Lord of the Dance James Keegan thrilled pupils at Loreto Preparatory School in Altrincham with an impromptu performance.
The former Irish Dance World Champion, who took over from Michael Flatley in the global hit River Dance, has performed for the Queen at Buckingham Palace and at Donald Trump’s inauguration, but was delighted to come to Altrincham where his school of dance will give lessons next term.
He received a standing ovation from a packed hall of parents, pupils and staff when he gave a live show aided and abetted by former world stars Mary Mirasola and Jess Healy, who also teach at his academy based in Chorlton.
He said: “Irish dance might seem difficult to master but we’ve been dancing since we were four-years-old and it’s natural for us now.”
Asking children to come up from the audience, he took them through some basic steps.
He said: “For many it’s just a wonderful opportunity to express yourself and is a lovely social gathering, but it also teaches discipline, how to conduct yourself in public, how to perform in front of an audience and the determination to master steps and rhythm. For me it’s been a great life lesson and I hope it will for the children too.”
Loreto Prep Year Six teacher Denis Moran, whose daughter Orla is an accomplished young dancer, said: “It’s part of a wider programme to introduce the girls to a very wide range of activities including Gaelic football, lacrosse and tag rugby alongside more traditional sports such as hockey and netball.”
Denis added: “The girls love to dance and as we already offer Zumba and Street Dance, we thought James and his team were the perfect role models to introduce Irish Dance as well.”