Fancy footwork as Longford goes Strictly Dancing

The male dancers for 'Longford Goes Strictly Dancing'...Donal Daly, Gerry Warnock, Joe Flaherty, John Duignan, Colin Dalton, Paddy Hanlon, Kevin Hussey, Dec Flynn, Sean Considine, Seamus Butler, Jim Maher, Trevor McHugh and Niall Gannon. Missing: Enda Flynn, Declan Kenny, Donagh McDonnell. Photo By Shelley Corcoran
On February 7, a group of well-known locals will step it out as ‘Longford Goes Strictly Dancing’ at the Longford Arms Hotel.

On February 7, a group of well-known locals will step it out as ‘Longford Goes Strictly Dancing’ at the Longford Arms Hotel.

Thirty two locals will show off their fancy footwork in this exciting fundraiser for the Attic Teen House Project and the Temperance Hall.

Being put through their paces by Choreographer and Director of the show, Lorraine Wynne of Midland Drama Schools, the enthusiastic dancers are: John Duignan, Donal Daly, Jim Maher, Enda Flynn, Declan Kenny, Dec Flynn, Paddy Hanlon, Sean Considine, Niall Gannon, Kevin Hussey, Colin Dalton, Donagh McDonnell, Trevor McHugh, Séamus Butler, Joe Flaherty, Gerry Warnock, Sharon Dunne Donnelly, June Donlon, May Campbell, Liz Hourican, Deirdre Monahan, Deirdre McNiven, Lorraine Fay, Susan Ryan, Angela Brady, Colette Reynolds, Perpetua Neary, Kathleen Mahon, Siobhán Connolly, Teresa Gilchriest, Edel Penrose and Patricia McKiernan.

According to Melanie Rhatigan, a member of the event’s organising committee and the Temperance Hall committee, rehearsals are going well.

“They’re a wonderful bunch of people,” she told the Leader.

“They are taking it with both hands and running with it to the finish line!”

Explaining that the dancers are in group rehearsals before the couples are chosen, Melanie added that “it’s a very dynamic group of people who are well used to volunteering in the community”.

“There’s a lot of banter between the dancers,” Melanie continued, adding that a lot of this banter is based on the subject of the couples - which have not yet been chosen.

Over the past few weeks, the dancers have been practicing as a group, waiting in anticipation for the choreographer to choose the pairs that will perform for a live audience this February. The real fun begins in the coming days when the dance partners will be revealed!

Of course, each of the dancers are performing for a reason, to raise funds for two local causes; The Attic Teen House Project and the Temperance Hall.

According to the CSO Report 2011 there were 3,133 young people between the ages of 12 to 18 years in Co Longford. Based on those figures, The Attic Youth Café engages with over half of these youths on an annual basis, providing a structured youth service and a full programme of events and activities to almost 2,000 teens. Due to their growing membership and increasing number of programmes, the Attic Youth Café are hoping to expand and develop their services with the newly-purchased Attic House. This will ensure extensive engagement with young people in Co Longford through new programmes and activities. It is also envisaged that this new Youth Centre will be the central hub for all youth facilities and projects within Longford county.

With the building and redevelopment expected to cost €500,000, this event will provide the project with some much-needed funds.

A landmark in Longford town for more than 100 years, the Temperance Hall is a vibrant hub for a wide variety of activities, from Girl Guides and Cumann na bhFiann to fitness and martial arts groups to bingo.

In an attempt to support local groups who work for the betterment of the community, facilities at the Temperance Hall are offered at a nominal cost. To keep the costs low, fundraisers, such as this one, are organised to ensure the Temperance Hall continues to provide a space for hours of enjoyment each week, as it has done for many generations.

The fundraising for these two worthy causes is already underway, with each participant hoping to raise as much as possible with their sponsorship cards. Each euro raised by the dancers will count as a vote on the night, but dancers will also have their chance to try and earn one of a number of other prizes.

“Everyone involved is living, sleeping [and] breathing dancing right now,” Melanie concluded.

Tickets to this glamorous event, which kicks off at 8pm on February 7, are now available for just €20 from Torc Café, Farrell & Coy and the Temperance Hall.

For more information, or to keep an eye on how the dancers are faring, search for ‘Longford Goes Strictly Dancing’ on Facebook.