Queensland isn’t just the home of sunshine and beaches. It’s also a haven for some of the World’s best and most enthusiastic Irish dancers!
The Queensland branch of the Australian Irish Dancing Association (AIDA Qld) boasts 25 Irish dance schools from as far north as Cairns, to the south-east regions of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and beyond into northern New South Wales.
Almost 1000 dancers from Beginner through to Championship level lace up their Irish dance shoes every week to not only embrace an athletic art form, but also its rich culture.
AIDA Qld is a regional branch of the world’s longest running and elite Irish dancing organisation, An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha (CLRG), dedicated to promoting and preserving all elements of Irish dance through competition, examination and performance.
With 49 members, AIDA Qld is a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation comprised of qualified Irish dance teachers and adjudicators.
“All of our members have gone through a comprehensive and strict exam system and have passed the most stringent vetting processes” said AIDA Qld President Jennifer Devlin.
“And we all share an enormous passion for Irish dance.”
Like others around the globe, AIDA Qld has been impacted by Covid-19.
Classes went online, much-loved St Patrick’s day displays were cancelled along with the 2020 World Championships in Dublin. This saw a record number of Queensland dancers miss the chance to represent the region at what would have been the prestigious 50th Anniversary of the World Titles.
But, despite the cancellation of the World Titles and then the 2020 Australian Championships, Queensland’s great work in curtailing the virus saw AIDA Qld able to host a successful State Championships in Brisbane last October.
One thing that couldn’t be diminished by the global pandemic, was keen interest in Irish dancing as numbers continued to flourish, attracting dancers from as young as two years of age to adults to AIDA Qld’s ranks.
“2021 is shaping up to be a great year – our dancers are already back in class and back on the performance, exam and competition stage and we have welcomed many new dancers as well,” Mrs Devlin said. “And we are delighted to be enjoying St Patrick’s Day celebrations this year performing in many locations across the state.”
AIDA Qld is committed to promoting an environment where Irish dancers of all levels obtain the best tuition and training but also gain on-going support and encouragement whether they are learning for competition, fun, fitness and, more importantly, for friendship.