About Cora Summerville

Cora Summerville is the founder of  AIDT. Cora’s dancing career started at the age of 7 years in Dublin. She vividly remembers dancing and winning numerous awards at Feiseanna around Dublin in the 1960s and 1970s, including the first World Irish Dancing Championships held in Coláiste Mhuire in Dublin in 1970. The late sixties was a controversial period in Irish Dancing leading to the setting up of other organisations in 1969 — Cora remembers it with sadness as it was an abrupt end to friendships — a divide.

Garda Background

In 1978 She trained and graduated as a member of An Garda Síochána and was one of two female Gardaí to arrive in Ennis in 1979 — a first for the County of Clare, retiring in 2008 after serving for 30 years. Before leaving Dublin she received her teaching diploma with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) and later her judging diploma (ADCRG).

Summerville School of Irish Dancing

Cora opened the Summerville School of Irish Dancing in Co Clare in 1980 and has been teaching and judging around the World ever since. While teaching she is very aware of the student and uses her love of dance as a common bond to instil discipline and confidence into the dancer, all attributes needed in later life. Some of the most highly accomplished dancers in Co. Clare received her guidance. In recent years Cora has set up Adult Classes.  In 2015 she ran the first World Irish Dancing Championships for adults.

Independent Irish Dance Consultant

In recent years, becoming disillusioned with the organisational grip on Irish Dancing, Cora set herself up as an independent Irish Dance Consultant, offering guidance and assistance to teachers and organisations and offering tuition to individuals and groups. She would like to see Irish Dancing enjoyed and available to everyone. Our Irish traditional dance has evolved to an art that is sought after by dancers all over the world.

AIDT — The Alliance of Irish Dance Teachers

The setting up of AIDT in 2014 was done to enable Irish dancing teachers, who choose to work outside the framework of the big organisation.  Cora will always support and encourage people to dance and dancers to teach. She believes teacher training needs urgent reviewing as no standard exists regarding: classroom management strategies, behaviour management involving parents/guardians, educational psychology, healthy diet, warm up and cool down exercises, mental preparation and training for competition, personal development, alcohol and drug education, to name but a few.    In 2016 Cora graduated with a Masters in Irish Dance Studies from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.  Her concern for the young Irish step dancer resulted in her penning a thesis titled:

Sport of Irish Dancing:   Are the Adults responsible for the young Irish dancer ensuring the Rights of the Child are protected.

A healing of sorts to release the many injustices she perceived during her time involved in a genre of dance she loved.