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Buffalo’s Irish Dancing Troupes — Where To Find Them On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

There are several schools in Buffalo that specialize in Irish dance and, in turn, yield the area’s best Irish dance troupes.

These boys and girls have been high-stepping their way into the hearts of Buffalonians for years, and each will be performing at one time or another during this St. Patty’s Day weekend, so get to know a little bit about each of them and see some of the locations where they’ll be performing.

Clann Na Cara

Clann Na Cara School of Irish Dance

Clann Na Cara School of Irish Dance

Clann Na Cara was established as a Western New York Irish dance school in 2006 and has become a prominent part of the area since. Students at the school range from age four to 21 and have the choice to compete and perform in a troupe or attend classes for fun. Currently home to various regional champions and world-level competitors, Clann Na Cara competes and performs actively, both with solo dancers and as a group.

Public St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Performances:

  • Annual Civic Luncheon at Buffalo Irish Center (March 14, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
  • Live at O’Larkin at Larkin Square (March 14, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • St. Patrick’s Day at The Eagle House (March 14, 7 p.m.)
  • An Evening of Irish Song & Dance at Fredonia Opera House (March 14, 7:30 p.m.)
  • Glen Park Tavern (March 15, 4 p.m.)
  • St. Pat’s Celebrations at Buffalo Irish Center (March 15, 7:15 p.m.)
  • St. Patrick’s Parade Celebrations at Buffalo Irish Center (March 16, 7:15 p.m.)

McCarthy Dancers 

McCarthy School of Irish Dance

McCarthy School of Irish Dance

The McCarthy School of Irish Dance consists of over 65 members, both boys and girls and ranging in age from four to 18 years old. Since its founding in 1990, the group has earned several medals and trophies in competitions across the country. They perform actively in Grand Island and all of Erie County during the St. Patrick’s season, as well as year-round at weddings, birthdays, parties and other events.

Public St. Patrick’s Day Weekend performances:

  • St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at The Conference Center, Niagara Falls (March 17, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)

McMahon Dancers 

McMahon School of Irish Dance

McMahon School of Irish Dance

Based in Rochester, The McMahon School was established in 2001 by Champion Irish Dancer, Moira McMahon. Since its founding, the school has competed in local, regional and national competions, as well as performed at local events, and has brought home numerous awards in solo and team dancing.

Public St. Patrick’s Day Weekend performances:

  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celtic Family Fare at Rochester Radisson (March 15, 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
  • Sheridan’s Irish Pub (March 15, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Center Street Smokehouse (March 15, 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Sheridan’s Irish Pub (March 17, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Center Street Smokehouse (March 15, 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Rince Na Tiarna 

Rince Na Tiarna School of Irish Dance

Rince Na Tiarna School of Irish Dance

These “high kicking, fast footed Buffalo sweethearts” from the Rince Na Tiarna (or “Lord of the Dance”) School of Irish Dance are part of one of the most active troupes in the Buffalo area. The family-oriented school teaches students from five to young adult, and the group has performed in Irish festivals, holiday parties and national competitions from Buffalo to Scotland.

Public St. Patrick’s Day Weekend performances:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration at The Broadway Market (March 15, 11:30 a.m.)
  • St. Pat’s Celebrations at Buffalo Irish Center (March 15, 9 p.m.)
  • St. Patrick’s Parade Celebrations at Buffalo Irish Center (March 16, 5:15 p.m.)
  • St. Patrick’s Mass + St. Pat Celebrations at Buffalo Irish Center (March 17, 6:30 p.m.)

Rochez Dancers

Rochez-Lahey Academy of Irish Dance

Rochez-Lahey Academy of Irish Dance

Rochez dancers not only participate in competitions, they also devote time to community service, performing in nursing homes, hospitals, churches, community service organizations and schools.

Public St. Patrick’s Day Weekend performances:

  • The Irishman Pub (March 16, 4:30 p.m.)

Contributed by Ashley Steves

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