FULL IRISH DANCE COVERAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO
JOIN OUR IRISH DANCING GROUP! VIEW AND UPLOAD PICTURES AND VIDEOS!
East San Fran girl Aine Niland wants to be a champion just like her mom.
The 8-year-old Healy School student came third in The Girls Reel Special, her favorite dance.
Niland's dad is from County Mayo, and mum Tara is an Irish-American. Tara danced for 13 years, and says there have been huge changes over the years.
"Everything is different," she says. "The style has changed, especially the costumes," a change she puts down to the explosion of Riverdance.
"The dancing is faster, they are up on their feet a lot more, and the need to be fit is even greater," she says.
Another new element is the diversity. "It brings different nationalities into it, whereas when I did it, it was mainly Irish-American kids."
There is no doubt that Riverdance has multiplied the number of those who are interested, but "there was still a community in California when I danced," says Aine's mother, who began dancing in San Francisco because her own mother wanted her to embrace her heritage.
What does Aine think of her mother having been a champion dancer? "I think it's cool," she smiles proudly.