Irish dancing comes to Leighton Buzzard

Irish dance teacher Michelle Gannon with her little stars after the Celtic Championships 2016
Irish dance teacher Michelle Gannon with her little stars after the Celtic Championships 2016

Michelle Gannon has been passionate about Irish dancing she she was a tiny tot growing up in Dublin.

“I love the two contrasting elements,” she explains. “The rhythm you can make with just your feet when you’re wearing heavy shoes, but also how graceful you can be twirling round the room in light ones.”

She was three when she started dancing and some of her fondest childhood memories come from performing across the globe in Paris and Disneyland Florida.

She says: “I competed nationally and internationally, under the instruction of the renowned musician Colm Keogh and his sister Siobhan. I also met my best friend through Irish dancing.”

Michelle, 27, came to the UK four years ago and started teaching her skills at Dunstable and Caddington in 2015. Since then her school – Scoil Rince Realta – has gone from strength to strength and she’s launching it at Astral Park Sports & Community Centre on Friday, January 13.

She says: “I realised there was nothing available when I heard that two of my current students, Victoria Clarke-Harris, who goes to Stanbridge Lower School, and her cousin Lilly, a pupil at Southcott Lower School, travel to Dunstable and Caddington twice a week to attend classes.”

Now she’s looking forward to spreading her passion for Irish dancing to children in Leighton Buzzard.

Scoil Rince Realta means The Star School of Irish Dancing and is named in tribute to her mother, who always encouraged her children to aim for the stars.

Michelle, who teaches maths in Bushey and lives in Caddington with her boyfriend, says: “Students form beautiful friendships and grow in confidence as well as having the opportunity to perform at local events and take part in feiseanna (competitions).”

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