This was a trip of faith! Pouring rain all the way to Ludington…will we be dancing or will we head home?? As our vans reached Ludington, the skies cleared up and the ground was dry; it was amazing! Then my heart starting thumping when I saw no Oktoberfest on Main Street! Thankfully I saw some barricades and realized they moved it to a side street!
What a wonderful fall day dancing in the beautiful city of Ludington! We had a great attendance and lots of people willing to learn a Ceili with us.
We danced from 1-3 and at 4:00. there was a Celtic band, who invited us back to dance with them! The dancers were pretty hungry so we went for a bite to eat and back to dancing we went! So fun for us to dance to live Celtic music!
All and all, it must have been meant to be to have the Irish invade the Germans!
One of our intital dancers Elizabeth has graduated and has joined the ballerina world with Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi. At her graduation party, she did a wonderful peice of modern ballet and then her sisters joined her in some Irish! The families and friends were thrilled, but we sure will miss her performing with us during the school year!
WOW! Awesome!! Totally fun! This was our first dance camp held at the YMCA in Cadillac and we all had such a fun time! The camp was broken up into sections to aid all the ages that came to camp! First we all warmed up together and then broke up into dance groups. Some kids learned the jig, reel or novice reel. Each day was also broken up by crafts, games and learning about the Irish culture. As a group we all learned the Ceili called The Waves of Tory. Camp was held each day from 9-12 and the age was 6-18!
In the middle of camp the Northern Lights Dancers came and gave them a taste of what happens when you work hard and stick with Irish dancing!
We will definitely hold a camp next summer and possibly have two sessions. The feedback was nothing but positive and the kids were so sad on the last day. Their families came for our performance and each kid presented the dance they learned in their group and the Ceili together.
We were invited back to the Petoskey Historical Museum to dance for their fundraiser. Nice day to be in Petoskey! I always marvel at the dancer’s ability to cope with staging at each venue! This day was no exception. Very quickly we reconfigured a couple dances and the performance went great!
Afterward we all headed to the beach and enjoyed fun in the sun and a picnic lunch! All the siblings of the dancers realized what great fun it is to Irish dance when we get a spend a great day in the beautiful city of Petoskey!
Wow! What an amazing two days the Northern Lights had! After months of practicing, we started our performances on Friday, March 16th. First stop was St. Ann’s School in Cadillac at (yawn) 8:30 AM. It took us a bit to wake up, but the students at St. Ann’s were not disappointed and enjoyed our new dances and old ones. We had 3 new young dancers join us this year, so this was their first performance ever! At only ages 5-6, they performed the jig all through the day!
Next stop was Franklin Elementary in Cadillac at 10:00! We came to this school because three of my outside students go to school there and two of them got to dance with the company. It was an almost flawless show and the dancers were amazing in front of over 400 students. They loved them! It was another first for performing for the new students and they did fantastic.
Very quickly, we went over to Kenwood Elementary in Cadillac to share our love of Irish dance with them. Though we only had about 20 minutes before our stage turned into a lunchroom! The dancers were in great form and continued to wow their audience.
Now, a break for lunch. Graciously, the Autumn Wood Nursing Home gave us a room to eat our lunch and then we performed to the residents! After dancing in 3 gyms that morning, it was good practice dancing in a smaller place. The residents enjoyed them so much; we will definitely come back.
Last show of the day was the biggest and the dancers were up for the challenge of over 600 excited faces ready to really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With a bleacher full of faces and a big empty gym floor, the dancers stepped in Irish fashion as never before! Even the wee little ones got in front of that crowd and just did their jiggidy jig! My favorite part of the day was seeing the energetic smiles of my dancers who had already been dancing since 8:30. They really gave a performance that was worthy of such a huge venue. Awesome!
We ended our day with a traditional ice-cream store stop. Everyone was thrilled about such a great day and ready for the next day of events!
Off to Clare to march in the Clare Irish Festival parade and for the first time, we had our own float. So, instead of just dancing in the streets, we had a beautiful green laden float to ride on and dance behind! Boy did they show the onlookers some real
At the end of the parade it was off to the Clare Castle to dance for a local fundraising event to support a local soup kitchen. This was a nice way to spend St. Patrick’s Day for a good cause. The dancers gave their last SPD show and did super! We love being able to spend SPD at an Irish Festival; it makes it all so fun!
Each year we try and set time aside around Thanksgiving or Christmas to dance at nursing homes, assisted living centers and senior apartment complexes. We headed out on Friday, December 16th with 14 dancers and put our Christmas Show to the test!
Wow, what fun we had. Each place had it’s own personality and each show took on it’s own character as we made our way through 3 facilities! We had a few dancers who had never done the St. Patrick’s day Blitz, let alone performed in a Elderly care facility. It really challenged them and boy, did they shine! Whether it is a small dance floor, slippy dance floor, very warm room, or even emergencies while performing, dancing in nursing homes are not boring!!
The younger siblings of the dancers worked on Christmas pins and magnets to give away while we toured. The dancers loved this part as well. Each resident we visited also got a pin or magnet to keep.
After each place, I am always brought to a new understanding of how life changes for so many as we grow older. I am burdened again that we need to do more visiting in these
places, for there are many who are so lonely. It was such a blessing to see those folks smile, clap and give us praise; not because we need the praise, but that we blessed them enough to praise us.
In each place we shared the traditions of Christmas in Ireland through dance, song and word. Many learned some things and for many memories of their childhoods were brought back, because their traditions were similar.
We also did two extra things on Friday. Most of the group sang for our local allergist:
Dr. Dubravec and his office. Some of the dancers are in a choir and so were invited to sing, so we began there first. Throughout the day, we sang for the different homes as well and by the end of the day, all the children sang! They just couldn’t help wanting to share their joy with those before them.
The second thing we did was dance for a local Cadillac business. We just showed up and danced in the middle of the office. The employees so enjoyed their break. It has been super for the dancers to realize they can share their dances with anyone at anytime!
Well, that was quite a day, but so worth the exhaustion! I thank God, for giving us the inspiration to share, energy to dance, and the His Love in our hearts to love those who so need love at this time!
The Northern Lights hit the road on Tuesday the 13th for the Women’s Connection Christmas Luncheon at the Portage Point Inn, in Onekama! We were blessed with an audience of over 80 women, who thoroughly enjoyed the show.
The coordinator honored us by telling us that usually only about 40 women attend, and that the draw was the Irish Dancers. We did our show to Christmas music and enjoyed a nice lunch afterwards. The dancers that performed enjoyed Portage Point’s stage better than the lunch, however! That was all they could talk about. So many times we show up to a performance and need to figure out how our choreography is going to work on the stage before us. Not so with this one….lots of room to move and smile!