On the Record

Luck of the Irish

On the Record with Amy Marie Prior

Amy Marie Prior is the lead female dancer of The National Dance Company of Ireland's show Rhythm of the Dance. The show will be at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb, at 7:30 p.m. March 17.
Amy Marie Prior is the lead female dancer of The National Dance Company of Ireland's show Rhythm of the Dance. The show will be at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb, at 7:30 p.m. March 17.

DeKALB – This St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland and its dance, music, songs and culture is coming to DeKalb.

The National Dance Company of Ireland will bring its Rhythm of the Dance show to the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.

The show, one of the top three Irish step dance shows in the world, will feature eye-catching lighting and costumes, sensational sound effects, 16 world and Irish champion dancers, five musicians and two singers. Rhythm of the Dance has traveled to 50 countries in the past 20 years and has been seen by more than 7 million people.

Ticket prices for show at the Egyptian range from $25 to $60 and are available at https://egyptiantheatre.org/.

Amy Marie Prior, who was born and raised in London, is the show’s lead female dancer. She spoke to MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton about Rhythm of the Dance.

Milton: What is a lead female dancer?

Prior: There are two leads, a male and a female. The leads do a lot more solos and dances. I am the lead female dancer and Dane [McKiernan] is the lead male dancer.

Milton: Tell me about your current tour.

Prior: We’ve been on tour since November. We’ve been to Holland, Germany, Switzerland and now America. There’s a show almost every night, so most nights when we’re not traveling. We travel on a big bus between cities, which can be a very long drive. It’s very comfortable, with plenty of seats for everyone.

Milton: Do you have practice and rehearsals?

Prior: We had a two-week rehearsal before our tour started in November. We practice a little, an hour on stage, before each show. Before the show, we have a lot to get ready. We have to make sure our costumes are right. There are 11 costumes in the show. We also have to do hair and makeup, which can take some time.

Milton: How long have you been dancing?

Prior: I’ve been dancing for about 20 years. My aunt was my teacher and my older sister also danced. I learned a few steps when I was little and have always loved it. Dancing runs in the family. I love being able to tour the world and be getting paid to do what I love.

Milton: Who would you say is the show’s target audience?

Prior: It’s an exciting show for anyone that has Irish heritage or loves Irish music and dancing. You don’t have to have an Irish background or Irish heritage to enjoy Irish step dancing. We travel around the world and everyone connects with the dancing and the music. One of our biggest shows was in front of 7,000 people in Moscow, Russia.

Milton: What would you say to aspiring dancers?

Prior: Practice makes perfect. Keeping going. If you’re heart is in it, keep going. Anyone in the world can do this if they practice and work hard at it. You just have to love the dancing and work hard at it.

Milton: What if you’ve seen Rhythm of the Dance before?

Prior: Even if you’ve seen our show before, we’re always adding new dances, new costumes, new songs. We want to make the show exciting and new. Seeing people’s reactions, their excitement, that’s why I do what I do. I’m so lucky to be dancing and doing what I love. It’s always great when the audience loves the show and they’re blown away by the performance. I’m so grateful for all of our audience and fans.

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