Successful term for local Irish dancers

Successful term for local Irish dancers

14 July 2021

THE Crossgar-based Irish dance school Scoil Rince an Chroí recently celebrated the end of a very busy and successful term which had to adjust its operation significantly due to the global pandemic.

Despite classes shifting to an online platform in March last year, the cancellation of all in-person competitions and many other challenges lockdown life brought, the dance school were undeterred in their commitment to dance, excel and achieve.

In late May, the school’s championship dancers took to the stage in Derry for the first in person Feis in over a year and excitement levels where high as the dancers, teachers and parents enjoyed the physical journey to compete. 

The dancers excelled within their competitions with 18 taking to the stage and returning home with seven top five championship places, amongst an array of personal bests and excellent accolades all round. 

Teacher and adjudicator, Maura Davidson, ADCRG, said the dancers were so excited to be back on the road doing what they love the most. The atmosphere was just fantastic for everyone in the school.

In early June, it was the turn of the school’s beginners and grades dancers to take to the stage in Dungannon. 

The dancers excelled at the event with 26 Scoil Rince an Chroí dancers taking to the stage and returning home with 15 first places, 10 second places, nine third places and a whopping 65 top five places. 

Special highlights of the competition were Downpatrick dancer, Sean Gordon, taking to the stage for the first time and returning home with four first places, while Lauryn Gilchrist returned home with a wonderful six first places in her age category.

Teacher, Brid McKinney TCRG, said that whilst the less experienced dancers were slightly anxious, their nerves didn’t show.

“We were so impressed with how every dancer conducted themselves. From dancers as young as 6, they took to the stage with confidence and the results speak for themselves. A real testament to the hard work and focus by everyone in the school during lockdown and since the lifting of restrictions,” she said.

Most recently, at the end of June, the school’s championship dancers headed to Derry to compete at the Maiden City Championships. 

The dancers exceeded expectations, returning home with five top five championship places, a myriad of personal bests and a special highlight was dancer Emer Savage lifting the Under-13 preliminary championship title.

Mum, Aine, spoke of her pride in her daughter’s performance: “This was our second competition dancing for Scoil Rince an Chroí and we were thrilled with Emer’s result.

Her hard work alongside the expert instruction of the teaching staff at the dance school has really paid off. After so long, it is heart warming to see children back participating in social events. “

To finish off a very successful term, the school held a sponsored run at Glasswater Forest in Crossgar for their Tapping Tots and grades/championship dancers on Thursday, July 1. While basking in the glorious weather, dancers completed a 3K run. 

Teacher Bridget Madden said the team spirit “really shone through and proved how much each person in the school is supported and encouraged from tots to teenagers”.

Once finished dancers, parents and teachers returned to the school’s studio for an end of term party with presentation of certificates and Mr Whippy Ice Cream making an appearance for the dancers.

The parents of the school celebrated in style also with an evening in Downpatrick’s Denvir’s Coaching Inn Downpatrick to mark an enjoyable term together.

And while it’s summer, the school has no plans to rest. This month the dance school are competing in a London Championship and hosting a summer scheme, while in August dancers are attending a championship in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and completing grade examinations. 

September will see the school host its first open Feis on Sunday, September 5 in St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick, alongside the launch of their Boys Only class as first of its kind in the area.

Reflecting upon the success of the dance school this term, Christopher Owens TCRG, concluded: “We are exceptionally proud of every achievement within our school and it is testament to the commitment of the dancers and support of our parents and guardians. We have very exciting ventures ahead and emerge from the pandemic with hope.”

Classes run throughout the summer at the school’s studio in Crossgar and for further information contact 07443 498510.