Morgan Machaj: Cultivating an Irish Dance Community on Campus

What is the U of M Campus missing? An Irish dance club! Up until now, there has not been a designated space for experienced Irish Dancers to practice steps for competing and to celebrate Irish tradition and heritage through dance and social events. Morgan Machaj has been Irish dancing since she was seven years old, and when she came to college, she decided that this campus needed a group that would allow experienced Irish dancers to continue their passion, and she begun the process to establish Minnesota Irish Dancers, along with a three other dedicated women, and Morgan was kind enough to share some information about this new and unique student group!

How did your group get started?

I posted in Facebook for interest in Irish Dance to see if anyone wanted to start a club with me! I’ve been dancing for over 12 years and it’s always been something that I’ve loved to do. It’s a huge stress reliever and a lot of my family does it too so it’s really fun to be able to connect with them and our heritage. I am a huge performer so my hopes for this group is that we can perform as much as possible for the U and greater Minneapolis area.

What are your group’s goals?

To come together and dance! We just want to have fun and share our talent with the campus. I also want this to be a group where students can express themselves through a shared passion and hopefully relieve a little stress!

What upcoming activities or events will your group be hosting or a part of?

We hope to perform in front of Coffman once we are established and put on a welcome show outside! We would also love to perform at bars in Stadium Village and Dinkytown for holidays, or even downtown.

How does this group want to contribute to the community on campus or greater Twin Cities area?

We want to spread our culture and hobby across campus. We want to unite Irish Dancers from all over the country and create our own jigs and microculture. We hope that previous Irish Dancers will engage in our group and want to dance with us!

How does one get involved with your organization?

You have to have previously been an Irish Dancer to join this group due to the high intensity and skill-level of Irish Dancers. This group is a performance team, not a way to teach people how to dance, however we do have fundraisers and events planned if people want a taste of what we do.  We unofficially meet on Friday afternoons and Wednesday nights to practice.

As you can see, Morgan and her fellow founders of Minnesota Irish Dancers are on their way to becoming an official student group! If you're interested in joining Minnesota Irish Dancers, you can contact her at [email protected]