England and Ireland set to go head to head
England and Ireland are set to go head-to-head in more ways than one when a double-header of Six Nations rugby action arrives at the Ricoh Arena in March.
That’s because the Coventry Morris Men and the Turley Duggan School of Irish Dance are preparing for a dance-off in front of thousands of people during the Six Nations double-header in Coventry on Friday, March 16, between England Women and Ireland Women (kick-off 5pm), followed by England U20s versus Ireland U20s (kick-off 8pm).
The dancers will be providing entertainment for the crowd in between both of the games.
As the countdown begins to the big day, both groups treated the general public to a rehearsal in Broadgate, featuring a variety of English Cotswold morris dancing and Irish river dancing.
Free Radio presenter Roisin McCourt is a teacher at the Turley Duggan Academy of Irish Dancing, which has been running in Coventry and Warwickshire for 30 years, and currently boasts two world champions among its ranks.
She said: “We are in the thick of competition season, so performing at the Ricoh Arena will be a brilliant opportunity for the dancers to practice their routines and do Ireland proud in a state-of-the-art venue.
“Stepping out at a big venue such as the Ricoh Arena will be a great experience for our dancers who can’t wait to step out of the tunnel.
“Amongst our group will be 15-year-old George Semple and 11-year-old Molly McGrory who are both world champions in their own categories, so the public can expect to see Irish performances of the highest order off the pitch, as well as on it!”
Coventry Morris Men will be performing a selection of traditional Cotswold morris dances. These dances were collected from Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire at the beginning of the 20th century although the dance style dates back to at least the 14th century and, as a living tradition, continues to develop.
Martin Trewinnard is the Bagman of Coventry Morris Men, who were originally founded in 1931 and re-founded in 1950, and have been dancing in and around the City as well as further afield since then.
He added: “We can often be seen out and about performing at pubs and festivals around the local area in the Spring and Summer, so performing at the Ricoh Arena is a great opportunity for us to be able to reach a new audience to show them how fun and unique morris dancing really is.”
Tickets for the Six Nations double-header between England and Ireland at the Ricoh Arena are just £10 for adults for both games, and can be purchased from www.eticketing.co.uk/ricoharena
For more information about the Turley Duggan Academy of Irish Dancing email firstname.lastname@example.org, and for further details about the Coventry Morris Men visit www.coventry-morris.org.uk