‘Reel’ deal: Irish dance classes perform at St. Columban’s

SHERIDAN – The residents at St. Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Friday when the Irish dance classes from Chadwick Bay Academy of Dance in Dunkirk presented a program.

The home was appropriately decorated for the coming holiday with vases of green and white flowers and a display of Irish books and decorations in the hall. The setting for the performance was a large room decorated with a banner that proclaimed “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.” Many of the residents wore Irish T-shirts. One woman sported a green felt hat.

Instructor Briana Kelly, who participated in competitive Irish dancing for 10 years, explained each dance. Both the beginning and the intermediate classes performed jigs and reels in soft shoes. The costume for the beginning class is the school dress (common in Irish dancing) designed by Rosanne Chesbro, the school’s artistic director.

Two intermediate students, Emily Malette and Olivia Surma, performed a more complicated dance wearing hard shoes.

Kelly demonstrated soft shoe Irish dancing with intricate footwork and beautiful leaps.

The girls were by no means perfect, since they did the dances that they are now learning in preparation for the school’s dance recital in June. Nevertheless, the residents, students and parents who attended all enjoyed a pleasant and enlightening evening.