NORTHERN RIVERSDANCE: Pupils from the Lismore School of Irish Dance can’t wait for St Patrick’s Day to roll around.
NORTHERN RIVERSDANCE: Pupils from the Lismore School of Irish Dance can’t wait for St Patrick’s Day to roll around.

Dancers step up for St Pats

WITH St Patrick's Day looming on this weekend's horizon, the Northern Rivers' only school of Irish dance is polishing its collective shoes for its busiest day of the year.

Founder Glenys Ritchie, who has dedicated herself to the school for two decades now, is busy co-ordinating teams of dancers to send to dozens of performances across the region.

"This is our big day and we're booked solid," she said.

"I've got second-generation dancers now who teach for me as well so I'm sending them to all over the place, from Casino to Ballina to Lismore."

The school has received many invitations to perform and Glenys has risen to the challenge.

"We are doing about a dozen aged-care facilities between Ballina and Casino as they love it, and we've got about four or five public performances in Lismore, Tintenbar and Ballina.

"The kids are really excited - we've got a whole new bunch from last year who haven't done a lot of performance so they're really into it and my seniors are always excited to show what they can do."

Meanwhile, in a possible sign of changing demographics, larger venues across the region aren't making a big deal of the Irish patron saint's annual celebration, with Lismore Workers Club booking French show Frogs on Toast, in what could just be anIrish joke.

But smaller venues and pubs from Byron Bay to Casino will be celebrating in smaller ways with Irish backpackers in The Bay expected to make the most of their national holiday.

See the dancers

  • Lismore Shopping Square, Saturday noon
  • Tintenbar Hall fundraiser, Saturday 7pm
  • Lismore Car Boot Market, Sunday 9am
  • Ballina Shopping Fair, Sunday noon


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