President Barack Obama has invited Irish dancers Keltic Dreams to perform at the White House on St. Patrick's Day.
This is a huge coup for Keltic Dreams, the brainchild of Dublin born school teacher, Caroline Duggan, which is based out of PS 59 in the Bronx.
Duggan, 31, who moved to New York after graduating from Trinity College, Dublin as a musical teacher, brought her Irish dancing shoes with her.
The troupe, with absolutely no background in Irish dance or culture, is made up of boys and girls between 7 and 11 years old.
The Keltic Dreams have performed throughout the U.S. and Ireland. They featured on Ireland's longest running television show, "The Late Late Show" and danced for the President of Ireland at her home.
Now it's their turn to show their Irish dancing moves to the President of United States.
The American Ireland Fund has subsidized the Dreamers' trips to Ireland and "Riverdance" producer John McColgan, made a documentary about the kids, called "A Bronx Dream."
Duggan originally came to the U.S. to teach for one year but has never returned.
“I came to the U.S. as a challenge for one year and my parents are heart broken because I never returned. I love it here,” she says.
She says she was nervous about teaching in the Bronx but decided to give it a go when she met the school’s principal, whose husband has Irish roots.
She says the kids thought their new music teacher spoke funny.
She was peppered with questions: “Why do you talk like that?" "Are there leprechauns in Ireland?" "Waht kind of dance do they do there?”
So the Dubliner decided to show them some Irish dancing steps.
“I showed then a basic few steps for Saint Patrick’s day. I couldn’t fathom how quick they were picking up the steps and it went from there,” she says.
The school gave the Dublin girl permission to start an Irish dancing program after class and it's flourished from there.
The Keltic Dreams were the recipients of the first 'Building Bridges' award from the Irish Connections Festival in Boston in June 2006.
Duggan has been honored on several occasions for the wonderful work she does with the children.
Duggan, who has been with the school eight years, has trained over 200 children in Irish dancing.
Stella O'Leary, president of the Irish American democrats, told IrishCentral.com that The Keltic Dreams were delighted and honored to have been asked to perform at the White House.
"We are also very pleased to have an Irish dance group performing at the White House on St. Patrick's Day," said O'Leary.
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