Thursday, February 29, 2024

Rose & Sword celebrates a year of Irish dance in Williamsburg

Four Irish dancers at Roase & Sword pose for a photo at the studio. (Courtesy photo/Rose & Sword)
Four Irish dancers at Roase & Sword pose for a photo at the studio. (Courtesy photo/Rose & Sword)

The Irish thunder has been in the hearts of Williamsburg dancers for a year now, thanks to Rose & Sword Academy of Irish Dance.

Kathy Nelson opened the Rose & Sword Academy of Irish Dance a year ago to spread her love of Irish dance to the Williamsburg community.

In just that short amount of time, the studio has performed at several community events, including Williamsburg’s 2nd Sundays Art and Music Festival. The studio has also sent multiple dancers to the World Irish Dance Association U.S. Open in Maryland.

The studio will host an open house Saturday to celebrate the studio’s one-year anniversary. The open house is geared toward getting the community more involved in everything the studio has to offer. Nelson said that Irish dance can have many benefits, including exercise and developing core strength.

People of all skill levels, ranging from ages 3 to adult, come to the Rose & Sword to experience the fun of Irish dance, according to Nelson. The studio is located at 3715 Strawberry Plains Rd.

Working with children as young as 3 years old can seem daunting, but Nelson and the studio’s other dance instructor, Isabelle Hollingsworth, take it all in stride. To work with such young children, she said she focuses on basics as well as core strengthening activities to keep their attention throughout a 45-minute session.

“The little ones are cute when you watch them at that age,” Nelson said. “But it’s great because you can already see that spark in them.”

Since the start of the studio, Nelson has seen dancers take great strides and truly find themselves in the Irish dance.

“All you have to do is have the heart for it and want to try,” Nelson said.

In addition to the success of the past year, Rose & Sword held a dance workshop with the international dance group, Fusion Fighters. Fusion Fighters is a modern Irish dance company that includes aspects such as tap, body percussion and contemporary dance techniques. The studio hosted the group last July and plans to do so again in the upcoming year, according to Nelson.

Rose & Sword will be celebrating their one-year anniversary from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday at the studio at 3715 Strawberry Plains Road. The event will include an information session and will display dancers from the studio to demonstrate Irish dance, according to a release from the studio.

Dancers who are slated to perform in an upcoming competition will also dance during the open house, giving visitors a taste of the experience, according to Nelson.

For more information, visit the dance academy’s website at

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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