By Melina Paris, Arts and Culture Writer
The seventh annual Lyons Academy of Irish Dance performance and fundraiser comes to Warner Grand Theatre, April 7. Meredith Lyons, the dance teacher and proprietor, said the event started off primarily to raise funds and publicize the dancers—an opportunity for friends and family to see the students perform.
This year, proceeds will support some of the advanced dancers competing at the North American Irish Dance Championships, the national championships, this summer in Vancouver, Canada.
During its seven-year history, the event has become more elaborate, especially with increasing use of live music. Lyons spoke highly of this year’s featured band, Aedan MacDonnell and the Dropkick Mickeys, with a repertoire of Irish dance tunes, traditional favorites and some original material. All the Lyons students—85 performers ranging from age three to the adult — will do a turn on stage.
“Every year we try to make it fun for the kids and have a little bit of cushion to help [them] travel to the championships,” Lyons said.
In November there is a regional championship in Colorado and they hope to have funds left for that trip too. In the past the more advanced Lyons dancers have qualified for the world championships in Ireland and Scotland.
Lyons has been teaching for 20 years. Lyons Academy of Irish Dance has three locations. The first is in San Pedro at St. Peter’s on 9th Street and the other academies are in Lakewood and Huntington Beach. Lyons said they started the school in San Pedro and it branched out from there, which is part of the reason why they have the event at the Warner Grand.
“The event as a whole will present a very unique array of Irish dancing and you will see all the ability levels from the very beginners, all the way to the advanced dancers,” Lyons said. “The routines will not only be Irish dance music but we let the kids have fun with choreography and they use non-Irish dance music too, to put together some routines.”
Time: 2 p.m. April 7
Cost: $11 to $31
Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
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