Adult dancers Sue, Kelly, Deborah and Christine

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Cousins Jennifer Wilbanks and Lila Wallrich are seasoned Feis moms. The difference is that they also compete in the Feiseanna!

 

The pair are at San Fran's Golden State Feis to compete in the adult prizewinner section.

They did Scottish Highland dancing when they were children, but stopped as they got into "grown-up life," says Lila.

But they made room in their grown-up world for Irish Dancing after they saw Riverdance.

"I thought it was something I could do based on my past of Scottish Highland dancing," says Lila

The Sacramento locals found Patricia Kennelly's school online and started dancing 12 years ago.

They now practise three or four times a week, and can't imagine life without dance/

"We were part of a ceili team that won the North American Championships four years ago," Jennifer says.

How do the levels work for adults? Differently than for the kids.

"Adults go as far as prizewinners, where we are, then you just keep dancing in that category, it's as far as you can go," the womn explain.

They reckon that here are about 25 adult dancers performing today, and most of them also have children performing too.

What is it about Irish dance that sparked it for them? "There is no other dance that connects culture and movement so well. The music is beautiful. We've met Irish friends, been to Ireland, and we really have adopted a love for the culture now, " they say.

Irish-American Suzi Byrd, also from The Kennelly School in Sacramento took a 30-year break from Irish dancing, coming back to it before she turned 40!

 

The dancer admits that dancing wasn't as glamorous when she was younger, and "the dresses were itchier back then" she laughs.

Is there an age limit to Irish Dancing? Nope. "As long as we can get up and do it, we'll do it" they laugh, before heading off to the stage.