The students at O’Neill School of Irish Dance will be showcasing their talent at the upcoming Christmas show. Photo Vincent Mortimer and Irish Dance NZ

World-class Irish dance experience

by Ann van Engelen

The international level students from the O’Neill School of Irish Dance NZ have been preparing for their upcoming Christmas show to be held at the Christchurch Town Hall this Friday.

“We have had a fantastic year with our troupe consisting of both world and national championship dancers,” says parent committee member Lucretia Downs.

“We have had performers from across the Selwyn region and the greater Christchurch district competing in America, Australia and at the world championships in Dublin. Some of our dancers have qualified for the worlds next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the competition and a huge achievement.

“The two hour Christmas show is a very delightful event and a lot more fun for the dancers, as it is more relaxed. The whole team will be performing and being held at the Christchurch Town Hall makes it extra special. There will be non-traditional dancing as well and my daughter Tessa will be performing as Buzz in Toy Story. The team are also showcasing Alice in Wonderland.

“The beginners will be dancing, and the O’Neill School from Invercargill will be joining in. There will be a Parade of Champions for this year’s nationals’ place winners and the all-time favourite Cry of the Celts from Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance will be featured.”

Tickets to the show on Friday are at the special price of $20 an adult and $50 for a family of two adults and two children. These are available on the night or through the O’Neill School of Irish Dance Facebook page.

“Irish Dancing is a phenomenal experience for those involved. The students visit some retirement villages on St Patrick’s day, which the residents really enjoy and this year we were involved in CultureFest as well. The commitment and team spirit of the school is extremely high, and we all become a big family. We are immensely proud of our dancers and how well they have performed this year in all areas.”