A Bit About Us...
River City School of Irish Dance is a non-profit Irish Dance School located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Membership is open to anyone age 3 or older.
River City is the only Irish Dance School in Saskatchewan to have two local TCRG’s in every class. Nicole Nienaber grew up in Saskatoon and has been a student of River City since the school opened in 1996. She kept her love for Irish Dance alive by sharing her knowledge and talents with the children in the school. Nicole obtained her TCRG, or Irish Dance Teacher Certification, in May 2015. Katie Bleakney also grew up in Saskatoon and has danced with River City since 2009. She also obtained her TCRG in 2015. She describes Irish Dance as her “first love” and is excited to teach children how Irish Dance can enrich their lives. Both instructors are present at every class and enjoy working together to ensure that all students in each level get the attention and guidance that they need. The school is also very fortunate to have the world renowned Butler Fearon O'Connor School of Irish Dance come in to hold bi-annual workshops with the dancers.
River City is one of the longest running Irish Dance Schools in Saskatoon, officially opening its doors in 1996. River City also has the highest enrollment of students in Saskatoon. The School promotes awareness, understanding, and love of Irish Dance and culture at every class. The instructors think it is of the utmost importance to teach Irish Dance as traditionally as possible whilst still remaining modern and competitive.
Our goal at River City is to teach your child to dance to the best of his/her ability while having a fun and memorable experience. Both individualized and group instruction allows for an essential focus on proper form and technique. The River City Instructors also ensure that students have a knowledge of the proper terminology and techniques associated with Irish Dance.
Our dancers participate in many competitions throughout Western Canada as well as nationally and internationally, such as North American and World Championships. The school participates in dance performances in a variety of venues throughout Saskatchewan and high profile public performances including FolkFest, Festival of Trees and Potash Corp Firework Festival. The school has also performed at the Lieutenant Governor's Centennial Gala, Dare to Dance, and at Canada’s Reconciliation Event. An annual ceili (or party) for the school takes place in January as well as a recital in May. Tickets can be purchased from members of the dance school for both events.
River City prides itself in keeping their monthly fees low by offering many fundraising opportunities for parents. Some of the regular fundraisers we participate in include: QSP, Prairie Meats, Baba’s Perogies, Poinsettias, and Hanging Baskets.
The skills taught in Irish Dance go beyond dance and have proven to be invaluable for many years to come. At River City we strive to make each child the very best Irish Dancer they can be. We want our dancers to enjoy coming to class, attending competitions and performing. At River City we believe that dance creates lasting friendships from within our school and all around the world, as well as life skills such as hard work, dedication, and focus that can be beneficial to a child’s development and future.
Meet Our Instructors
Nicole Nienaber, TCRG:
Nicole Nienaber was born and raised in Saskatoon and has been a member of River City since its opening in 1996. Nicole started dancing at the age of six and began competing shortly thereafter. Nicole reached the highest level of dance and qualified for the North American Championships on numerous occasions. Nicole has been privileged to dance in many honoured events throughout Saskatchewan and looks forward to guiding young dancers to do the same.
Nicole resides in Saskatoon and is currently attending the University of Saskatchewan working toward her History degree. Nicole aspires to become an ADCRG, or an Adjudicator, in the near future and is eager to further her career in the Irish Dance community.
Nicole greatly enjoys spending time with dancers of all ages and considers herself very fortunate to play a positive role in the development of each dancer. Nicole has always had a passion to teach and choreograph Irish Dance and is very happy to have many amazing dancers to share her knowledge with. Nicole received her TCRG Certification in May of 2015.
Katie Bleakney, TCRG
Katie has lived in Saskatoon since the age of two and has been dancing since age five. She enjoyed competing from an early age and progressed through the grades very quickly. Katie has been dancing at the highest level since age nine. She participated in her first North American Championships at age ten and worked hard every year afterwards to attend this prestigious competition. Katie was very driven in her last few years of her competitive career and was pleased to finish in the Top 20 in North America two years in a row. Katie has been very fortunate to have many opportunities to compete in the North American and World Irish Dance Championships over the years.
Outside of dance, Katie has recently completed her English degree at the University of Saskatchewan. During the day she works as a visual merchandiser at Sportchek, but plans to pursue a career as a Lawyer in the near future.
Katie has been dancing with River City since 2009 and is excited to continue to be part of the school as a teacher. Teaching dance as well as choreographing for shows and performances is something she is very passionate about and has a talent for and she is happy to share her love and knowledge of Irish Dance with all of the River City students. Katie received her TCRG Certification in December of 2015 and plans to go for her ADCRG in the future.