Dancing to a Degree

Jean Butler

By Irish America Staff
August / September 2003

Jean Butler Goes Back to School.


Jean Butler, the tall red-haired Irish-American from Long Island, New York who starred with Michael Flatley in the original Riverdance, plans to dance again. In the meantime, she is pursuing a master’s degree in dance at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Butler, who now lives in Ireland and is married to Irish designer Cuan Hanley, stayed on with Riverdance after Flatley’s departure, and then went on to create her own show Dancing on Dangerous Ground, which received mixed reviews, and starred in a movie, The Brylcreem Boys, with Gabriel Byrne.

The fact that Butler picked the University of Limerick may have something to do with the university’s connection to Limerick-born composer Bill Whelan, best known for his creation of the music for Riverdance. Whelan premiered his latest classical compositions in the university’s concert hall.

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