South Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) – It may see like you are watching the award-winning Lord of the Dance, but these are talented local dancers with fast moving feet.
“I have kids that have won world championship, Ireland championship. Kids that have done extremely well,” Owner and Instructor Mary Kay Heneghan said.
The school is called Rince Na Tiarna Irish Dancers in the heart of South Buffalo. Heneghan said this past July many of her students qualified to head to the world championship. Although dancing their passion, they say it take a lot of work.
“I practice here about three times a week, then I have team practices and then I'm supposed to practice every day at home,” Dancer Adler Papiernik said.
This dancing takes a lot of endurance, too. The dancers said Irish dancing is very competitive but there is more to the tradition.
“I’m very Irish but you don't have to be Irish to Irish dance. I like it because it really keeps me aware of my roots,” Dancer Katrina McCullum said.
Emily Mcewen, 13, had been dancing for nine years.
“I love Irish dancing because it’s different than any other dance. You travel the world and make friends all over the world. It's just fun and it keeps me to aware of my roots,” Mcewen said.
Another part of that tradition is the costumes. The team even changed from their matching team costumes to their extra special dresses. They are all specially designed and hand crafted.
“You basically can send designers colors you want and then they send you sketches. You get to pick what sketch you like and then they make the costume for you based on the measurements you send them,” Dancer Emily Donoghue said.
Everyone wonders about the hair. There is a secret to the hair and a reason for the bouncy locks.
“We do it to show more movement. We have many wigs, a bun wig or the curl wig. It really depends on you dress and what your teacher prefers,” McCullum said.
The hair and beautiful dresses don't come easy.
“You have to earn them and go to competitions, practice really hard to get to a level to wear your dress. When you get to this point it’s really a good accomplishment,” Donoghue said.
Many of the dancers hope to continue to make Irish dancing a big part of their lives and pass that passion onto others.