Our History

Who are we?

We, the Shamrock Dance Company Vienna, are a club for dancers of all ages and genders. We are more than happy to be teaching a variety of students whose ages range from 5 to beyond 60 years. We want to make Irish dancing accessible for everyone, and one of our main goals is to establish a safe environment for all our dancers.
But we are not only diverse in our dance students’ ages – many of our students have their roots in faraway corners of the world such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Poland or Slovakia, and we are happy to have dancing as one of the many things that unite us. We don’t categorize or label our students by their gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – we coexist and cooperate and accept each member for who they are.
Furthermore, we are happy to have our own cultural exchange programme: During Easter or Summer Camps in Austria or Ireland, our students will get the chance to improve their dance skills in joint classes with Irish students from our partner school in Ireland!

Rafter School of Irish Dancing

Our dance school was founded in 1999. Just two years later, we started a cooperation with the Rafter School of Irish Dancing in County Cavan, Ireland, founded and led by former Riverdance cast members and certified Irish dancing teachers Joan Rafter (TCRG, ADCRG) and Lucia Rafter (TCRG). In 2005, we have officially taken on the status of official subsidiary as the Rafter School of Irish Dancing Vienna. Simon Zirkowitsch is our local TCRG, but still we appreciate having Joan and Lucia over for workshops and in-depth classes to bring in new material and make sure that our standards of technique remain consistent.

While we present as Shamrock Dance Company Vienna for gigs and showcases, or official name for competitions is Rafter School of Irish Dancing Vienna . Through our TCRGS Joan, Lucia and Simon we are affiliated to the Regional Council of Continental Europe and Asia (RCCEA) and CLRG – An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (the largest international umbrella organisation for competitive Irish Dancing).