On Sunday, January 14th, we came together for our Annual Winter Showcase and Party at the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh. It wasn’t just an event; it was a celebration of our shared journey, our growth, and the incredible community that has formed around our school.

Our journey began right here at the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh not so many years ago, and since then, we’ve seen our school flourish, more than tripling in the number of students. It is also where the founder of our school, Cathleen Dower aka “Miss Cathleen”, started her own journey with Irish Dance. However, as the school continues to expand, we might outgrow this venue soon.

The event brought together our students, parents, friends, and family members for a day of celebration. Miss Cathleen opened the event with a speech highlighting recent achievements and upcoming events. It was a chance for us to share the joy of our accomplishments and look forward to what lies ahead.

The showcase commenced with soft shoe dances featuring all our talented students. One of our dancers Gillian Andrews was debuting her solo dress for the first time, as she will be moving up to Novice at the Mid Atlantic Championships in February! We also had two Ceili performances by our winning 2 hand teams; Bella and Gillian as well as Molly and Ben! 

A brief intermission allowed us to enjoy refreshments, coffee and the incredible desserts and snacks – some prepared by our incredible parents and friends of the school. 

The second half of the event featured the energetic hard shoe performances which really got the crowd going! This included a traditional set dance performed by one of our adult dancers, Justin, who was also very kind to take great photos and videos throughout the whole event. Bella, also performed her winning Treble Reel; and we had a performance by our new teacher, Zack Eichenbaum, who performed a Modern Set Dance, which was a perfect ending for such a successful event. 

We would like to express gratitude to everyone who contributed to the event’s success, from parents who brought homemade desserts to those who captured moments through photos and videos.

Our Winter Showcase reflects not only a dance event but also the vision of The Fitzgerald School as a close-knit Irish dance family and community. As we look forward to upcoming events and parades, we anticipate creating more memories together. The Winter Showcase was a significant day for our students, parents, and the entire dancing community, emphasizing the unity and growth within The Fitzgerald School of Irish Dance. As St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, we’re already booking events and parades, and we can’t wait to make more memories together.

Written by Miss Cathleen Dower, founder of The Fitzgerald School of Irish Dance

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