Watters School of Irish Dance
"Chicago" Dance Drama
Photo: Watters School of Irish Dance

North American Irish Dancing Championships - Dance Drama Review - Part 4

When it was time for the third entry in the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships Irish dance drama competition to come on stage, I could hear mumblings of, "It's the Watters team!"  Being from the Southern region of the United States, I am familiar with the Florida-based Watters School of Irish Dance, and had seen one of their dance dramas a few years back at the Southern Regional Irish Dancing Championships.  I had no idea of the following the school has garnered for its amazing dance drama group even from outside of the Southern Region. 
The music was fabulous and the dancing was a wonderful mix of Irish dance steps and "Swing" steps like The Charleston and The Lindy.  The theme of the dance drama was fittingly "Chicago".  Al Capone's Italian Mob and the Northside Irish Gang fought it out with liquor, loose living, and eventually an amazing slow-motion scene involving guns. The dance drama was set during Prohibition with each group hiding and attempting to steal liquor, tipping the cops off, and eventually giving the slightly-comical cops the slip when the cops thought the crates were full of contraband, but were actually full of produce.  The costumes were in-theme, and I especially loved the girls in "flapper" dresses.  In the end, the police were the ones doing the drinking.  The applause was the loudest of the night. 
"We first performed this drama at the 2010 Southern Region Oireachtas, but it was set in New York then and centered around a different group of Irish gangsters. I never intended on taking it beyond Oireachtas level, it was really a self-indulgent venture for me, because I love that period of history and think it's a fun genre to portray on stage with its mix of violence, greed and glamour. But we got such a positive response to it at the Oireachtas, that I was convinced to take it further. It occurred to me that we were lining up for a Nationals in Chicago and a Worlds in Boston. Both are cities with a significant mob history and it might be fun to re-set the story in the local city each time, altering the drama to suit the story line. So everyone at Nationals saw the Chicago version and it will be changed up again for Worlds in Boston. Meanwhile we are working on a new drama for this years Oireachtas, looking ahead to the 2014 Nationals and 2015 Worlds. That story is under wraps right now!"
~Myra Watters, ADCRG

Read More:

North American Irish Dancing Championships Dance Drama Review Part 1

North American Irish Dancing Championships: Mid-America Dominates Girls' Solo Awards

North American Irish dancing Championships Photos - Friends and Fans for Life
 Myra Watters, ADCRG, and the Watters School of Irish Dance have really taken Irish Dance Drama performances to a new level.  They have become the "team to beat", and I think that everyone in turn has "upped their game".  I can see now why the ballroom was packed to the point of bursting- with security guards literally turning people away at the doors due to lack of space.  The dancing, the music, the costumes, and the storylines of all four Irish dance drama performances were incredible.  I am sure any of the dancers in these Irish dance drama performance groups was excited at the response they got and the thrill of being a part of these artistic and creative Irish dance performances.  

In the end, only one school could win.  The winner of the 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships is the Watters School of Irish Dance.  They totally deserved their first place win, and I am so glad I was there to see their performance.

Congratulations, Watters School of Irish Dance!  I can't wait to see what your school comes up with next.  Did you get to see any of the Dance Drama performances?  Share your enthusiasm for Dance Drama in the comment box below.

Full 2012 North American Irish Dance Championships results are available here.  Check back here on IrishCentral's Irish dance page for more North American Irish Dancing Championship recaps, photos, interviews and results!