A Bit about Kevin and Carol Monaghan
Welcome Kevin and Carol to Toronto for the 2ND time in May 2019.
The have been set dancing together for almost 20 years. They learned their dancing from a teacher who himself learned from Connie Ryan. Since then, they have inherited the class from their teacher, and run a class in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Kevin is a native of County Galway in the west of Ireland, but has lived in Hampshire in the south of England for almost 30 years, where he met his wife, Carol, at a set dance class. They have been dancing together ever since, and now have a loyal following in the UK as well as on mainland Europe where they regularly teach in Belgium and the Czech Republic, and take part in set-dance weekends in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. They have also taught in the USA, as guests of the Milwaukee Set Dancers.
With loyal and hard-working friends, Carol and Kevin run two full weekends of dance per year in the UK, bringing bands and teachers from Ireland and dancers from across Europe and beyond. They love to give recognition to the less-often-danced sets, and crowds regularly dance up to 30 different sets over a weekend. No wonder they are referred to as the “Setsmad” couple!
Their teaching emphasises the local differences of the sets, and concentrates on the etiquette, steps and holds within each set, to highlight individual traditions. They spend time on teaching the correct steps, holds and timings within each set, but with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment. Kevin usually has a story attached to each set which makes for deeper enjoyment. Where possible, the couple use music which reflects the origin of the set.
Time is ensured within workshops to include everyone, with each set being walked through, danced to music and having problems addressed before moving on to the next step. Questions are encouraged. In this way, the couple hope that the sets can be understood and enjoyed as never before. The teaching can be as “hands-on” or “hands-off” as required, with attention to detail and finesse.