From left: 13-year-old Lois L., 15-year-old Olivia W., and 15-year-old Emily W. perform at the Fire & Ice Irish Dance Company soft opening on Jan. 11. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

From left: 13-year-old Lois L., 15-year-old Olivia W., and 15-year-old Emily W. perform at the Fire & Ice Irish Dance Company soft opening on Jan. 11. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Fire & Ice Irish Dance Company opens dance studio in Federal Way

Fire & Ice to host studio grand opening from 10- 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1.

Embarking on the 19th season, a local Irish dance company now has a space to call home in Federal Way.

Fire & Ice Irish Dance Company, owned and directed by Susan Walker, is an Irish ensemble choreography and traditional Irish step dancing company that performs at various festivals throughout the Puget Sound.

“We work on not just the traditional steps, but also how can we make them interesting to the audience,” Walker said of the choreography.

Dancers with Fire & Ice range in experience from beginners to masters, and also in age from 4 to 75 years old.

The company focuses on social and performance purposes, not competition, Walker explained at the studio’s soft opening in mid-January. Fire & Ice showcases their talents at shows around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday as well as Memorial Day weekend and at other events, such as Irish Festival Seattle in March.

This season, the company has 85 dancers celebrating their five-year anniversary and 15 dancers celebrating their 10-year anniversary.

Prior to creating Fire & Ice, Walker taught jazz dance for more than 20 years. Upon first seeing an Irish Riverdace performance on BBC one night in 1997, Walker said she simply could not wait to share the Irish art with others.

She headed straight to the library, after Yellow Pages failed to provide any information leads, and soon signed up for a local class.

Her company started on Sept. 11, 2001 with 26 dancers, growing to 32 the next year. Shortly after, it grew to approximately 70 dancers. And Walker remained the only instructor.

Since then, the company — and Walker’s love for the dance form — has only grown.

“I’ve been enough places to see its success,” she said of the dance style. “It has a lifelong, ever-trajectory of skill progression.”

Walker has been to Ireland a dozen times, for summer school dance academies and training, gathering a wealth of material and knowledge from the top instructors in Irish song and dance.

Fire & Ice, which formerly held classes at Brooklake Community Center and the Center at Norpoint in NE Tacoma, has found a perfect space in the heart of Federal Way.

Before finding the studio space in Federal Way, Walker said she hit a forked road in her career and “I had to ask myself a question — ‘Am I done yet?’”

The answer was no, she said, adding that she still has at least another decade of dance to accomplish.

On Jan. 18, folk music trickled out of the new studio’s door, located in the Quad Shopping Center along 1st Avenue South in Federal Way.

A bright and open space with a wall of floor-to-ceiling mirrors and specially designed floors for dancers underwent significant remodels to minimize sound of the joyful, fast-paced Irish dance tunes from floating into the surrounding businesses.

“We’ve been using the studio for two weeks and it’s like a dream come true,” Walker told the Mirror on Jan. 29.

The new studio offers classes for beginners (ages 4-6, Fridays at 4 p.m.), children (5 p.m. Mondays, 6 p.m. Tuesdays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays), and teens and adults (6 p.m. Mondays); classes begin the first week of February.

The dance studio’s grand opening celebration for the community is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1.

To register for classes, email or text 253-874-1533. Fire and Ice Irish Dance Company is located at 32901 1st Ave. S., under the complex tower, in Federal Way.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Courtesy photo
The Cove Apartments to host open house Sept. 11

Attendees welcome to view the newly renovated apartment units.

Rice and noodle bowl with marinated chicken and tofu from the newest Sizzle & Crunch location at 31448 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Sizzle & Crunch Vietnamese Grill opens new restaurant in Federal Way

Grand opening weekend to be celebrated Sept. 3-5.

Rudi Alcott has been named publisher of the Daily Herald in Everett. In Federal Way, city leaders awarded him a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service and as the Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher. File photo
Rudi Alcott named publisher of The Daily Herald in Everett

Federal Way Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher was awarded a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service.

Photo by Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Federal Way Chamber CEO Becca Martin greets the audience before giving a “State of the Chamber” update during the membership luncheon Aug. 4 at the Performing Arts and Event Center.
Martin gives annual State of the FW Chamber address

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce celebrated a return to in-person… Continue reading

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Courtesy photo
Curves reopens Federal Way gym at full capacity

The Federal Way all-women gym is located at 32020 1st Ave. S.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

MultiCare Tacoma General Emergency Federal Way is located at 29805 Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
MultiCare Tacoma General opens new emergency department in Federal Way

New 24-hour location provides care for illness and injuries as well as diagnostic services.

The Goodwill thrift store is located at 32521 Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. Photo by Anthony Sullivan
Goodwill store temporarily closed after fire damages building

A fire on May 21 caused about $20,000 worth of damage to the building.