RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s an art form that has been around for centuries, but was dying with the old Celtic folks. That is until the ’90s when shows like “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” brought Irish dancing back from near death. Sure, there were those who held onto their cultural heritage and still danced, but it was almost gone.
Now, the art of stepping is alive and still kicking, so to speak. I went ‘on the road’ to the Shandon O’Reagan Irish Dance Academy in Richardson to meet a group of girls who have learned the art, and perform at a very high level for teenagers. Some of them have been dancing since they were very young. But I came to see a 12-year-old who is quickly making a name for herself by fiddle dancing.
They tell me learning Irish dance takes years to master. Playing a fiddle takes lots of time, too. Hailey Sandoz does both, and does them very well for someone so young. She saw someone doing it on a video and decided to give it a try while she was at a summer camp for dancers. With a few tips from another girl, she put her two talents together.
Everyone at the dance school loves to dance to live music rather than a CD, and Hailey is happy to oblige. She steps right in to the treble reel and dances with fiddle in hand, never seeming to miss a beat. She recently won the Southwest Celtic Music Association Scholarship and will be going to the national Irish dance competition with the other girls from her school later this year.
It’s always fun to see someone enjoy what they are doing, and Hailey fiddle danced with a big smile on her face — one that will surely keep her refining her talent for years to come.
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