Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Riverdancer to teach Irish dance at local studio

An international dance sensation is coming to Williamsburg, and is bringing a message to local students. 

Williamsburg’s Rose and Sword Academy of Irish Dance will host Fusion Fighters Saturday, July 22, according to a press release from the Rose and Sword. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. and is open to dance students only.

Fusion Fighters are an Irish dance company that “melds traditional Irish dance with other dance forms including tap, body percussion, and contemporary.”

Fusion Fighters Crew Member Jamie Hodges and Artistic Director Chris Naish have quite the resumes. Naish has previously won All-Ireland, national and European competitions, before touring with Riverdance for five years. Hodges has placed in the top-five in national competitions and top-10 in international.

Throughout the past year, Hodges and Naish have been touring the globe as a part of a “Create not Hate” campaign. The pair hope to use the campaign and Irish dance to raise awareness for notable causes, according to the release.

“They work with children that have disabilities, it’s a very loving thing they do,” said Kathy Nelson, owner and operator of Rose and Sword. “The kids are very excited to see them.”

Naish and Hodges will conduct a workshop at Rose and Sword Saturday. The duo will instruct students to master Naish’s “intricate and modern” choreography, according to the release.

“Our kids are like sponges, they’ll absorb anything,” Nelson said. “By having them come down, it’s going to be a benefit to our kids performing Irish dance.”

Rose and Sword Academy opened in January, and its studio is located at 3715 Strawberry Plains Road, Suite 6. 

According to the release, Rose and Sword offers Irish dance classes to students ages three and up, and performs monthly at 2nd Sundays music and arts festival. Dancers from the studio also compete in regional and national competitions through the World Irish Dance Association.

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