Miss Olevia Ireland arrived in Portland around 1909 and first worked as an actress. By 1913, she had given up the theater, taking a position as a dance instructor at Montrose Ringler's Dreamland Academy (located at SW 2nd and Morrison). Also, Miss Ireland and fellow Dreamland instructor, Norman Whiting, gave exhibition dances together as partners on various stages around the city. Ireland and Whiting were among those who introduced to Portland the Tango, Hesitation Waltz and One-Step. The partners' exhibitions and instructions continued with Ringler when he moved his operations in 1914 from Dreamland Academy to his newly completed Cotillion Hall (now the Crystal Ballroom).
After about a year at Ringler's Cotillion Hall, Ireland and Whiting struck out on their own, opening the Whiting-Ireland Dancing Academy on the second floor of the Alisky Building on SW Morrison Street. In 1916, Whiting followed his father's footsteps, going into a career in printing [as recent as 1958, Whiting was working at The Oregon Journal as a proofreader]. Without her partner, Miss Ireland joined another local dancing school run by James A. Randall. This move was a stepping stone for opening her own school.
In 1917, Olevia Ireland established a dancing school in downtown Portland on the 5th floor of the Dekum Building. She advertised the venture as offering lessons in both "ball room and Esthetic dancing." She noted that "teaching of beginners in ball room dancing [was] a specialty, personal attention given," and that private and class lessons were given daily.
A September 1921 ad for "The Dance Studio" in the Journal states:
"Miss Ireland, pupil of the celebrated master, Stepheno Mascagno, announces the opening of Dancing Classes in Ballet technique and Up-to-Date Ballroom Dances on Thursday, September the 15th and thereafter,
Eight Lessons $6.00
Children and Ladies
Children's classes Saturday mornings at 10:30 o'clock
Class Room, 509 Dekum Bldg., Washington at Third
(Journal 9/11/21, sec. 4: 2)
Miss Ireland continued teaching in her Dekum Building studio through 1923. After that date, her name no longer appears in Portland City Directories.
"Miss Olivia Ireland will be here to start her dancing class in Ballet and Ball Room dancing October 6th, at Elberton Hotel."
[This is exactly the time when Maxine Brooks remembers starting her lessons with Miss Ireland at the Hotel Elberton (now Hotel Oregon)]