It was around 1990 that Sister Anne Fitzsimons of Sacred Heart Catholic Church started the church’s Irish Step Dancing program, Fitzsimons said.
“We began only with one or two people, but … each year, we have had more and more people,” she said. “In the beginning, we didn’t go off doing any performances.”
However since about 2000, they have been making the rounds to the area’s various nursing homes as well as the Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St., to perform their Irish Step Dancing, Fitzsimons said. Next week, they’ll be making their appearances, with one at the library at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 15.
They’ll also be performing for a special dinner at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation on St. Patrick’s day, she sadi.
Whether it’s in the nursing homes, where they can also interact with the elderly residents, or the library, the children love to perform, Fitzsimons said.
“They get a lot of joy from that and the people watching them get a lot of joy,” she said, noting that there’s a lot of joy they get from being able to do the dances in and of themselves. “It gives them great joy when they know the steps and they can listen to the music and take off and actually do the rhythm and enjoy the dancing.”
The dancers practice every week, first with the beginners learning the basic Irish steps, Fitzsimons said. Then it’s the intermediate dancers who have been coming for a couple years and know the basic steps, she said. After them are the advanced students who have been attending for four or five years, doing the really advanced steps with the hard shoes, she said.
All in all, the dancers do more of the basic Irish steps that she learned with the dancer’s hands by their side, Fitzsimons said. Further, because this is more for fun than professionalism, they don’t wear expensive and flashy uniforms like people would see while watching something like Riverdance, but they do have a uniform that includes a plaid skirt, white top and knee-high socks, she said.
For more information about the performance at the Prescott Public Library, call the Youth Desk at 928-777-1537.
By Jason Wheeler, reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037. Follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels