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Irish dance school marks 20 years Whether they've been leaping in the air onstage at the Imperial Theatre, dressed in their hand embroidered emerald green outfits, performing St.

Patrick's Day dances in retirement homes across Lambton County, or gracefully accompanying their Canada Day float down the street during Bright's Grove's annual holiday parade, members of the Sarnia School of Irish original burberry outlet online Dance have expressed a lively presence in the community since the school opened its doors in 1997. Since its start, dancers from the school have performed jigs, reels and hornpipes for appreciative audiences, both on its own as well as in tandem with local musicians, including fiddlers, Celtic bands and the International burberry outlet Symphony Orchestra. This year the school and its students are marking a major milestone the school's 20th year of providing children and adults alike the opportunity to learn Irish dance. Club administrator Mairin Ring, a native of Ireland who moved to Sarnia several decades ago, said the school genesis came from the minds of a group of local Irish women who wanted their children to learn the dance of Ireland while promoting its culture in Lambton County. was involved right at the start. We began back in 1997 when my daughter was six, Ring said. was no dance club around burberry outlet store london at the time. but Irish dancing was becoming very popular due to the popularity of Riverdance, which also began its run 20 years ago. was a small group of Irish women in Sarnia who socialized together back then so myself and another woman from that group made inquiries and looked for an instructor and set everything up, Ring continued. was a small group at the beginning we only had around 10 pupils when we started out but we've had so many students come through our doors since then. its modest start, the non competitive school has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, and now has an enrollment of over 50 aspiring Irish dancers (40 youth and 10 12 adults) taking their cues from the Sarnia School of Irish Dance's four experienced and erudite instructors themselves graduates of the program. With 90 minute lessons for both children and adults taking place once a week, students quickly become well versed in the grace and beauty of traditional Irish dance in traditional costume, Ring said. Not only do pupils get a chance to study the elaborately choreographed dances (and the occasional modern piece, as well), but students are exposed to other aspects of Irish culture, said club administrator Deb Dentinger. of their costumes, they're quite traditional compared to the ones that you see with Riverdance and other companies, she said. all hand embroidered and we do teach people how to embroider, so it's nice to be able to promote that traditional craft too. with the dancing and the embroidery, the students also get a unique lesson in philanthropy, Dentinger said, something they will likely remember for the rest of their lives. neat thing about it, too, is that kids get to come in and learn and then perform, and they give back to the community, she said. love to go the seniors' residences when the kids come out and watch their faces light up and their toes tap as the children dance to the music. It's great for both the seniors, who love the music, and the kids, who learn about the importance of giving back. popular images of graceful Irish dancers effortlessly defying gravity with their moves can be intimidating to the uninitiated, learning the art is not as difficult as it first might appear, Ring said. not all that complex, she said. are some complex steps later on, but you can learn the simple ones first and they're quite manageable. are welcome to join the Sarnia School of Irish Dance, Ring said, whether they aspire one day to star in the traveling production of Riverdance or whether they simply want to shuffle their feet to a traditional Irish beat. our aim is to provide that opportunity for anybody a chance to Irish dance, people can do it as recreational or to perform. They might want to learn a few steps and not perform as part of the group, or they might want to go in our annual show. It's completely up to them, she said. regardless of what level you want to achieve, when you're dancing you're on your toes, it's really quite dynamic. the past 17 years, the Sarnia School of Irish Dance has been host to an annual springtime Celtic Evening at the Imperial Theatre, showcasing the group's most rollicking reels and jaunty jigs. Sponsored each year by Paddy O'Flaherty's, the evening is a celebration of the culture, Ring said, an event that brings together dancers, musicians and artists from across the Celtic cosmos including acts such as Strathroy's Rant Maggie Rant and Sarnia's Bluewater Ceili Band. major aim of ours is to raise the profile of Irish culture in Sarnia, she said. when we do the show at the Imperial, it's a Celtic evening we invite Scottish dancers and musicians, singers, so it's a complete Celtic mix. It's not a recital, it's not just showing the same kids doing the same dances over and over. It's a real mix of Celtic performances. upon two decades of providing Irish dance lessons to eager Sarnians, Dentinger said in her opinion the most rewarding part has been to see the impact the school has had on the confidence of boys and girls who have travelled through its halls. I see it all come together, I'm so proud of all of them, Dentinger said.

just great for their self esteem. At first, many of them won't even make eye contact but a few practices in and they're really enjoying themselves, saying 'hi' to one burberry quilted jacket outlet sale another, really getting into the group. It makes them feel good about themselves and it provides them a wonderful gift they can give back to the community.

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