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Final Preparations for Strictly underway


Final preparations for Strictly Kids Dancing event underway...

Training is almost complete, the costumes are ready and final preparations made as the seven teams get ready to take to the Mellon Country Inn floor this Saturday April 12 for the Care for Cancer Strictly Kids Dancing event.

Over these past few weeks we have profiled all the participating acts; Two Pom Pom Panthers cheerleading teams, The Shockarellas, Omagh St Enda’s and Ruby’s Jive Bunnies and today Cliodhna’s Academy and the Blue Thistle Highland Dancers.

Tickets on sale now in the Care For Cancer offices in Campsie, the News Shop in Campsie and from various committee members.

All the teams will be hoping for as much support and sponsorship as possible, so if any members of the public or business would like to sponsor a team or make a donation towards this cause contact the centre on 028 8224 6599



Expect a modern‘fresh’style of dance of Cliodhna’s groupCliodhnas

ith only days to go until they step out on the Strictly Kids dancing floor, the hip hop troop from Cliodhna’s Academy are busy putting the finishing touches to their explosive routine. Led by local drama, music and dance guru Cliodhna Fullen, the junior group of six-11-year-olds are looking forward to showing off their modern ‘fresh’ style of dance for this Care For Cancer charity fundraiser.

The Carrickmore-based dance school, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, will have the most participants on the night with 15 members in the group set to display their body popping and flipping skills.

“Their routine is very modern and creative,” said Cliodhna, praising the work of former pupils and now dance tutors Kerrieann Curran and Aimee Mullen for all their hard work developing the routine. She continued, “We run the dance classes every Tuesday evening, but they have been practising especially for this event for the past two months. The kids are perfecting their routine and just can’t wait to get out of the studio and onto the main dance floor and show everyone what they can do.

“We have all worked as a big team together to devise the routine. Especially Kerrieann and Aimee who have been fantastic.”

The group won’t have any stage fright having experienced performing in front of a large crowd when they came third in a Tyrone’s Got Talent event. However, competitions are not a primary focus for Cliodhna’s Academy. “With my style of teaching, we usually stay away from competitions and mainly focus on life skills, their performances and growing as a dancer as an individual as opposed  to competing,” said Cliodhna. “But as this is for such a great cause it gives them a chance to showcase their talents to a varied audience. The main aspect is their enjoyment and they are pleased to be helping a local cancer charity. They all know someone who has had the illness and it has taught them a lot to be involved in this event.”

The dancers travel from all over the wider Mid Tyrone area to attend the Academy in Carrickmore. If anyone is interested in getting involved or want more information can look up Cliodhna’s Academy on Facebook and get in touch.

 'Blue Thistle Dancers get ready for a Highland Fling'

bluethistledanceAnyone who has never witnessed Highland dancing live is in for a treat at this Saturday’s Strictly Kids Dancing event. 

The Drumquin based Blue Thistle Highland Dancers, who are bursting with energy and bags load of talent, complete the line-up of seven acts.

Aged 7-11, the all female group of nine can’t wait to take to the Mellon Country Hotel floor. That’s according to Ethel McClelland who has been with the group in a range of capacities since it was first established 11 years ago by the late Colin Turner.

Keeping it in the family, Ethel’s daughter Julie is one of the main coaches along with Georgina Kee from Bready, who have been busy choreographing a special routine with new music for thisone-off performance.

“It is traditional Scottish Highland dancing, but they have been working on a routine that is a bit different to normal especially for this event,” commented Ethel. “I can honestly say for those who have never seen Highland dancing before, they are in for a brilliant show. It is very energetic and the nine taking part are full of enthusiasm.” The Blue Thistle Highland Dancers host their own competition every year in Drumquin, which this year is taking place on July 3. It attracts groups from all over Ireland and even Scotland to take part.

In recent years the older members of the group have performed at the world famous Edinburgh Tattoo and last year competed in the Derry Tattoo. Ethel said, “The older ones have experience of performing on the big stage, but events like this are excellent for the younger ones to gain experience of dancing in front of a large crowd.”

While the group welcome dancers of all ages, they are mainly made up of ‘young uns’ as it is an extremely physically exerting style of dance. “The youngest in the group is about five and oldest is probably 19. Anyone older is very welcome to come but it is very physical,” Ethel warned. “We start every class with 15 minutes fitness as well as then the dancing itself”.

The Blue Thistle Highland Dancers practice every Tuesday night between 7-9pm in Drumrawn Hall in Drumquin. Ethel added that all new members are always welcome to come and join them.

 Articles and Photos courtsey of Mark McKelvey and the Ulster Herald



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