Cancellation of Events Met with Disappointment, Understanding

For the Irish step dancing students at the Kelly School of Irish Dance, March is typically a very busy month. This year is different.

By: Tim Studebaker

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COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) – The month of March marks the culmination of a year of hard work for Irish step dancers.

Meghan Kelly, owner of the Kelly School of Irish Dance in Coventry says, “March is our biggest performance season.  It’s our own version of March Madness.”

Typically, students at the Kelly School of Irish Dance would be participating in countless performances marking Saint Patrick’s Day.

Kelly says, “We actually most recently did the Pawtucket parade and performed at the after party there.  But, Newport, as you know, has been cancelled, which we do understand.”

In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, classes at the studio are on hold, as are performances in parades and at community centers.

Kelly says, “We’re just trying to be realistic and protect not only our children, but their families, staff, and our communities that are unsure of what the effect’s going to be.”

For Mary Spearman, a student at the school, this would have been her second Newport Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

Mary Spearman says, “I understand why we’re not going to be able to do it, because I don’t want anyone to get sick.  But, it’s still a disappointment.”

Parents like Cate Spearman seem to be on board with the decision.

Cate Spearman says, “We have to err on the side of caution.  We are definitely in unchartered waters right now, and I think to keep everyone safe until we get a better picture of what’s going on…  You can always dance other times of the year.”

Even though classes and performances are cancelled for now, the owners of the Kelly School of Irish Dance are considering holding a special event on May 17th to let their students show off their skills, calling it the “New Saint Patrick’s Day” just for this year.

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Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island