An Irish dancing teacher in England has taken to virtual busking in order to raise badly-needed funds for his Irish dancing school.
Tom Conroy, 33, set up the Conroy School of Irish Dance in Lincoln in 2019 but has primarily relied on donations from friends and family to keep the school afloat ever since.
Conroy made no profit from the school prior to the pandemic due to the small numbers taking part in classes and the significant cost of renting the hall, so he took to busking on Lincoln's High Street to raise money and keep the school afloat.
However, he was forced to temporarily stop busking due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and has instead been virtually busking on his Facebook page over the past year to help generate some income. Conroy has also been teaching students online to help with the financial implications of the coronavirus lockdown.
Happy St Patrick's day!! 1 radio appearance and zoom gig done already, it's it time for a pint yet??Posted by Tom Conroy Irish dancer on Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Conroy plans to hold Irish dancing classes at the Rhythm in Movement Academy on Clayton Road in Lincoln for people of all ages and abilities once the lockdown is over. Classes will cost £7 ($9.70) per session, while Conroy is also available for shows and events.
The 33-year-old told The Lincolnite that he believes there will be an increased demand for his classes following the lockdown and pointed to the fact that parents will be eager to improve their kids' fitness.
"As we come out of lockdown, involving kids in social and physical activities is going to be so important and now seems like the perfect opportunity to spread the word about the Irish dance classes we can offer," Conroy told The Lincolnite.
"Irish dance is appealing to both boys and girls and it has had a huge surge in popularity during the lockdown thanks to dancers sharing videos of themselves via platforms such as TikTok, which have then been seen by thousands of people."