You’ve heard of “fat camp” – now get ready for “Irish dance camp.”
It will give you the chance to brush up on your “one, two, three’s” – and your rock climbing.
The brain child of Shane McAvinchey, a former Riverdance crew member and currently an Irish dancing instructor in Munich, the Diddlyi Irish Dance Adventure Camp is the first of its kind in Ireland.
It will combine instruction on Irish dancing with various other outdoor and indoor activities, such as abseiling, canoeing and mountain trekking.
The camp takes place from August 9-15, in an adventure center in the medieval village of Carlingford, County Louth, which is about an 80-minute drive either way from Dublin and Belfast.
“The main focus of the camp is on Irish dancing – participants will have a specially designed program of dancing throughout the week,” said Shane McAvinchey. “But they’ll also have the opportunity to take part in many land and water-based adventure activities in Carlingford Adventure Center."
According to McAvinchey, who recently returned to Munich after taking a group of his students to the World Irish Dancing Championships in Philadelphia, qualified instructors provided by the centre will lead all adventure activities.
Participants will design their own dancing schedules on the first day of camp choosing from the various class options that are available.
McAvinchey has been running dance camps and summer schools across Europe for the past four years, in countries such as Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic.
“The idea came after a conversation I had with Paula Goulding, who I have known since our days together in Riverdance, and who will be the co-organizer of the camp. It dawned on us that even though Irish dancing is obviously hugely popular, nothing like this had ever been tried here before in Ireland.
"I went to many Irish adventure centers myself as a kid and always had a great time. So we thought it would be a great idea to combine Irish dance with adventure actitives.”
Kids and adults from beginner to advanced will be catered for at the camp. There will be regular technique classes for competitive Irish dance, programs for stage performance and presentation, as well as fitness and injury prevention classes.
The former Riverdance star says that the decision to locate the camp in Carlingford was an obvious choice. “It’s nestled between Slieve Foy, which is the highest mountain peak in County Louth, Carlingford Lough and the Mourne mountains,” said McAvinchey.
“So it truly is a unique blend of natural beauty and spectacular panoramas, as well as being steeped in myths and legends. Added to that is the area’s modern infrastructure. It’s easily accessible from both Dublin and Belfast, which is important to us, as many of our dancers will be coming from oversees.”
The camp is priced at €420 ($557).
For more information, click here.