One of the hottest weekends in the history of The Connie Ryan Gathering in Holycross, saw hundreds throng to the historic village to celebrate local dance master Connie Ryan.
This weekend is a celebration of Connie’s “Mighty” talent, and the huge legacy he left us in our appreciation of our own culture.
This festival just celebrated its fifteenth birthday and is growing in strength.Dancing to the fabulous music of Ger Murphy and Ken Cotter for our first ceili of the weekend was a brilliant start to the festival. Well known Thurles dancing Master Michael Loughnane and lifelong friend of Connie Ryan was our MC, we had a good selection of sets. The scene was set for the remainder of the weekend. Saturday morning Michael Loughnane was back in Holycross to direct our Set Dancing workshop. Michael is an excellent tutor with his gentle approach and attention to detail.
Michael has dedicated his life to renewing and teaching set dancing, and travelled across the world to teach dancing. Many dancers the length and breadth of the country owe their dancing skills to Michael. His love and use of our native language is among the many accolades that Michael possesses.For our afternoon workshop Michael taught The Dunmanway set from Co Cork. Danced to polkas and slides this old set has five figures and is danced in an easy style. Michael went through The Coolabeasoon set again on request from the dancers; he then concluded the workshop with another little two-hand dance called The Peeler and the Goat.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.