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Wilson dancers to perform with Irish Step Dancers

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Several Wilson County dancers participate in the Irish Step Dancers

If the St. Patrick's holiday has you longing for more Irish culture and entertainment - you're in luck! The Nashville Irish Step Dancers will perform Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville.

Wilson County dancers including Riley and Abbey McCarthy, Sammi Hite, Mary Cate McNamara, Emma Helton, Hannah Frattini, Olivia Rush and Kaitilyn Szkwarok will wow in this year's production of "Celtic Rhythms on Fire" - returning to Nashville for its seventeenth year.

"'Celtic Rhythms on Fire' is a celebration of the rich, vibrant artistry of Irish culture and, in a larger sense, the fiery spirit of Irish heritage," said Nashville Irish Step Dancers founder and instructor Mary Moran. "Our show highlights not only traditional pieces such as the jig and treble reel, but also explores more progressive styles of Irish dance and music... The collaboration between the dancers, musicians and singers results in a lively interchange the whole family can enjoy."

Moran grew up in Chicago as the daughter of Irish immigrants. Step-dancing, she said, was a normal part of life. "My parents wanted us to carry on that tradition. It was instilled in me," she added.

"Irish Step Dancing is like a folk dance in Ireland. Back in the day it was banned. There was no dancing," Morgan explained. "The people would dance with their arms by their sides so the parish priest didn't see them dancing if they walked by an open window."

Moran moved to Nashville in the late 1980s to pursue a music career and ended up starting the Nashville Irish Step Dancers in 1990. NISD has since expanded into an award-winning, nationally recognized group with more than 100 members.

"Celtic Rhythms on Fire" will be held at 7 p.m. on March 19, and at 2 p.m. on March 20. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children ages 3-12. Groups of 10 or more are $12 each. To reserve tickets, visit or call (615) 424-5998.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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dancing, heritage, history, Ireland, Irish, Irish Step Dancers, Nashville, Wilson County
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