Folow us on social media

Sign up to our mailing list

shirleyvalentine

Irish dance school celebrates anniversary

- LOOKING BACK: Moya Connolly and Geraldine McConnell looking through the archives of the Connolly School of Irish Dance
- LOOKING BACK: Moya Connolly and Geraldine McConnell looking through the archives of the Connolly School of Irish Dance
By Ciara Quinn

A WEST Belfast-based Irish dancing school, which has spanned generations, is to celebrate its enduring success with a grand reunion in the summer.
The Connolly School of Irish Dancing began life back in 1974 at the Andersonstown Social Club and went on to hold classes in North Link play school, St John’s GAC and Holy Child Youth Club. The school, which is still teaching children and young people the precise skill and technique of Irish dancing, was founded by Moya Connnolly who told the Andersonstown News that this year’s reunion is very much “a celebration of the school and friendships that were formed”.
“Initially we had pupils from the circle of streets in the Andersonstown area, 120 pupils at the beginning, and we taught from the ages of four up to 12,” she said.
“The classes just grew and grew and spread down to Clonard. In 1975 we formed a céilí club which enjoyed its own success as well.”
Moya spoke of how the school travelled to showcases throughout Europe during the late 1970’s and 1990’s and recalls the Andersonstown News covering their trip to Brittany.
“It was a great experience and I remember all those involved would have teas in each other houses for a contribution of 25p to raise funds to go, we would have sat and embroidered all the costumes as well.
“The pupils don’t remember who won what, they remember the craic they had, that was the emphasis, the friendships that were formed, it was very much a family thing.”
Moya said one of her pupils, John Ferris, is still teaching at the school today and extended a warm invitation to all to attend the reunion on June 22.
“We still have to confirm a venue as we are waiting to see about numbers. The reunion is very much a celebration of all the success achieved. It’s about the class, the pupils, it’s a chance for us all to share the experience of the school,” she said.

Please follow and like us: