Hullachan Irish Dance Shoes
Hullachan Irish dance shoes have been at the forefront of shoe design for over 15 years within the Irish, Highland, and Scottish dance world. They are now the most popular brand of Irish dance shoes in competition circuits. They are a favorite of champions and serious Irish dancers all around the world.
The company was founded by Craig Coussins, a man with years of competitive dance experience. He began the construction and design of dance shoes for competition dancers at a time when the range for hard and soft shoes was very limited. Designers at the time had the basics of what was necessary for professional dance shoes, but those designs were lacking the understanding of what was key when it came to the best fit of dance shoes. So, Coussins decided to make foot health his primary focus when designing the Hullachan Irish dance shoe line.
Coussins has written many articles regarding the health of dancers’ feet and the importance of wearing a properly designed shoe. Today, the Hullachan dance shoe brand is run by the Gavigan brothers at Antonio Pacelli, who are two ingenious Irish dance shoe inventors themselves. But even with them being the new driving force behind the brand, Coussins is still highly involved in the creation of the brand's Irish dance shoes.
Coussins and his two brothers were taught to dance by their mother, an Ireland native, in Scotland where he grew up. His mother, Sadie Simpson, decided early on that all three of her sons would be taught the art of Irish dance. She was an experienced dancer herself and taught Irish dance at 22 different schools. As a child, Coussins learned everything from ballet to Highland to tap. At the age of 8, Coussins began fitting shoes in his mother’s dance shoe store. Coussins eventually realized that his passion didn’t lie in actually dancing but in fitting and making Irish dance shoes. Eventually, his shoe fitting led him to join their supplier Gamba and at one point he was fitting over 160 companies.
In 1987 Coussins finally designed his first shoe, the split sole jazz shoe which became an international hit. With new confidence in his designs and years of Irish dance shoe fitting, he opened Hullachan in Glasgow in 1995. Coussins mother Sadie actually came up with the name for his shoe company when he was designing shoes for his mother’s dance school through Gamba and Gandolfi. The name Hullachan is a Scottish Gaelic name that is also used in Irish Gaelic culture. The word itself means to have a party. Dance events were held by the locals and they would have a “Hooley”. The Hullachan is also a Scottish Highland dance known as the Reel of Tulloch.
Hullachan Irish dance shoes were the first split sole shoes that Irish dancers had ever seen, and they quickly caught on in the Irish dance world. Today, many companies implement the split sole style within their Irish dance shoes because they know that style of dance shoe is the best for the feet of the Irish dancers. Coussins was also highly focused on the health of dancers’ feet. He discovered based on the three types of the shape and the three types of arches that physics were key.
He uses anatomy and physiology to craft his Hullachan Irish Dance shoes and create the best fit around the heel possible for Irish dance beginners and competition dancers. And his dedication to foot health can be seen by how popular his Hullachan dance shoes still are all these years later among competition dancers. Coussins and the Gavigan brothers combine performance, style, and safety to bring an amazing collection of Irish dance shoes to the Irish dance community. So, whether you are in need of hard or soft shoes, you can be assured that a pair of Hullachan Irish dance shoes will get the job done.