Friday is Saint Patrick’s Day, and for Irish Dancers, it is one of the biggest days of the year.
Northern Lights Dance Academy’s Irish dance team comprises 20 dancers led by Gina Dewey.
“Irish Dance is a collection of steps. It’s different than any genre because steps are created with a certain technique and all two instrumental Irish music,” explained Gina Dewey, Owner of Northern Lights Dance Academy. “It’s quite different because we have soft and hard shoes. There’s no other genre that combines different shoe types.
Genevieve Hoekwater has been doing Irish jigs since she was four years old.
“The type of dance is definitely it’s stricter than most, but it builds character, and it really, really helps me just grow as a person,” said Genevieve Hoekwater, a dancer at Northern Lights Dance Academy.
Helen Schweidt is another member of the team. She started a few years ago.
“I saw dancers dancing at my school, and I thought it was really cool,” said Helen Schweidt, a dancer at Northern Lights Dance Academy.
The team competes nationally and internationally.
“There are a lot of rules and competition that you have to follow,” Hoekwater. “You have to always point your toes, always be on your toes, have straight legs, arms and back, and do your steps to perfect timing.
All team members are some percent Irish, but you don’t have to be to join.