As I walked in the door of Portrush Town Hall, Irish traditional music wafted towards me from rooms around the entrance hall. Then, as I heard the high pitched laughs of a group of ladies decked out in dancing pumps and black T shirts, I was welcomed into the practice session of the Dominic Graham School Mammys dancing group.
After watching their daughters practice and rehearse for Irish dancing festivals over the years, these ‘mammys’ havegotten together to set up their own group.
The Dominic Graham School Mammys was initially set up as a bit of a laugh for a fundraiser for the dance school to raise funds for a trip to Wales.
The youngest member of the group is 29, whilst the eldest is in her early sixties.
Dancer Siobhan Dunbar, explained: “We got together to learn to ceilidh dance for a fundraiser for St Patrick’s Day, and we all enjoyed it so much that we decided to keep the group going.
“Many of the girls have never danced before, others danced as youngsters. The craic is great, we have a good laugh and of course it’s good exercise at the same time.”
The group made their debut on stage as Portstewart Music Festival picking up a second and a third in a hotly contested class against eight other adult dancing groups. They are currently practising for the forth coming festival in Portrush.
“We were all so nervous,” said Siobhan.
“My daughter was dancing at that same festival, as I sat with her, I kept looking at the stage thinking how on earth am I going to get up there and dance, we all felt sick with nerves. I think we all have a new respect for our daughters now.”
Dance Instructor Annette Young went on: “We have great craic. It’s a real social thing. We often joke that this group provides a bit of therapy for us all - we all share stories and have a good old laugh.”
And, dance school principal Dominic Graham is delighted to have the ‘mammys’ on board.
“They are a great bunch of girls. It’s great to see them having so much fun dancing. Although I think they now realise how hard their daughters work when they come to dance practice now.”
Visit our website for an exclusive video of the group.