July-Aug 2014: Michael Adler
Jan-Feb 2014: Clare James
Nov-Dec 2013: Fran Conley
Sept-Oct 2013: Rudi Rauschenbach
I don’t know about anyone else but I can never get enough of Ireland. I will venture out beyond this lovely country, I promise. But not quite yet. While the search this month is on for the mythical Leprechaun, this summer Ireland will hold quite a dance. You may remember the huge phenomena a few years ago when everyone was obsessed with Riverdance. No, it’s not hip-hop or top 40. What it is, is extreme talent mixed with beautiful Irish music. If you haven’t seen it before, you should put this on your bucket list as you will always remember it.
This summer in Ireland there is going to be a week of dancing to Irish music. Anyone from the novice dancer to the experienced is welcome to attend. Even if you don’t want to participate you can watch the performers and enjoy the shows.
Of course there will be a Master Class as that seems to be everywhere nowadays, and The Gathering is no exception. The best of the best will be invited to apply to the Master Class. You have until April 26th to apply, so don’t delay if you’re interested. You will learn everything from dance to a dancer’s diet to the type of fitness you should be doing to enhance your skill. You will be learning from the best and dancing with the best. Good luck! I will be one of those taking a side course or just watching the stages and drinking my Guinness.
At some point during your visit you will have the opportunity to participate in the Guinness World Record of having the longest Riverdance line. The last record was 652 in Tennessee (United States) and this year Ireland plans to break that record.
There will be guest stars making their appearance during Saturday’s line up on stage. As well as some of the best riverdancing you will ever see. Sunday will end the festivities at the Gaiety. If you miss any of the other performances this one is not to be missed as this will feature some of the top performers of Riverdance. Mark your calendars, get out your dance shoes and get ready for a week of dance in Ireland.
While some of us will be looking for eggs this March, there will be those looking for that mysterious man in green who hides behind rainbows and a pot of gold. Every year in Carlingford, Ireland there is a Leprechaun hunt. It has become so well-known in 2010 the lobbyist helped to have a bill passed that the Leprechauns cannot be caught and harmed. There are a little over two hundred leprechauns left on the Slieve Foy Mountain. This is where they reside.
While you won’t be able to actually go into their habitat there is a designated walkway that you can travel along. One hundred ceramic Leprechauns will be placed along the path just in case you don’t get the opportunity to spot a live one.
Traveling is different for everyone. You may be someone who gathers a few friends or family and likes to make up your own itinerary but for those who like a package there are quite a few during the Leprechaun season and they not only involve looking for little green men they also have you on a whimsical journey of finding fairies and a Leprechaun whisperer. You’ll visit Fairy Glen in the mountains of Mourne where fairies have been spotted for years fluttering around. The whisperer will tell you all about the history of leprechauns and how he communicates with them. You’ll also learn about St. Patrick, take leisure walks into the mountains and see breathtaking views of Ireland. Of course your week wouldn’t be complete without trying what Ireland is known for, Guinness. You will go to the Guinness storehouse; a Guinness Museum. You will learn everything you ever wanted to know about this delicious beer.
There will be those of us eating our Cadbury eggs and if we’re feeling lucky perhaps going to the local convenience store to buy our lottery ticket in hopes of finding our own pot of gold. But there will be some on April 7th who will be on the Leprechaun Hunt and waiting for the faintest hint of a rainbow poking out of the sky.