What do you call an Irish dancing troupe where the only irish person is the teacher ? The Keltic Dreams - An unusual multi-ethnic group of kids that jigs to not only Irish, but also, African, Spanish and even pop music!
Founded eight years ago by Caroline Duggan, the troupe comprises of 33 kids aged 7-11, from Public School 59 in New York's, Bronx district.
The group, which started accidently has become a mini-phenomenon in the New York region. Over the years, they have performed on the Plaza at Lincoln Center, at the St. Barnabas Nursing Home, The Manhattan Mall in New York City and many other places. They were also invited to be the solo act for New York's Mayor Bloomberg, at a St. Patrick's Day Parade. More recently, In September 2009, they performed at the Cross Cultural Youth Festival, which was attended by 2,500 school kids from New York City.
In 2007, Caroline fulfilled her dreams of taking the troupe to perform in Dublin, Ireland. Whilst there, they filmed a documentary called "A Bronx Dream", which was broadcast in Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day in 2008 and on the Showtime cable channel in the USA.
While this is amazing, it is even more astonishing given the socio-economic background of these kids, since most come from very poor families. In fact, when the troupe first began to dance, they did not even have the money to buy the costumes and, had only eight pairs of dancing shoes between them. However, these minor details did not seem to matter to either the troupe or the teacher - they are just poured their heart into dancing for a teacher who does not even get paid and does it purely out of love for Irish dancing and her young troupe.
While kids retire from the troupe when they transition to middle school, the camaradarie and amazing experiences they gain during the five years, keeps them bound together forever. To read more about this amazing young group of people and their even more amazing teacher, go to www.thekelticdreams.com.
HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!