Dancing for the Pope at Festival of Families

By Aideen O'Flaherty 

STUDENTS from a local dance school performed alongside Riverdance in a performance for Pope Francis last Saturday, to the delight of thousands at the Festival of Families in Croke Park.

Eleven students from the Kiltipper-based Bradley School of Irish Dancing were selected by Riverdance to perform at the event, after they impressed Riverdance officials when they performed alongside them in the Gaiety in June.

Lisa Bradley School

Teachers Lisa Bradley and Megan Bradley with the dancers selected to perform

The girls, who were selected by Riverdance in July, range in age from eight to 16 years old, and they were taught the steps required for their performance with the help of the school’s teachers Lisa and Megan Bradley, while a Riverdance cast member also helped them train shortly before the event.

Lisa Bradley from the Bradley School of Irish Dancing told The Echo: “The girls were ecstatic when they were selected, but they were very nervous – it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It was absolutely amazing, [when they performed] I had goosebumps.

“It was seamless, and afterwards the girls were on a high – it’s something they’ll take forward with them for the rest of their lives.”

Young dance students from around the country participated in Riverdance, and the two-hour event also featured a star-studded line-up including Nathan Carter, Andrea Boticelli and Daniel O’Donnell.

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