“It features all of our dancers — everyone from our itty-bitty little three-year-olds up to our championship dancers,” said Sara Brydges, owner of the Ashden School of Irish Dance.
“It’s a great opportunity for these kids to be on that huge Rawlinson stage with all of the lights … It’s a really good confidence booster for them,” Brydges added.
As well, the show will provide an opportunity for the dancers to exhibit a more artistic rather than competitive side, according to Brydges.
“It’s a stressful show coming up when you’re trying to do all of the rehearsals and everything,” Brydges said. “You can see a lot of the girls would be stressed about it and they get nervous being onstage, but as soon as they walk offstage, it’s the best thing they get to do with Irish dancing.”
Prince Albert band O’Kraut will provide the Celtic and folk sounds as the guest artists for the show, at which about 400-500 patrons are expected.
“It’s put on by our parent association, and it’s our major fundraiser for the year to support the dancers in a couple of activities,” Brydges said. “In the past, they’ve used the money from it to assist the dancers who compete internationally. That’s the purpose of it.”
There are currently 27 dancers enrolled at the Ashden School of Irish Dance. The show’s routines will involve all of the dancers, sometimes as a group and other times as solo performances.
“It’s a whole variety of pieces,” Brydges said, noting there would be a mix of soft- and hard-shoe routines. “This is the biggest our school has ever been, so it’s kind of a new show to choreograph with that many people.”
The Ashden School of Irish Dance was established in September of 2011, after previously being a branch of a Saskatoon-based school.
“I wrote my exam and took over the school to become a competitive school, so it’s kind have been a whole new scenario for us, and we’ve been growing from that point,” Brydges said.
The show will feature some more modern elements, an aspect that is different to past years.
‘The girls are performing this year to a couple of more contemporary pieces of music — more modern music, rather than the basic reels and jigs,” Brydges said. “We are definitely trying to get more music that the kids enjoy — something more upbeat rather than the traditional accordions and violins.”
Brydges noted that the show is a great way for people to learn about Irish dancing.
“A lot of people have no idea. Some of them know what Riverdance is, but that’s the only reference point we have,” she said. “It’s a great way to share our culture with other people.”
Tickets for the show are priced at $20 per adult and $12 per youth, 12 years old and younger. It’s slated to start at 7 p.m.