An Irish dancer’s dream

McAleer School of Irish Dance students Cloe, Erin, Courtney, Sarah, Bridget, Lauren, Matilda, Lyla-May, Brydie and Maddie will travel to Dublin in April to compete in a renowned Irish dancing competition. 204915_04

By Jessica Anstice

This April, 11 students from McAleer School of Irish Dance will have the opportunity to travel overseas to perform in front of Irish crowds.

The girls qualified to compete in the 2020 World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin – the largest and most coveted Irish dancing contest on the global circuit.

In Dublin, the dancers will be representing their school, state and nation at the highest competitive level of Irish dancing.

“The qualifying process can happen at both state level and national level in both solo and team events,” McAleer School of Irish Dance staff member Laura McBride said.

“In our case we have 11 dancers travelling to Dublin of which eight dancers will be competing in a team section and eight will be competing in solo events.

“All of the dancers travelling to Dublin where crowned state and national champions in team events in 2019 – amazing to think this talent is coming from our region.”

In order for the Pakenham dancers to get to Ireland, a fundraising event will be hosted at Pakenham Racing Club in Nar Nar Goon in attempt to cover some costs.

The Irish Night at the Races, in partnership with the team at Pakenham Racing Club, will be held on Thursday 19 March – St Patricks Day.

“We saw an opportunity to create a big night of Irish celebration for the community,” she explained.

“The event will play host to live music, dancing, raffles, silent auctions and of course horse racing.”

Attendees are able to choose from basic gate entry into the public area of which dance will be performed, as well as live music.

Alternatively, tickets are available for purchase to the Skyline Suite where all the Irish action will occur from 6pm to 10.30pm.

The lucky students have all had their own journey to becoming Irish dancers, whether that be through family connections, friend connections, seeing display performances at community events or they were looking for something a little different to be a part of.

“Irish Dancing is certainly a sport that pulls you in on so many levels,” Ms McBride added.

“Irish dancing provides more than physical fitness, you build connection with your fellow dancers, you align to a tradition and history, and you develop skills in teamwork and much more.”

Training in excess of nine hours per week in addition to cross training with running, swimming and stretching, the teachers, parents and fellow dancers of the dance school are “so proud” and are confident the dancers will represent the country well.

Tickets to the Irish Night at the Races can be purchased at Trybooking.com.

Opportunities are still available for local businesses to sponsor the event through a table sponsor or race sponsorship and any questions can be directed to theirishnight2020@gmail.com.

 

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