About the Academy

The Shovlin family has been central to the introduction and development of Irish dance in western Pennsylvania since the late 1960s.

Peter Sr. and Celia Shovlin, originally from County Donegal, Ireland, emigrated to Pittsburgh in 1957. Peter, Sr., a traditional Irish fiddler since his youth, along with several of the founding members of the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill, worked to secure the services of Ms. Theresa Burke, ADCRG, a certified Irish Dance instructor, in nearby Ohio for weekly classes in Pittsburgh.

These classes spawned a generation of young Irish step-dancers in western Pennsylvania that continues today and helped to begin a tradition of competitive and exhibition stepdancing never before seen in this area. Local dancers now perform and compete each year throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland.

The Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance, or Scoil Rince na Tri Abhainn, (pron. 'scol RINK-a na tree-OW-en'), or 'Dance School of the Three Rivers', now continues that tradition as an independent school of Irish dance instruction. The Academy currently offers regular classes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Currently, there are four family members actively teaching with the school: Sheila, Elizabeth, Peter Jr., and John.