Local dancers attend prestigious Riverdance Academy in Dublin

Local dancers attend prestigious Riverdance Academy in Dublin

Breffni dancers pictured in competition costumes are (l-r) Kimberley Sookoo, Keelin Lyons, Kaylee Brown and Aubrey Swikehardt.

Local dancers attend prestigious Riverdance Academy in DublinFour local dancers from the Breffni Academy of Irish Dance recently returned to South Florida after attending the Riverdance Trinity College International Training School in Dublin, Ireland.

Riverdance joined forces with Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, to launch the training school. Three hundred Irish dancers from 23 countries travelled to Dublin to attend the prestigious six-day program. Applicants submitted a video audition as part of the highly competitive admission process.

Dancers Kaylee Brown of Miami Shores (age 15), Keelin Lyons of Coral Gables (14), Kimberley Sookoo of Hollywood (14), and Aubrey Swikehardt of Homestead (14) were chosen to attend the weeklong school.

“We are delighted that our dancers were selected to attend the prestigious Riverdance training school,” said Nicola O’Hara, codirector of Breffni Academy. “It’s rewarding to see their years of hard work and dedication pay off. It is every young Irish dancers dream to be a part of Riverdance and we are thrilled that these girls were able to live that dream.” The dancers worked at an intense pace learning the iconic choreography from the show, taught by Riverdance professional dancers currently performing at the Gaiety Theatre Dublin.

The dancers gained insight into all aspects of becoming a professional dancer from fitness and vnutrition to learning what it takes to put a live performance on stage.

While most of the day was spent dancing, evening activities included attending a Riverdance performance at the Gaiety Theatre, meeting the cast backstage, and attending talks by special guests including composer Bill Whelan, set designer John Ballagh, and costume designer Joan Bergin.

The exciting week culminated with a fully staged rehearsed performance of extracts from Riverdance featuring all students. The Breffni girls showcased their work, dancing alongside Riverdance soloists, to an audience of family and friends at The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin.

“It was a great experience to dance with the pros and to be challenged to learn new dances,” said Breffni dancer Aubrey Swikehardt.

“Attending Riverdance means the world to me… meaning it brings new opportunities, new friends, new confidence, and a new chapter in my life. It means that anything is possible.”

In April, seven champion dancers from the Breffni Academy attended the World Irish Dance Championships in Killarney, Ireland as one of two schools representing the USA. Team Breffni brought home 14 medals.

The Breffni Academy offers classes for all levels, beginners through champions, to the South Florida community at its professional studio in North Miami.

For more information contact Nicola O’Hara at 305-756-8243 or send email to dance@breffniacademy.com.

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