around her grow up, and become more skilled dancers, means a lot to her.

"I love watching them grow up. I've watched all the most of the older dancers grow into become actual dancers and performers. So I love watching them grow up," said Otteson.

The Tiernan Irish dancers have multiple upcoming performances, starting with Helena's St. Patricks day parade on Saturday. For more information on their scheduled performances, you can click here.