Dancers Will Dazzle at St. Patrick's Parade in Milwaukee

7 Irish Dance Schools Call SE Wisconsin Home

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by Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE-Most of them may have German last names, but the students of the McMenamin Irish Dance Academy in Shorewood are keeping Irish dance alive.

They will perform with six other Milwaukee based Irish dance schools and join 140 units in the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin St. Patrick's Parade Saturday, March 9th.

They know the forecast is calling for drizzle, but nine year old dancer Elaine Fraser tells CBS 58, "I love the rain."

Lead dancer Melissa Sterr says the dancers are keeping up a hectic schedule, even in the midst of a winter storm. They brought their costumes and dance music to the CBS 58 studios and were ready to kick up their heels within minutes.

"We just want to spread St. Patrick's joy, " Sterr explained.

The dance troupe says it feels the responsibility of making sure there is authentic culture presented on a day where the revelry and green beer might sometime gain more attention.

Sterr who is of German decent says she was drawn to the Irish step dancing because of the movement and the music. She says while competition is very much an individual thing, as the girls entertain over the St. Patrick's holiday, it really builds up a sense of community.

If the rain is really bad they may have to make due without the curls, but they will dance no matter what. It means that much to them.

The parade begins at noon Saturday March 9th at 3rd and Wisconsin and goes through downtown ending near Highland and Water.

There's also a post parade party at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center at 21st and Wisconsin. 

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