On 2nd Sundays, the streets of Merchants Square are packed with people browsing local vendors. But there’s always a crowd who stops to gather around a group of dancers.
Onlookers often watch, mesmerized, as students of Rose and Sword Irish Dance Academy move their feet to the music.
“We have a following out there, people look forward to seeing us,” said Kathy Nelson, owner and primary instructor at the dance school.
See for yourself. The Rose and Sword Academy presents its 2019 Showcase on Saturday.
Nelsonsaid each class at the academy will perform a routine they have been practicing all year at the showcase.
But what is Irish dance? Think of Michael Flatley, “King of the Dance,” famous for his fast feet and controlled torso. Isabelle Hollingsworth, associate teacher at Rose and Sword, said Irish dance has a lot of tight footwork.
“(Irish dance is) very aggressive, intense,” Nelson said.
Nelson, who has taught in the area for 18 years, said Rose and Sword is the only Irish dance school that is World Irish Dance Association certified in Southeastern Virginia.
“There are two up in Richmond, so we are it basically,” Nelson said.
The showcase will have a mixture of more traditional dances, as well as modern performance-based dancing. Hollingsworth said the studio’s routines all have an element of theatrics to them.
“We’re doing one (routine) based on circus, so it’s Irish dance but circus,” Nelson said. “So it’s funny but it’s cute.”
Nelson said people will enjoy the high energy of the show; but the most exciting part the Showcase for her is giving all the dancers a chance to show off what they’ve learned.
“When (the dancers) get out there they do way better than they do in class, they go always go the extra mile,” Nelson said. “It’s just really cool to watch them.”
Want to go?
The showcase has shows at noon and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, in the Williamsburg Library theater, 515 Scotland St. Tickets are $10-15 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 253-2437.
Learn more about the academy and classes at roseandswordacademy.com.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.